Monday, March 18, 2013

God Uses Ordinary People

     Our Pastor's sermon yesterday which centered on I Samuel 9 and 10 concerning how Israel came to have a king   made me think about how God uses ordinary people.  Israel had been insisting that they be given a king to rule over them like all the nations around them.  Samuel, the prophet, resisted them at first but God told him to anoint a king for the people as they were rejecting him as Lord over the nation desiring instead to be ruled by a man.
     God's selection for this position was a young, handsome man from the tribe of Benjamin.  His father, by all accounts, was a wealthy man and had sent his son to find some missing donkeys.  Saul had not done anything unusual or outstanding that made God take notice of him.  He was inexperienced at leading people and not especially qualified, but the Lord would change all that.  It was God who called this young man to service just as He calls you and I to salvation.  We do not deserve God's mercy and grace, but He chooses to give it to some just as He chose Saul to be His servant out of all Israel.
     When it came time to anoint and present the king to the people, Saul was nowhere to be found.  He had hidden himself in the baggage and had to be brought out (I Samuel 10:22).  Doesn't that sound like some of us when we are asked to do something in the church?  We feel unqualified and unable to perform the job.  However, if God has called us, He will equip us.
Even common weeds produce pretty flowers
     Since November of this last year, I have been singing in the choir.  I had not wanted to be involved in this ministry due to what I thought were time constraints.  I work four days a week and often do not get out of the office until around 6 p.m.  Choir practice falls on a work day evening, and I was convinced I could not do it.  However, a persistent friend begged me to sing for the Christmas season only.  So, I very reluctantly agreed.  I was positive this would not work out well, but I could do it for two months.  What happened to me resulted in a real change of heart.  Not only was I able to get out of the office a little earlier on those days of rehearsal but I also found a deep and abiding joy as I joined this group of singers.  I had been in choirs in the past, but had stopped singing in one for a number of years.  Perhaps the biggest thing which God had done in my life was to give me a new change of heart.  I came home more joy filled, satisfied and blessed.  Putting on the choir robe for the first time in years was a humbling experience knowing that I was in God's ministry to others.  Our job is to lead worship with song and to preach to people through music readying their hearts for the sermon to follow.  It     is a call and when it came, I wanted to hide in the baggage with Saul.  After all, I am just an ordinary person.
     Saul could never have served as leader of his people if God had not changed his heart.  Samuel had told young Saul that he would have several signs as he journeyed and then he would come upon a group of prophets prophesying and he would join them.  Samuel said:  "Then the Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man" (I Samuel 10:6).  Then in verse 9, we read:  "When he turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart.  And all these signs came to pass that day."  Again, this was all the Lord's doing not Saul's.  Though I am not certain who said it, I love this saying:  "God doesn't call the equipped.  He equips those He calls."  This was true in the life of Saul and many other heroes of the Bible.  Think of Moses who felt so inadequate to confront Pharaoh.  Gideon certainly believed God must be mistaken in choosing him to defeat the enemy so much so that he sought several signs from the Lord to confirm it.  Witness, too, the disciples who were simple fishermen and even one who was a tax collector.  This motley crew was called by Jesus Himself to take the Gospel into all the world.  The list could go on and on.
     By ourselves, we cannot accomplish all that God has called us to do.  We must remain in Christ for He has the life giving resources we need on a daily basis.  This is where prayer and Bible study come in.  These two lynch pins of our faith provide what we need to undertake what God has asked us to do.
     From my own perspective, I can honestly say that God called this ordinary person to serve in the choir through a persistent friend.  I am so glad I heard the call and answered even though it was reluctantly.  Now, I would not trade the blessings of friendship, service and joy for anything in the world.
    In the same way,  God chose an ordinary man named Saul to lead His people.  He equipped him by His Spirit and He can do the same for each one of us.  We must ask ourselves each day if God is calling us to some ministry for His glory.  Read over I Samuel 9 and 10 and consider how the Lord worked a miracle in an ordinary man's life.   Then, remember that God uses ordinary people like you and me to accomplish His purposes every day.  Can you hear Him calling?   Selah!

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