Thursday, February 9, 2012

Can God use me?

I think that is a question worth asking by all of us.

I don’t know the specific answer to similar questions such as “where will God use me? or “how will God use me?”. (When I say “me” I mean “you and me”, if you see what I mean!). What I do know is that God can use all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds, cultures and life experience. The possibilities are infinitely varied.

I want to use some examples of people God used, from the Old and New Testaments, and from the Primitive Methodist movement.

  1. Moses, the ageing shepherd

  2. Saul, the violent persecutor

  3. Hugh Bourne, the lonely introvert

  4. William Clowes, the exuberant extrovert

  5. John Benton, the rough diamond

Each of them was used by God in remarkable ways, yet they came from significantly different backgrounds and life experience.

When God appeared to Moses at the burning bush, and called him to go to Pharoah, Moses was an old man of eighty years, a humble shepherd, in a no hope, lonely job with zero career prospects. His life was not going anywhere in particular. His future looked unexciting and hopeless. He was a nobody going nowhere. (Ex 3:1-10, Ex 7:7)

On the positive side he had grown up in a privileged environment in the palace of Egypt, he was well educated and spoke both the Egyptian and Hebrew languages. He knew Egyptian culture and palace protocol, even though he was Hebrew by birth. He was in a unique position of being both a Hebrew and an adopted Egyptian who had been raised in the courts of Pharoah. He knew Egyptian ways and customs from the inside.

He tended towards being an introvert. He shied away from public speaking claiming to be slow of speech (Ex 4:10). He was also fearful and timid when challenged to go and stand before Pharoah (Ex 4:13).

Yet God used this introverted, timid, fearful man during the last decades of his life to be a bold, confident leader who fearlessly confronted Pharoah and the might of Egypt. He was used by God to set the Hebrews free from their slavery and oppression.

Next: Saul the violent persecutor

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