God Uses the Flawed

Jim Cymbala

Oddly, God loves to choose the most unlikely, untrained, and imperfect folks to accomplish amazing things. Abraham lied when under pressure, Moses killed a man before he became Israel’s deliverer, King David’s family dismissed him as only a shepherd boy, and the apostle Peter was a fisherman with no formal religious training.

“Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).

Note that those words were written to a congregation of believers in Jesus, not to the clergy. In case you are feeling inadequate and untrained when the Spirit calls, please remember that this is the way God usually works so that he will be guaranteed to receive all the glory.

Let’s look at Paul for a moment. He was Jewish, trained as a Pharisee, and an expert in Old Testament teaching. No one was better equipped to take the good news to the Jewish people but that is not where God placed Paul. Instead, he used him to spread the gospel among the Gentiles! 

When God’s Spirit moves, his purposes are revealed and accomplished in ways that no committee, personality test, or computer program could ever figure out. Christ did not die on the cross so that we would spend our time as Christians on earth merely sitting around waiting for his return. Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few” (Matthew 9:37). Jesus said there is a shortage of workers, but the actual work will be done by God’s Spirit through you and me doing things beyond our wildest imagination. It all begins when you offer yourself to serve.

Jim Cymbala began the Brooklyn Tabernacle with less than twenty members in a small, rundown building in a difficult part of the city. A native of Brooklyn, he is a longtime friend of both David and Gary Wilkerson.