Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions
In Part 1, I said that our God is a wonderful and powerful God who can do the impossible, by turning big problems into small ones.
The Bible has quite a lot to say on that topic. Luke 18:27 says, “God can do what man can’t do”. He specialises in things thought impossible. But now I want to turn this topic on its head by saying that He often takes small things and changes them into big things in a remarkable way.
In fact God seems to take pleasure in using small things in this way. Mark Adams from Redlands Baptist Church puts it this way:
- He chose two childless senior adults to be the source from whom an entire nation would spring.
- He used a boy sold into slavery by his jealous brothers to rule the nation of Egypt and provide a food source for God’s people.
- He used the tear of a baby to move the heart of Pharaoh’s daughter so that Israel could have someone to deliver them from bondage.
- He used the rod of a shepherd to work mighty miracles through Moses.
- He made a shepherd boy into Israel’s greatest King.
- He used the skimpy lunch of one little boy to feed 5,000 men on a hill side near the Sea of Galilee and to teach all mankind that Jesus is the Bread of life.
- He used twelve uneducated men to turn the world upside down.
That’s why I say that God delights in doing big things with what is small and seemingly insignificant.
God chooses the weak for great tasks
In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians we read:
“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.” (1 Corinthians 1:27-28 – NIV)
And did you know God chose some rough timber wood that was used for an execution, and turned it into the Cross that is the most powerful symbol of all time, Jesus victory over death itself.
And so it is with us today. God can take the weakest person and use him/her for His redemption. And do you know how this principle applies to you and me today? That means that there is no one too small, no one too untalented for God to use to accomplish great tasks in His kingdom. In fact God prefers the humble—not the proud; the weak—not the strong.
Henry Blackaby once said, “If you feel weak, limited, or ordinary, then you are the best material through which God can work.”
When the Apostle Paul asked God to take away his weakness—which he referred to as his “thorn in the flesh”—God’s reply was, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. And Paul is not alone.
The Bible is full of the stories of small, weak people whom God used to do unbelievably great, things. The 11th chapter of the book of Hebrews has often been called a “roll call of God’s heroes”. Yet, this listing of great giants in the kingdom of God like Moses, Abraham, Isaac, and Joseph begins with the words: Those who “out of weakness were made strong” (Hebrews 11:34 ) Or, to paraphrase this verse, those who out of smallness were made big,
It’s not about our ability but our weakness
Doing big things in the Kingdom of God is not about my ability or your ability. It is really about my weakness, your weakness—our smallness. Hudson Taylor, the founder of the China Inland Mission and the modern missionary movement, once said: “When God sought me out and called me to do His work in China, He must have said: ‘This man is weak enough, he will do.'” The secret of great, spiritual power is to be aware of our weakness and our need for God’s strength. For it is just at the moment that we confess our failings that we are most fully conscious of both our need for God’s help and of God’s willingness to give us the strength to do those big tasks to which He calls us.
Do you remember the Old Testament story of Gideon? Gideon led the army of Israel to defeat the Midianites, who had invaded Israel with an army of 135,000. When God called Gideon to do this He didn’t pat Gideon on the back and say, “Now Gideon you can do this, you must believe in yourself, you can do this!”
No, in fact God commanded Gideon to reduce his army from 32,000 to a mere 300. In so doing, Gideon was forced to trust in God; he was led from self-confidence to develop God-confidence. You see, you cannot be too small for God to use, but you can be too big! God always works in a powerful way in the lives of weak people.
So God is not looking for great Christians. He is looking for believing Christians who will be showcases for His glory and not their own. As Paul said in Colossians 1:27, “[which] is Christ in you, the hope of glory!” God does not call us to believe in ourselves and in our own adequacy. Rather He takes us down to the place where we must depend on Him. Then in grace, He lifts us up by the hand and teaches us that we can trust completely in Him. We learn that we can do nothing without Him and all things with Him.
Is there some mountain you are facing, some impossible thing in your life? I hope that you now realise that God can move it. He can make a way when there is no way. All you have to do is ask for His help. God promised, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3 – NIV)
Copyright 2005-2006. Mark Adams, Redland Baptist Church, USA.