“If only I was more persuasive. I’m not important enough to be able to accomplish this. I don’t know enough about the subject. They’ll never listen. I trip over my own words. Maybe someone else would be better….” Moses came up with every excuse in Exodus 4 to try to convince God that he wasn’t the right person for the work God had chosen him for – leading the Israelites out of Egypt. The trouble, however, didn’t lie in Moses’ mouth; it was in his ears. He was so caught up in his own insecurities that he totally missed what God had said. God had introduced Himself as the I AM. It had nothing to do with Moses. All power rested in God alone. Although an onlooker would later see Moses leading the people out of Egypt, he was just a human representative. The true Deliverer was God and He would be heading the mass as they moved from captivity to freedom. The real question wasn’t whether Moses was capable, but was God?
Time after time God has chosen the weak to carry out His purposes. He has used those who, for one reason or another, would be overlooked by the mainstream of society. When I was in junior high, I dreaded gym class. It didn’t matter if the sport of the week was basketball, tennis, or gymnastics. I stunk at them all! I have never made a lay-up. I was equally talented at hitting the net with my tennis ball and lobbing my ball over the neighbor’s fence. My final gymnastics grade depended on me doing a two minute routine. I couldn’t do a decent somersault, let alone anything that resembled a cartwheel. I’m convinced that the only reason I passed was because the teacher couldn’t handle me being in her class another painful year.
The very worst gym days would involve picking teams. The athletic teachers would select a couple equally talented students to be team captains. The captains would take turns picking teammates from the rest of the class. “Oh, oh, pick me!” would ring out around the room, as students would jump up and down, hoping to gain a vantage point. I knew enough not to waste the energy. Slowly those to my left and right would be taken for one side or the other. I sat there in humiliation as the choices narrowed. Finally it would come down to me and maybe one other student. Usually the other student was in the special needs program. Sometimes I would beat them out on the choice. Sometimes not.
When it comes to life, what is your prospect? Do you look around at others and think, “I’ll never be as good as them. Why would God pick me? I’m really no value to the team….” The astounding thing is that God is an unusual Captain – at least when comparing Him to the ones at my junior high. He doesn’t snatch up all the “best” prospects first and then begrudgingly say, “Well, if I have to, I guess I’ll pick [insert your name here].” Just look through your Bible and you’ll be amazed by the many times His first choice was someone who would have been our last choice. Here are some examples:
Rahab (Joshua 2) – This woman was from a pagan society. On top of that, she was a prostitute. If I were picking a team, I probably wouldn’t have picked anyone from Jericho to be on it. If I was forced into a Jericho pick, it would have been a pious member of society. Rahab would have been my last pick. Application: Do you have a past you are ashamed of? Have you done something that you believe forever would negate you being God’s choice? Remember, God picked Rahab.
David (1 Samuel 17) – David was used to being overlooked. When Samuel came to anoint God’s choice of a king, David’s father never considered his youngest son a candidate. When Goliath called for a worthy opponent, no one pushed David to the front. Goliath scornfully laughed at him when he approached the battleground. Application: Are you younger than everyone else you know in God’s service? Do you lack experience according to the world’s methods of approach? Remember, God chose David.
Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 9) – Mephibosheth was lame on both his feet from an accident he suffered in childhood. He had to rely on others to help him survive. He likely saw himself as a useless member of society with no benefit to anyone. David was a sweet picture of God when he invited Mephibosheth to sit as his royal table. David stood to gain nothing by this relationship, but he demonstrated his love by showing grace and mercy to this invalid. Application: Do you look at your limitations (physical, mental, etc) and think you are nothing God would even look at? Remember, David (and ultimately God) chose Mephibosheth.
Widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17) – This woman not only had lost her husband, but she was financially in ruin. She was one meal away from death. Yet, God specifically sent Elijah to stay at her house. God knew her predicament. He tested her to prove whether she would be willing to serve Him, even when she was sacrificing what little she had to do it. Then He blessed her abundantly. Application: Do you hesitate to serve God because it might cost you? Are you waiting until you have sure resources? God selected the Widow of Zarephath when she was scraping the bottom of the barrel (literally).
The Little Maid (2 Kings 5) – This young girl had been taken captive out of her homeland. She was forced to work for those who had invaded her land and carried her away. I can say, in her place, I would have been bitter and hoping that the Lord gave my enemies what they deserved. Instead, she told Naaman (her master) about how God, through His prophet, was capable of healing his ‘incurable’ disease. Application: Do you feel bitter about the circumstances in your life, maybe even blaming God for what has/is happening? Remember, God chose this Little Maid to be in this particular household to be a witness to His ability to heal.
Josiah (2 Kings 22) – Josiah’s father and grandfather were evil men. They reigned in wickedness. When Josiah became king, he was only eight years old. He was at an age where it would have been natural to follow in his father’s footsteps. Instead, “he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord”. Application: You may have not had a godly heritage. You may be the only one in your family to be serving the Lord. Don’t give up, even if you don’t have the support of your earthly family. Remember, God picked Josiah despite his family.
These are just a very few examples of the many in the Bible that God chose, even thought they wouldn’t have been a natural choice in human terms. Basically all the apostles were unlikely candidates to be picked to walk with the Lord. The book “Twelve Ordinary Men” by John MacArthur illuminates this. Many times when we see nothing of value in someone, including ourselves, that is just the one God has in mind for His purposes. Don’t make excuses as to why the Captain should overlook you. You have a purpose to fulfill, even if you don’t look the part. God isn’t picking you because He ran out of other choices. He created you for just this very use and He will supply all that You need to accomplish it.
…for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7b
…and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14b
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings. Philippians 2:13, 14