What you are about to read is a true confession and not for any reason doctored…I pray you learn from the folly of my understanding back then.
In the early years of my service to God I was so enamored by a passion to serve be used mightily in certain ways. But much as the zeal was genuine it lacked the necessary orientation to produce the desired results. My confidence rested on the fact that I was popular, wide read and in the opinion of my colleagues very articulate in speaking and proficient in writing the Queens language. I mistook self confidence to be faith in God.
Deep within me I was settled and certain that God was going to use me to wrought great and mighty things. But no sooner had I made such justifiable prognostications than my disappointments began. And alas this point marked the beginning of my wasted years in my Christian service and personal life. Had the Lord not intervened, I could never have realized it was the error of such thinking that attracted such despair and plunged me into a life of utter despondency.
It’s been several months since I recovered from that shock but the experience, like Jacob’s staff, now provides me with anchorage without which I believe I cannot walk properly. And today anytime people make reference to or praise me in those areas, I tremble in fear lest I usurp the glory that belongs to God alone as I now think and know it’s exclusively by His grace. When people now praise me without recognizing the invisible Hand of God, I feel I have not done my work enough. For as I now understand it’s my responsibility to “let my light so shine before men (in such a way) that they will see my good works” and not end there but graduate to “glorify God in heaven (not me)”[Mathew 5v 16].
Without any more circumlocution let me now move swiftly to present you lessons the Lord taught me in that experience. Your attention was probably drawn to this article by the title but interestingly it’s a phrase Paul used (1Corinthians 1v 25) and admittedly I wrestled severally in my quest to fully grasp the import of that phrase. But here is what God taught me: when it comes to God’s work our human strength has no value .let me explain. In the world outside Christ so much premium is given to human capabilities like intelligence, good looks, wealth, geographical location, speaking abilities and family background. And we are taught to think that the greater a person abounds in these abilities and ‘strength’, the more usable he or she can be in doing the work of God. But God’s criterion for choosing a person to use has nothing to do with any of these. Let me say in that on the contrary, the more a person is endowed with natural strength the lesser his chances of being recruited into the work of God.
And our confusion comes when we start thinking “ how can God Almighty in wisdom, bypass the multitude of great capabilities, rich and noble background or the famous people in our society only to pick the poor, the rejected, the ignoble and the detestable things so to speak for His use?”. Human logic judges this as foolishness. Somehow we seem to have taken the wisdom of God and tested it in the laboratory of common sense and the results when it invalidates our thinking. And so Paul in writing to the Corinthians borrows a phrase from the bank of human understanding and lays his point in that light. In effect he tells us the truth that what humans adjudge as “the foolishness of God is nonetheless incomparable to the intelligence of human being.
God thought me that it is not that He(God) rejects the rich or noble or talented or intelligent but that they themselves find it difficult to be poor in spirit(humble themselves) and therefore cannot possess the Kingdom of God because it is reserved for the poor in spirit. And He (God) chooses the weak not because they are weak but because they are humble enough to rely on Him.
In conclusion let me state in lucidly that: No one can be too weak for God to work with but one can be too strong; no one can be too simple to be used, rather one can be too clever; No one can be too poor but one can be too rich to be used of God.
NB : to be continued