The Light of Life Magazine
A ministry of Christian writing


Jacob Varghese

Have you ever thought about those people God uses to carry out His work? Think about it. God used fishermen, shepherds, slaves, and even tax collectors to carry out His work. Yes, there is hope for us. Now, you have to understand it is not bad enough that God used those men who were at the bottom of the social ladder. Throughout the Bible, the people God chooses are not necessarily the people we would have chosen. No, God chooses unlikely people in unlikely places at unlikely times to carry out the work of the Kingdom.

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:26- 29 of those who became believers in Jesus at Corinth. "Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him." This passage gives us an account of God's favourite instruments-or the things that God likes best to use, and the people that God especially chooses. Some of you may be surprised to find yourselves not included in this list. Some of you may feel that it would be considerable humiliation to come within this list. You have got your choice of five places: you can either be among the foolish things, among the weak things, among the lowly things, among the despised things, or among the things that are not at all. In one or the other of these classes you will have to muster if you are going to be one of God's favourite instruments-one of the things which God has chosen to amount to anything and to bring to zero the things that are strong and wise. This is true with us also; we were not wise, influential or of noble birth when God called us to be His children; He chose us to shame the wise and the strong of this world and to accomplish His plans.

Fishers Of Men

The Son of God was born in an unlikely location and of unlikely parents. He also chose His first followers at an unlikely place. He did not search the Bible schools or seminaries for the most learned scholars. He did not look among the ranks of brilliant military leaders. He stayed away from skilled statesmen and famous orators. Rather, Jesus went to the shores of Galilee and called out four common fishermen - Peter, Andrew, James and John. Isn't it a "Bad choice"! Some might say, "Uneducated, tough characters; what would they know about starting a worldwide movement? They could not work a crowd if they had to." Fishermen have many positive traits. They are resourceful, courageous, and patient. They plan carefully and take care of their equipment. Such qualities are no doubt, helpful in carrying out the Great Commission (Matt. 28: 19-20); but I don't think that's why Jesus chose these men. I believe He wanted to demonstrate how God could transform ordinary people into "fishers of men" (Mk. 1: 16-17).

God's work is often done by unlikely people from unlikely places--people like you and me. To be successful, we must follow the One who can make us fishers of men. You may not be a superstar, your talents may be few; but God in His enablement works out His will through you. God uses ordinary people to do extra-ordinary work. I know many people who say, "I am nothing; I can do nothing." We often hear people say things like: "I am only a caretaker, I am only an average student, I am only a housewife," etc. Underestimating one's usefulness to God is nothing new. But no matter how insignificant we judge ourselves to be, we can be greatly used by God. God wants you to go beyond and say, "I am nothing, but I can do all things through Him."

God's Presence

In Exodus 3:10 we can see God choosing Moses, to rescue His people from their sufferings from the hands of the Egyptians. When God chose Moses, he was tending the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law. But God's proposal was that Moses should change his job and go to Pharaoh and speak out for God. Look at Moses here; he is coming up with many convincing reasons why he was not suitable for the new assignment. "I am nobody, I do not know enough, I am afraid of failure, I have not got the abilities." Just like Moses, we all have many reasons to say when confronted with some challenge. God has a ready answer to his objections: "I will be with you"; "I am who I am." Do not underestimate the power of God; it is God's presence with His messengers which makes all the difference. It is not our adequacy that is important; whether God is with us or not is important. We need to handle our feelings of inadequacy carefully. If those feelings are genuine, they can help us rely more on God. Often, we think it is spiritual to feel that way and say, "I am a nobody, how can I do this job?" We may say like this to keep us away from falling into the trap of pride or simply to get away from doing the job. Even in our churches, you approach people to take a responsibility. The reply is often, "No, I would not be good at it or fit for it." The reasons given are usually untrue. So, what happens? A few willing work-horses have to shoulder most of the burdens. If our rejection is because of a genuine reason, God says, "I will be with you." If it is false humility, it is sin and it often prevents us from serving Christ. No matter how good our theology is, or how well we know apologetics, our witness to Christ only will convince people.

Moses is telling that he is not gifted for this job of a spokesperson. Moses was right in one respect. An encounter with God does not necessarily give us every gift or solve all our problems. The only thing Moses did not realise is that God never calls a person without equipping him/her to achieve the task. God is telling him that "I have designed and created the mouth, so I can certainly make it eloquent when I want to." Though Moses tried all his excuses, God was not convinced. So at last the truth is out-"God, I do not want to go, send someone else. But our gracious God did not let Moses escape his commission, but offers the companionship of his brother, Aaron, who can do the talking for him. This is what happens in our life also. God has His plans for us, but we have our excuses--we do not want to go according to His plan. If God has a plan for us, we cannot run away from that; God will change all our situations and finally will use us according to His plan.

When God looked for someone to conquer the troublesome Midianites, He chose unimpressive Gideon, calling him a "mighty man of courage" (Judg. 6:12). Gideon responded," How can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house" (vv.15) But God persisted saying, "Have I not sent you? ...Surely I will be with you" (vv.14-16). Gideon became God's man for the task, because there's no such thing as "unlikely people" or "nobody" in His eyes. The Lord gave Gideon just 300 men to help him, rather than thousands (7: 1-7), so that God alone would receive the glory.

Unlikely People

The apostle Paul taught that God chooses and uses things that the world calls foolish, weak, lowly and despised. He shames the wise and the mighty so that no flesh should glory in His presence (I Cor. 1:29). If you feel that you are "only a no body," review God's call to Gideon, Moses and others. The Lord wants to use you more than you ever thought possible. God uses ordinary people to carry out His extraordinary plan. God calls on each one of us to perform His work in the world. God's call changes people. When God is ready, and when God knows that we are ready, He chooses the unlikely people. Throughout history, God has made calls to people who thought themselves to be unlikely. God has made calls to people who were thought to be unlikely. God makes calls to people like you and me. The call God may be making to you could be anything from working for teaching in a Sunday school, to be a pioneering evangelist, to be an ordained minister, or to be an administrator of a Christian Mission. God's call comes in many forms for many people. The only thing that most calls have in common is that they happen to unlikely people, in unlikely places at unlikely times.

Are you willing to be one of them?" If you are weak, if you are nothing, rise up on your feet; put on the new life, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and He will be your wisdom and He will be your strength, and in His sufficiency you can do all things. Whoever you may be, you can do wonderful things for God and for the wellbeing of the people through faith in Jesus, who died for us all. Millions of people are yet to know the greatness of our God; millions are yet to know who Jesus is. When the Lord's hand is with us, we are victorious. God wants you to go beyond all the reasons and say, "I am nothing, but I can do all things in Him."

17 years ago when I came out from a small village in Kerala to North India, saying 'yes' to God's call, I did not know what I am going to do for the Lord; but today when I look back, I know what my Master could do through an unlikely person like me. May the Lord help us to take that place and position God wants us to take so that we shall know the full meaning of CHRISTíS ALL SUFFICIENCY in the life of UNLIKELY PEOPLE.

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