Have you ever thought about why God would choose to use us in His service? I mean, seriously, we are imperfect vessels at best, capable of ruining the simplest plan – without assistance. Or of derailing the simplest plan with our own ‘advice and ideas’. It amazes me that He would choose to use us in any way at all! But there are reasons I am sure.
Many of you will know this scene from the book of Acts.
At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.” And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.” When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those who attended him, and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
(Acts 10:1-8 ESV)
Here we have an amazing scene. A Gentile is praying – and an angel appears before him. Do you think that if the angel had told Cornelius about Jesus, then he would have been saved then and there? No doubt! I am sure the angel could have given a perfect and powerful presentation of the gospel – so powerful they never would have forgotten it. And yet, what is the message? Go and get Simon who is called Peter.
Now why would God choose to do it that way?
In this case the answer is simple. Peter, though one if the closest disciples of Jesus, still had lessons to learn. He was currently receiving a vision himself from God – teaching him that gentiles were no longer different before God than Jews.
So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
(Acts 10:34-35 ESV)
God chooses to use us, because when we are doing His will we are also learning, and drawing closer to Him. The benefit in this scene in Acts 10 (read the whole chapter if you are not familiar with it!), was not only that a house of ‘God fearing’ Gentiles was saved, but that the Jews who were to preach the World also learned something about themselves, and about God.
So in service, we ourselves are drawn closer to God! And in that process God’s will is revealed in our world. That’s just plain amazing.
Next time you feel yourself called to do something, to share, to speak, or whatever it is – don’t worry if you don’t feel like you have the strength, the knowledge or the ability. Just know that God is with you, and has called you to do something not just for the benefit of others, but also to teach you, guide you, and draw you closer to Him.