Why Settle for Ordinary?

How many times have you heard a sermon or read a book telling you God uses ordinary people? The idea is to motivate you because they say God can use you, too. After all, you’re an ordinary person, right?

You come away feeling pumped up. You’re ready to go on the next missions trip. Or you’ll give until it hurts the next time the offering plate comes around.

What if I said that’s all garbage? At best this motivational teaching is misguided.

I’ve come to the conclusion God doesn’t use ordinary people. Think this through with me for a few minutes.

Look at the people featured in Scripture. People like Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Solomon. And on it goes through the Old Testament prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Jonah, and others. Then in the New Testament we see men like Peter, John and Paul. Were these ordinary men? I think not. Moses and paul in particular were brilliant, highly educated men.

Perhaps it could be argued that God took ordinary people and made something extraordinary out of them. Maybe. But if God chose them–as He did–to do His bidding, were they really ordinary? He apparently didn’t think so.

No, these men didn’t all start out great. Yes, they became that way because of what the Lord did for and through them. There was indeed a growing experience for all of them.

And so it is for each of us. That brings me around to my next point.

If you’re a born again believer in Jesus Christ, God chose you from before the world began. See the first few verses of Ephesians chapter 1 for confirmation of that. We’ve been set apart from the rest of the world, or sanctified, as the Scriptures call it.

But let’s be careful here. Being sanctified doesn’t make us better than others. I’m not out to build your ego with what I’m trying to convey.

I mistakenly believe Christians were superior when I was a much younger man. I soon found out there are a lot of fantastic people living in the world around us. Many of them show us up as Christians when it comes to their outward virtues and zeal for causes.

Someone has sed that unregenerate man is not nothing. Think of the beautiful music, art and architecture, just to name a few things, which man has devised through the centuries. Lots and lots of people are smarter and wealthier than you and me, and it will ever be thus.

You and I are sanctified, not superior.. This does mean we’re different though. A crucial element that sets us apart is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Unbelievers don’t have that, no matter how righteously they behave.

God’s precious Holy Spirit has given us gifts. Do you know what yours are? Are you using them? And are you using them for His glory? They’re not meant to be squandered on the world. Unfortunately, many churches don’t explore and cultivate those gifts.

Do you still feel ordinary? If you think you are, God doesn’t want to leave you that way. Even if the rest of the world sees you as ordinary, you can do works for the Lord which will count for eternity in His sight. Just remember, He’s the potter, and you and I are His clay.

You don’t have to build big church empires, as some believe you have to do to be great. But you do have to reckon yourself as set apart by and for our Lord. You’re not ordinary to Him. So why keep thinking you’re ordinary? You do yourself and our Lord a disservice by not yielding to His guidance and then acknowledging your rightful place as a sanctified member of His Body.

1 Corinthians 2:11-16–
11. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
15. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
16. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:4-11–
4. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
7. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9. To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10. To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11. But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

Ephesians 4:11-12–
11. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Ephesians 2:10–
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Christian Life, Thoughts from John

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