Tag Archives: can god use me

Surrendering

Having been raised in church, there’s a time in my life I like to refer to as halftime. It’s a period where I chose to quit making my life about God and decided to make choices that were selfish. I lived the opposite way of what I knew to be right. It wasn’t long before God started trying to get my attention. Things in my life started to go wrong. I was losing the blessings God had given me. Stubbornly, I kept going in the direction I was headed ignoring God’s attempts to get my attention. Finally, things started getting so bad that I had no choice, but to surrender. I laid down on my living room floor one night and prayed, “God, I give up. I can’t do this any more.” The storm stopped, but I still had to live with the consequences of that period in my life.

As I read through the book of Jonah, I see some similarities. He was a God fearing man who lived the way he was supposed to. When God asked him to preach, he ran from his calling. While he was going the opposite direction in a boat, God sent a great storm to get his attention, but he ignored it. The Bible says that he was sleeping in the boat when the others had to wake him. As the storm worsened, he knew the only choice was surrender. Jonah 1:15-16 says, “Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea, and the storm stopped at once! The sailors were awestruck by the Lord’s great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him” (NLT).

Even when you’ve made choices to run from God, He can use it for good. These sailors would never have given their lives to the Lord if Jonah wouldn’t have run away. They saw a powerful God who would stop at nothing until one of His lost sheep surrendered and came back into the fold. If you’ve been running from God, don’t wait until the storm gets so bad that you lose everything before you surrender. If run away, but you’ve already surrendered, get rid of the condemnation. God can use that period in your life for good, plus He can still use you for His purposes. Jonah led an entire city to God after he had run away. Your choices in the past haven’t negated God’s calling on your life. It’s time to move past your mistakes and start moving towards your calling.

Photo by Jean-Pierre Brungs on Unsplash

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Broken Vessel

I was listening to Tullian Tchividjian speak about the disciples that Jesus chose. He mentioned that Jesus didn’t choose religious or wealthy men. He chose men who had nothing to bring to the table. He also said that God doesn’t need perfect vessels to carry out His will, He needs broken ones. There’s a lot in just those few statements that speaks to me. I think that the 12 men whom He chose to give His life changing message to says a lot about who God is and what He sees in people.

When Jesus chose the disciples, He pretty much walked up to them and said, “Come follow me.” They didn’t ask Him who He was. They didn’t say, “Let me finish doing this task.” They didn’t ask to go say goodbye to family and friends. They dropped what they were doing, left family and friends to follow Jesus. They were chosen because their attitudes were the type that was willing to do whatever God asked without worrying about everything else that typically stops us from doing His will.

These men were not perfect either. Peter had a big mouth. Thomas was a skeptic. Judas was self righteous. Matthew was a tax collector who had cheated people. The list goes on. God does not choose people to carry out His will based on what they offer. He chooses people based on their inabilities. If we could do everything He asked on our own, where would faith come in? If we were confident enough to say what He tells us to say, we would think we were doing it in our own strength. If we had the credentials and expertise, pride would swell up in us. Instead, He finds broken and chipped vessels to put together to do His will so He can get the glory.

Have you limited yourself in what you feel God has called you to do because you don’t have the skills or ability? Have you thought God wanted you to do something that was over your head but turned Him down because you couldn’t do that on your own? You don’t have to have a degree in Public Speaking to share what God has done for you. You don’t have to have a Masters in Anthropology to help the needy. You don’t have to have a Doctorate in Theology to discuss with others what you found in God’s Word. You simply have to be a vessel that’s been broken and ready to use by Him for His purpose and His glory. He will give you all you need to be successful in your calling.

Photo by Marta Esteban Fernando on Unsplash

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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Repurposing Your Life

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

One of the things I like about watching HGTV is to see how the repurpose and reuse previously discarded materials. Who knew you could take old, wooden Coca-Cola bottle boxes, screw them together, put legs under them, and put glass on top to create a cool display coffee table? I love how they find new uses for previously thrown out items or give new life to things that are worn out and are thought to be worthless. Their creativity is inspiring.

When I watch that, I can’t help but think, “That’s what God does with us!” He takes our lives that are broken, used up, out dated and seemingly useless, and repurposes us. He gives us new life that makes us more beautiful than before. He sometimes finds us in life’s scrap pile and thinks, “I can find new life and uses for this.” When everyone else sees someone worth discarding, God sees potential. This always gives me hope.

In Isaiah 41, God had strong words for Israel. They had fallen away and were scattered. They were a people who were broken and thought of as trash, but God doesn’t like to leave His children that way. In verse 9 He said, “I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away” (NLT). When others, and often ourselves, don’t see value in our life and are willing to toss us out with yesterday’s garbage, God sees someone He value and can use.

In verse 10, He goes on to say, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Not only does He see your life as valuable and worthy of repurposing, He’s going to give you strength, help and victory for the transition. It’s not always easy being repurposed, but if we will let God have complete control over our lives, He will make something beautiful and useful.

Photo by Drew Taylor on Unsplash

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Flawed Failure

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.


If you are perfect, then you don’t have to read this today. If you are a flawed failure like me, you can keep reading. The good news is that you are just who God is looking for to use. He rarely picks anyone perfect to carry out His plan. If you look at the list of people God has used to do great things through, it’s full of flawed failures. It’s full of people who you probably wouldn’t want to work with. 

Moses knew his own flaws and tried to use them as an excuse to not do what God was asking him to do. He stuttered. He murdered. He ran away from his responsibilities. He was orphaned as a baby. He had excuses, but God sees our excuses as opportunities to connect with others. He sees our flaws as ways to build dependence on Him. He’s ok with you not measuring up to what you think He wants. You actually already have what He wants. That’s why He chose you to do His will.

Each of us have a purpose to fulfill. God has a desire to use you despite your flaws and excuses. He has a purpose for your life that only you can fulfill. God is not concerned with your past if you’ve gone to Him for forgiveness. He’s taken your past into account when He planned your future. He knew the struggles you were going to face. He knew where and how you were going to fail and still planned to use you. It’s hard for us to understand because what disqualifies us humanly somehow qualifies us spiritually.

God’s ways are higher than our ways. What we consider wise is foolishness to Him. When we point to the scars, disappointment, failures and sin, He points to the cross. It’s in our weakness that He can truly work. If we rely on our strengths and abilities, we get in His way. When we think we can’t or shouldn’t be used by Him, we are ready to be used by Him. If we had the ability to do it on our own, we wouldn’t rely on Him.

God can and will use our strengths, but He’s really interested in our flaws and failures. He uses those to bring healing to others and to show them that He can use them too. Be open about your past. Tell others about your scars. Your story (testimony) brings hope and healing to others. When you hide who you were, you hide the grace that God bestowed on you. Others need to see that God can forgive a past that’s dark and full of sin. Others need to see that God can and still uses someone as flawed as us.

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A Repurposed Life


One of the things I like about watching HGTV is to see how the repurpose and reuse previously discarded materials. Who knew you could take old, wooden Coca-Cola bottle boxes, screw them together, put legs under them, and put glass on top to create a cool display coffee table? I love how they find new uses for previously thrown out items or give new life to things that are worn out and are thought to be worthless. Their creativity is inspiring.

When I watch that, I can’t help but think, “That’s what God does with us!” He takes our lives that are broken, used up, out dated,and seemingly useless, and repurposes us. He gives us new life and makes us more beautiful than before. He sometimes find us in life’s scrap pile and thinks, “I can find new life and uses for this.” When everyone else sees someone worth discarding, God sees potential. This always gives me hope.

In Isaiah 41, God had strong words for Israel. They had fallen away and were scattered. They were a people who were broken and thought of as trash, but God doesn’t like to leave His children that way. In verse 9 He said, “I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away” (NLT). When others, and often ourselves, don’t see anything of worth in your life and are willing to toss you out with yesterday’s garbage, God sees someone He values highly.

In verse 10, He goes on to say, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Not only does He see your life as valuable and worthy of repurposing, He’s going to give you strength, help, and victory for the transition. It’s not always easy being repurposed, but if we will let God have complete control over our lives, He will make something beautiful and useful.

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Your Role Matters

  
My son is into Daniel Tiger from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. Hearing the same songs again over and over can get frustrating at times, but it can also drive home simple messages. One of the songs says, “Everyone, everyone is big enough to do something.” When I tell my son he can’t do something, he will usually say, “But everyone is big enough to do something.” I agree with him and find a way that he can contribute because I want him to know that no matter what he does in life, he can contribute.

As Christians, we’re pretty hard on ourselves sometimes. We think of ourselves as less than we are and prevent ourselves from doing things. We tend to think of our failures as a person or Christian, and disqualify ourselves before we ever contribute anything. We think we have nothing significant to offer or we’re not a strong enough Christian. We can be pretty self limiting when it comes to doing things for God.

In I Corinthians 12:7, it says, “The Spirit’s presence is shown in some way in each person for the good of all” (GNT). That means that you have something to contribute to others. God has placed His spirit in you so that you can do what only He’s called you to do. If you excuse yourself from doing what that is, it’s not just you who misses out on the blessing, we all do. Just as each part of our body performs a different function to keep it working, each of us play a role in keeping the Body of Christ going.

You may not like your part. You may not like where you’re located, but don’t let that keep you from letting God show Himself through you. Verse 18 says, “But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it” (NLT). That means that God has you right where He wants you so you can benefit others there. Quit looking for a better place or a more glamorous role in the body. Be who God called you to be where He placed you. Let God work through you for the good of others. Don’t hold back. You are important to the rest of the body.

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Be Ordinary

We are raised hearing stories about great men and women of history. We have movies that encapsulate their lives in just a few hours. There are thousands of books that tell of their struggles. We also create Superheroes to further train our brains that we must be super or great in order to accomplish anything in history. While that may be mostly true according to this world’s standards, it’s not by God’s standard. He’s ok with you being ordinary. He doesn’t need you to be Super or great in order to change the world.

In Acts 4, Peter and John spent the night in jail for healing a crippled man and preaching that Jesus was the way to Heaven. The next morning, they were brought before the High Priest and the religious council. Knowing the answer, they asked the question, “By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, stood up and boldly spoke to them about Jesus. Verse 13 says, “The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures.”

Peter and John were fishermen before they followed Jesus. That was the low wage, manual labor of their time. Their job required long, hard hours, not an education. People were always surprised when they spoke because no one expects greatness from ordinary. It was the same in Acts 2 when they were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues. Acts 2:7-8 says, “And they were all beside themselves in amazement, saying, “Are not all these who are talking Galileans? Then how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own particular dialect to which we were born? (AMP)” No one expected these Galilean fisherman to know anything about the Scriptures, much less to be able to speak another language correctly.

When our lives are controlled by the Holy Spirit, our lives become great. We get a boldness to do things we’ve never been able to do. We speak like we’ve never spoken before. The Holy Spirit can make an ordinary life an extraordinary life. Don’t hold yourself back from ministering to others because you don’t have the education. Don’t be afraid to stand up for your faith because you don’t think you know enough about the Bible. Peter and John were in your shoes yet they spoke with boldness through the Holy Spirit.

God chose these uneducated men and women to turn the world upside down. If He can do that, He can use you. It’s ok to be ordinary because God uses ordinary people everyday. Don’t preclude yourself from God’s plan because you don’t think He can do anything with you. He can use your brokenness to heal someone else. He can use your simplicity to confound the wise. He can take what little you think you have to offer and do great things. It just takes you being willing to get past your excuses and to allow God to do His work through you. Let Him take your ordinary and do extraordinary things.

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