Sunday, November 12, 2006

So why the broken vessel thing?

The title. Why would she pick that? What does she mean?

For a long time I felt like I couldn't really be of use to the Lord or to anyone else because I wasn't worthy. I wasn't worthy because of all the mistakes I'd made in my life. When reading the Bible, it suddenly dawned on me that the Lord didn't tend to work through perfect people. I was stunned to discover people like Moses (afraid to speak), David (stealing a wife through adultery and murder), Peter (denied the Lord 3 times), Sarah (takes things into her own hands and caused enmity between nations), Paul (let's just say a lot of folks died because of this guy before he met Jesus), and so many more. I'd always thought of them as "the perfect saints."

If all these people from the Bible actually made a difference in the world for the Lord because he determined it to be that way, then why was I placing so much importance on myself that I could not be used by the Lord. Basically, I was saying that my will was bigger and more important than the Lord's will. Like I somehow could hold myself apart and knew better than God. His plan was less important than my feelings about it. This, I realized, was quite egotistical and presumptive. It was like saying, "Um, 'scuse me God, but I know better than you. This idea just ain't gonna hatch. Thanks anyway."

As I learned more about the people in the Bible, a deeper concept emerged. God's plan used these people because of what they learned in their brokenness. Their ability to achieve the work created for them came out of a recognition of their errors. Paul became intense in his pursuit of drawing others to the Lord. David changed the way he lived and repented, then he fathered Solomon. David's example brought his nation an example to follow for centuries. Sarah gave birth to a nation. Moses led God's people to freedom.

I soon started looking at the people of the Bible in a completely different light. Instead of being way above me in their righteousness, I am working along side them in my own brokenness. Partners across centuries in making a difference in the world for the Lord. They went before me so that I could learn from their mistakes, not so that I could worship how beyond perfect they were. I bet they felt more like me than I ever gave them credit for.

Who do you relate to from the Old or New Testament that isn't perfect? How could God use your weakness to his glory? Do you ever wonder if you are good enough?

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