“How many of you believe that God can do extraordinary things?”
This was a question that Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth With A Mission (YWAM), once asked a group of youths. Every person in the room raised their hand enthusiastically. He paused.
“And how many of you believe that God can do extraordinary things through you?” This new question garnered only a fraction of the previous raised hands, from the crowd which had become uncomfortably silent.
Most of us believe that God can do great things. But how many of us believe that God can do extraordinary things through us? Unless we believe that God uses ordinary men and women to accomplish extraordinary purposes – we will never be able to change the world for His purposes and glory.
My low self-esteem has always been an issue that I’ve struggled with. Even today, there are still times I find it hard to believe that God loves me, wants a relationship with me and would use me to do great things!
Maybe some of that was due to the fact that I was different growing up. As I stuck out like a sore thumb and was always made fun of, I became a person who strove for acceptance from others. A large part of who I am today still reflects those early struggles, even though God has done a great deal of healing in that area of my life.
“The greatest revelation a person can get is to find out who he is to God.”
I can’t remember who I heard this quote from, but it was still fresh in the mind when a pastor felt prompted to share another truth bomb to me: “We often hear that God loves us, but do you know that God likes you too?”
God loves us because of our intrinsic value in His eyes. We were made in His image (Gen 1:27). God likes us because He created each of us uniquely – one of a kind (Psalm 139:13-18)! I didn’t like myself because others didn’t like me. If only I knew then how much God liked me – I wouldn’t have changed for the world.
Perhaps one thing that keeps us from believing we can be used mightily for God, is we don’t even acknowledge that He likes us. But He loves and values us.
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
The reality of this truth hit me hard when I returned to Singapore from South Africa: I decided to be intentional about sharing my faith with my extended family members. But I felt wasn’t able to achieve what I had set out to do during Chinese New Year.
But what I didn’t know was that God was working in their lives through my testimony without me even doing anything. Relatives began coming to me, fascinated and encouraged by the purposeful nature of the missionary life – even the non-Christian ones!
Yet I have often felt inadequate as a missionary. Just like Moses, I’ve often been tempted to ask God, “Why me? Choose someone else. I’m not good enough.” Each time I do so, God gently reminds me that He is a God who does not call the qualified – He qualifies the called!
I didn’t like myself because others didn’t like me. If only I knew then how much God liked me – I wouldn’t have changed for the world.
Hebrews 11:1-33 is about the giants of faith – people who trusted entirely in God and saw their generation transformed.
Abel, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Gideon, Barak, Samson, David … These were some of the names on the list. I remembered turning the page over, expecting to see other names like Joseph, Elijah, Elisha and Daniel – but their names were left out.
Surely if one wanted to use examples, one would use the best ones? I thought that the people quoted were alright when it came to having faith, but in my mind they weren’t perfect like Joseph and Daniel. Why didn’t God include them?
I think the reason why God chose unprivileged and fallible men like David, is to show that He can work through anyone as long as they say “yes” to Him – even a shepherd boy. When Jesus came to Earth, He did not choose the cream of the crop to be His disciples. He chose the insignificant. He chose the sinners. He chose the inadequate.
So no matter who you are, what you’ve done or how incapable you feel: You are able to do whatever God is calling you to do solely because He will empower you for it!
He is a God who does not call the qualified – He qualifies the called!
Are you willing to say yes? If you are, Jesus can do unimaginable things with your life.
I have answered the call into missions and wherever He calls me to. I have said “yes” to all that He brings my way – and I have never looked back.
What is God calling you to? I really hope you do it, because there is nothing more satisfying than walking in the ways He prepared for you and fulfilling His plans.
Your life this side of eternity is a short one. So make it count.