Think about the biggest names in the Church today. Who are the most influential Christian leaders you read about and listen to? Some guy from California? A pastor from Minnesota? Chicago? Anyone from West Liberty, Ohio? (Just checking to see where your 'fame threshold' is!)
When I think about the people who are well-known or influential in the Church today, I come up with a list of names of people that I don't know. I have no idea who they are personally, so I assign them a character of perfection. My thinking goes like this: 'They must not have any flaws, because it seems like God is working through them to build His Church.' The next thought is, 'I can't be used like that, because I have flaws.' Strangely, when I was younger, I thought, 'God can use me because I'm just as good as they are.' Both of those conclusions are wrong. The reality is that God does some crazy stuff with normal, flawed people.
Recently, I was reading through the book of Judges, on my trek to read through the whole Bible and feel better about myself as a 'real' Christian who reads the whole Bible. As I rambled through this chronicle of the days following the death of Joshua, I found some interesting people.
- Ehud, a favorite among junior high boys, known for his stabbing technique as he delivered a message from God.
- Deborah, a favorite among junior high girls for her strength and independent nature.
- Gideon, the mighty warrior hiding to do his farm work.
Jephthah, a guy of questionable pedigree (he didn't come from a Free church or go to Trinity), but God used him mightily.
- Sampson, the imperfect hero.
When I got done reading, I had this thought ringing in my head: God does some crazy stuff with normal, flawed people.
The reason I became a missionary was not to do email (it barely existed then, so it was difficult to hate it yet) or go to meetings or raise support (raising support isn't evil like rooting for the Oakland Raiders, only my attitude towards it). My problem is that those things become 'what I do.' My vision for what God is calling me to becomes too small. I can lose heart, and then, even if I had a tent peg or a donkey's jaw in my hand, I wouldn't know what do to with it.
Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."
Reality Check 101: I am a normal, flawed person, but one who has been redeemed by Jesus. What God wants and plans to do with me is up to Him.This reality check is for you, too. He has done some amazing things to bring you to the place you are right now. Those experiences weren't for nothing. Fight the battle of believing Him, believing the things He says about you (we are His masterpiece!) and to you. Shake off the things which so easily entangle you and do the things--the crazy things--He is calling you to in this place He has brought you.