And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto they servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will teach thee what thou shalt say.
God has called each and every one of us to live a life that glorifies Him, and for each of us, that calling requires various tasks that must be accomplished. For me, there have always been two categories in which these tasks fall – those of which I think I am capable and those of which I do not.
This is all wrong.
With this mindset, one lives daily thinking the will of God rests on his accomplishments: whether or not His will is fulfilled wholly depends on his capabilities. How incredibly self-centered! God doesn’t choose men and women because of their abilities. He does not look for one who is intelligent or eloquent or resourceful or astute. He does not look for one with many “talents.” He looks for men and women who are willing, who want to be used despite their flaws. Moses was wrong in thinking that God couldn’t use him because of his “slow speech.” In fact, that showed just how little he believed in the power of God.
Similarly, Jeremiah, when called by God to be a prophet, said, “Ah, Lord God! behold, I can not speak: for I am a child.” Jeremiah was sure that he could not be the prophet the Lord had called him to be because of his youth. The Lord responds saying, “Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee… Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.” In that last portion, God shows that He had significant plans for the life of Jeremiah. God didn’t ask Jeremiah to go find his talents, develop them, and then come back so that God could use him. God just wanted Jeremiah to submit to His will. God would do the rest.
In contrast to Jeremiah and Moses, you can read of Isaiah, who probably had his own shortcomings, but despite them, had a willing heart to serve God. “Also I heard a voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”
So are we going to waste time worrying about whether or not we have the ability to fulfill God’s will, or are we going to surrender ourselves – imperfections and all – to do whatever the Lord has for us?
“If you feel weak, limited, and ordinary, take heart! You are the best material through which God can work!”
It is dangerous to think that God’s will can not be accomplished because of my shortcomings. But it might be more dangerous to think God’s will is being accomplished because I can do it – in my own strength.
I think there is another way of thinking that can ensnare us if we are not careful, one that is far more subtle. It is believing that God is using us because of our talents and abilities. This too, is an extremely selfish way of thinking. I think there are times, when we start off simply with that willingness to be used as God wills, but then with success, there is a temptation to take our eyes away from what God is doing. We are pulled into thinking that God actually needs us.
Now, don’t get me wrong, God does give each of us different strengths and abilities for the very purpose of fulfilling His will, (1 Corinthians 12) but they are not for our own edification. They are to be used for Him. And again, it is He who gives them to us. Apart from Him, we are nothing and we can do nothing for His glory.
We must humbly accept this. If God should use us to do great things, we must know that it is He who does that which is great, and we are merely tools in the hands of God. The very fact that God would even be willing to use us should leave us in awe.
Paul was a prime example of a man with this mindset. In Galatians 6:18, he writes, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” And in Philippians 2, he writes of the perfect example of humility when he writes of Jesus Christ saying, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
So like Christ, we must humble ourselves, and if God chooses to do great things through us, then all glory belongs to Him!
James 4:10 ~ Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
1 Peter 5:7 ~ Humble yourselves therefore under the might hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:”
“Humility is not in what we own or achieve, but in maintaining a teachable attitude, a willingness to bend to the will of the Father.”
Stop focusing on what you can or can not do. Focus on what God wants to do in and through you.
It’s ALL about Him.