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Monday, March 28, 2011

What Kind of Person Does God Use?

by Donald Miller

Growing up in church, I learned there were standards for being used by God. Most of the standards involved character. We learned, both directly and indirectly, the standards involved being holy or righteous, skilled, willing, among a few others. These are the three that stick out most, though.

Theologically speaking, none of us are holy, but I think what they meant was you went to church a lot and didn’t use tobacco or cuss. As for being skilled, I think it mostly meant you were a good communicator. Being used by God, at the time, meant mostly doing church work. And then, of course, you had to be willing. If you were willing, it was said, God would use you.

As for what God was doing in the world through the church, I deduced two main priorities: 1. Grow the church and 2. Make God look good. The church was doing other things, but this seemed to be the primary focus.

I have since learned the objectives of the church are different than the objectives of God. And I’ve also learned the people God can use are different than the people the church can use. If you glance at scripture for just a second, you’d get the sense that God uses perverts and criminals. If you glance at the church (at least the modern, megachurch) you get the sense God uses preachers that were once in the band Rascall Flats but laid it all down to rock a Bible.

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This is no argument against the church. The church absolutely needs to hold a different standard than God. God doesn’t have to vet his leaders like the church does. Can you imagine interviewing Moses for the job of lead pastor, listening to him stammer out a bunch of excuses in response to the inquiry about that pesky murder in his past, and then the elders making a gut decision to give him the job anyway? So I don’t have a problem with the church having a higher standard than God. But if we lead people to believe they cant be used by God to save lives even though they aren’t a fit for professional ministry, we are making a huge mistake, and it would be an interesting debate as to whether we are being guided by the Bible in our thinking. God can use anybody he wants. Anybody, anytime. He displays this over and over in the scriptures.

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I don’t know if God will use you. I can’t think of a reason he wouldn’t, but I’m not God and neither is your pastor so there’s no telling. I only know God is trying to save many lives and that he uses anybody he wants.

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