Can God Use Me?
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“God can’t use me.” Have you ever thought that? I confess that in my early Christian walk, I felt that way at times. But I have since learned the statement is not only wrong, but actually sinful. It is wrong because God is sovereign over all. He can use anything or anyone He chooses to accomplish His wonderful purposes. He can even do so without interfering with a person’s free will. He is that creative.
But the statement is also sinful for one simple reason: it elevates self over God. What I can do, what I can’t do. The moment we center our thoughts on our service to God, we move away from centering our thoughts (our worship) on God. On Who God is, on how much He loves us, and what He has done for us. The difference seems subtle, but nothing could be further from the truth.
But there is good news! There is hope for the heart that mourns, “God can’t use me.” The moment you and I turn our eyes away from what we can or cannot do for God, and instead center our hearts on Who He is and His love for us, our relationship with God will grow. God then slowly opens our eyes to how He is already at work in our lives. When we are ready, He invites us to participate in His holy work.
God recently reminded me of this precious truth when I received a message from a friend. My friend explained that for the past two years, she has been speaking with three young ladies in Cairo, Egypt. Once a week, she meets with them on Skype in order to help them with conversational English. As their friendships blossomed, the women began to talk about their beliefs. When my friend began sharing with the women what she is learning about Hagar and Ishmael from my Bible study, HAGAR: Rediscovering the God Who Sees Me, they asked her to tell them more. They were eager to hear about Hagar’s story because, like themselves, Hagar was Egyptian! And unlike the Quran, which never even mentions Hagar by name, the Bible has a LOT to say about this fascinating woman – and God’s great love for her.
My friend was simply being faithful in the abilities God gave her. In time, God began to use that seemingly ordinary situation to open the door for the gospel. Then, when the time was right, my friend began sharing her faith in Christ with her Egyptian friends. Praise the Lord! God’s love is available to all! This is the message the world is longing for.
“For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ [But] How can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe [if] they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (NIV)
Please pray for God to open the hearts of these precious women to His wonderful truths: just as God loved Hagar and Ishmael, God sees and loves every person He created. May each of us, like my friend, faithfully “shine [God’s] light in the darkness” ().
How about you? How is God at work in your life?
Father, may You grant us open hearts and open minds to see how You are at work in our lives and in the lives of those around us. Give us courage, oh Lord, to speak the truth in love for You alone know the hearts of every person You created for Your glory. Amen.
Copyright © 2018 Shadia Hrichi, used with permission.
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