As I served God I struggle with the question: “Why does God choose to use any of us to accomplish his will?” The short answer to that question is that God is gracious. It took me years to believe that God uses sinners and that God graciously works his sovereign and holy will through broken, imperfect vessels such as me. God embraces us, scars and all, to accomplish his will. Our failures and faults in no way prove as hindrances for God ability to use us.
Many Christian teachers and preachers seem to think that Bible characters are primarily in the text of Scripture for the sole purpose of providing ‘real life examples’ for sermon illustrations – be faithful like Abraham, be courageous like Joshua, be a leader like Moses, be a man after God’s heart like David, etc. Yet not one single Biblical character is without flaw, and in fact the Bible takes pains to reveal their flaws. Abraham doubted God on more than one occasion and lied often to protect himself. Joshua was fearful and had to be fortified by God prior to leading his people into the Promised Land. Moses was a murderer. He was also given to a hot temper as evidenced in his rush to confront the Egyptian man in Exodus 2, and also by his striking the stone in the wilderness. David was an adulterer, a murderer, a polygamist and a weak father.
The only thing worthy of emulating about these Biblical characters is their faith. Hebrews 11 is filled with characters who demonstrated faith in God. Faith paves the way for perseverance and it is through that they were able to accomplish anything for God.
I finally came to the realization that God does not require perfect vessels with which to accomplish his will. He requires submitted believers with faith. Often our identity can be wrapped up in lies. We ask, what will this make me look like? Instead the question is how this will let others see God? I reflect God’s working in my life. Perfection is religion. Redemption and repentance is evidence of my relationship with God.
I smile today, I am not my own. I am His work. Meanwhile, I’ll embrace Psalm 35 as I move forward.