Summary: God is more interested in your availability than your ability. Explore several people in the Bible who, being very ordinary, were used by God to do great things.
Ordinary People Used By God
Text: I Corinthians 1:26-31
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of
the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not to bring to naught things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.
The artist Gainsborough, was said to have not only been an artist, but also a man who greatly desired to learn music. He bought a great variety of musical instruments that he would attempt to play. On one particular occasion, he went to hear a great violinist. Charmed by the musician’s talented performance, Gainsborough bought the violin from the musician. He deducted that if he would use the same violin that the great master of music had used, he would be able to play beautiful music also. He very soon realized that the beauty and charm of the music was not a result of a special violin, but the result of the skilled master who played the violin.
God has a great variety of instruments in His great world. It is not the instruments that gleam with beauty and are greatly polished and shined that God uses. God’s first choice for an instrument in his service is the willing heart of a humble servant who is amazed that God would even call such an unworthy soul as him.
Let us examine for a while some Biblical examples of such people.
I. David (see story in the book of I Samuel)
A. David’s Family Background
David was a young shepherd boy raised in a farming community with very common people. His family was what appears to be a typical family in Israel. Shepherding was a common occupation. The thing that brought David’s success in life was not his social status or his occupation or his family background. His success was found in his intense love for God and his humble spirit.
David lived in a period of time when Israel was under severe enemy oppression. In this case the Philistines were the cause of the trouble. David’s brothers were involved in the battles with the Philistines. David was sent to check on his brothers in the war.
B. David’s Call
The words of the giant as he defied David’s God stirred within the heart of David a holy anger and a sense of purpose that led him to conclude that if something was to be done, he would have to do it. When criticized by his elder brother, he replied, "Is there not a cause?" (I Sam.17:29). It is high time that the holiness churches across our great land rise to the challenge and face the social giants of our day with purpose and determination.
Wesley writes that,
[We] must not think it strange, if [we] be opposed by those from whom [we] had reason to expect assistance, but must humbly go on with [our] work, in the face, not only of [our] enemies threats, but of [our] friends slights, suspicions, and censures.
An angel or a voice from Heaven did not call David. His was a call of opportunity.
Because David had a vision and was obedient to that heavenly vision, he won the victory over the giant.
II. Gideon (Judges 6:11-16)
Throughout Israel’s history, we see a continuous cycle of sin, suffering, repentance, and deliverance. They would fall into sin, and be captured by a foreign nation. They would repent of their sin and God would send a deliverer.
Gideon lived in the portion of this cycle when the Midianites were keeping Israel under oppression. Midian and some other nations had been causing trouble for Israel for seven years.
A. Gideon’s Family Background
Gideon was born in an average family for his day. He was not born into a genealogy of royalty, or even of prophets. He was not born wealthy, or into an enviable social position. Making him feel even less capable for the task that God would assign him was the fact that he was the youngest in his family.
B. His Call
In spite of all that was against him, Gideon was the man that God desired to use to deliver Israel from the hand of the Midianites. As Gideon was working in the field one day, the Angel of the Lord appeared to him. The angel first called Gideon a "mighty man of valor." Gideon quickly told
the angel all the reasons why he was not a mighty man. Gideon’s humility may have been one reason why God chose him for this very special task.