No! He uses us in spite of, not because of us!!!!
God first found and saved us in spite of us while we were yet sinners, right? (Romans 5:6-8; 1 John 4:9-10, 19) And, if you truly trust and obey Him, He will use you IN SPITE OF you NOT BECAUSE OF you! (Titus 3:3-7)
“For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” 1 Corinthians 4:7
Like many of you, I am learning and KNOW more and more daily with Paul that there is “NO GOOD THING” in me except Jesus and He cannot and will not reign in my life unless I choose to die!!! Learn these verses and the divine truth of them – Psalms 39:4-5; Romans 7:18, 24. Write them on index cards and mark them in your Bible.
So you sinned? Join the club! So what! Is your past sin greater than Christ’s cleansing blood? Repent of this idolatry of lifting sin above Jesus and at once get the precious blood of Jesus up highest! Confess it, turn from it, and march on saint! Learn these truths well – Hebrews 4:14-16; 1 John 1:3-2:2; Isaiah 44:22; Micah 7:18-19, etc.
Friends, if this doesn’t encourage you, I don’t know what will!
“Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossiper, Martha was a worrier, Thomas was a doubter, Sara was impatient, Elijah was moody, Moses stuttered, Zaccheus was short, Abraham was old,… and Lazarus was dead…. Now, what’s YOUR excuse? Can God use you or not? God doesn’t CALL the QUALIFIED, He QUALIFIES the CALLED.”
All have sinned and we all must reap what we have sown (Romans 3:23; Galatians 6:7-8). Yet, when we repent, returning to our LORD on HIS terms, submitting our lives to Him afresh, He will do a work in us (James 4:6-10).
Paul wrote “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:10
God’s grace is defined as His divine influence on our hearts and His operational power, His divine ability to do His will and be used of Him!!! This is exactly why Paul could say here in 1 Corinthians 15:10 that he “laboured more abundantly than they all.” Yes, the apostle was extremely diligent and yet, when all is said and done, it’s God’s ability in us who are surrendered to Him that brings Him praise and produces the fruit that is eternal glory! (Ephesians 3:7; 4:7; 1 Peter 4:10-11)
His grace sure is amazing isn’t it!
It’s when we are weak in self, broken, contrite in heart, and fully fallen upon His sheer mercy, that the LORD can raise us up in His grace and power.
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Being used of the LORD is not about learning sermons or going to seminary or Bible College. Those methods are waste. They are the flesh and only lead us away from being used of the LORD. Learning to prepare yourself in brokenness, repentance, and giving His blessed Word first place in your daily life is God’s way.
Oswald Chambers well captures this poverty of spirit the LORD is looking for:
“He took the twelve aside . . . —Luke 18:31
Andrew Murray wrote:
“Jesus never taught His disciples how to preach, only how to pray. To know how to speak to God is more than knowing how to speak to people. Power with God is the first thing, not power with people. Christ loves to teach us how to pray.” Andrew Murray, With Christ in the School of Prayer, p. xxiii-xxiv
Jesus’ disciples never ask the LORD “Teach us to preach” but rather “Teach us to pray.” Right? (Luke 11:1) Did they realize something so many today have no clue about?
Jesus sure did send His original twelve and us forth to “Go … preach.” (Mark 16:15) Yet, He never taught them how to preach such as we have today in seminaries (homoletics). If we are in His Word daily, walking in the Spirit and not the flesh, we will be “instant in season and out of season” to “preach the word.” (2 Timothy 4:2)
Your usefulness to the LORD has to do with your poverty or poorness of spirit, utter humility, obedience, and also your knowledge and application of His Word in daily living (2 Timothy 2:20-21).
***I am memorizing a series of verses now. Wrote them on index cards. … Ezra 9:13; Ps. 103:10 …. Go see why!
Some wonder: “But Why am I not Growing Faster? Why Does the spiritual maturity seem so slow or Gradual?”
NOT WHERE YOU WANT TO BE SPIRITUALLY? The LORD has a reason for delivering His people “little and little” which means little by little. Exodus 23:29-31 says: “I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. 30 By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. 31 And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee.”
This truth is reserved only for those who truly fear the LORD. And, all who truly fear the LORD are daily seeking His holy face and obeying Him. Any person who believes they are saved and isn’t seeking the face of the LORD daily and diligently, has already fallen away and is lukewarm and apostate.
“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
“Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.” 1 Chronicles 16:11
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