God works through incredibly flawed people. God could have chosen to only work through people who have their acts together, but he wouldn't get much done that way. The fact is, we are all broken.
"We who have this spiritual treasure are like common clay pots, in order to show that the supreme power belongs to God, not to us" (2 Cor. 4:7, GNT).
God uses weak people to show his power. God chose to put his glory in clay pots. If you drop a clay pot, it will break—just like you and me. We're breakable spiritually, physically and emotionally.
The history of the church is filled with examples of how God works through hurt and broken people.
Due to a problem with how my body deals with adrenaline, it is excruciatingly painful for me to speak publicly. That means God uses a man whose weakness is public speaking to speak to tens of thousands of people weekly. Why? So that only God gets the glory.
For God to use you greatly, you will walk with a "limp" the rest of your life. I've met many pastors who want to declare their spirituality but hide their humanity. Denying your humanity is not only dishonest, but it does a disservice to you and your congregation.
In fact, I'd take it further and say your humanity is actually one of your greatest strengths. If you don't hide your weaknesses, they will force you to depend upon God. God puts his greatest gifts in "common clay containers" so He gets the credit. God did this over and over again in the Bible, even before he established his church.
Hebrews 11:32b-34a (NIV) says, "I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength."
I love that final phrase—"whose weakness was turned to strength."
That's what God does with us: He takes our weakness and turns it into a strength.
The Bible describes Gideon as a "mighty man of valor," yet he was a coward who hid in a winepress when the angel appeared to him in Judges 6:11-12 (MEV). He was the youngest kid, from the weakest family and in the weakest tribe. But God made him strong.
—Peter was anything but stable. He was "Mr. Impulsive" throughout the Gospels, but Jesus told him, "You're a rock!" He turned Peter into a rock of stability for the early church.
—David, an adulterer and murderer, was called "a man after [God's] own heart" (Acts 13:22b, NLT).
—Abraham is called the "father of faith," but he had so little faith that he twice told his wife to lie in order to save his own life.
Hudson Taylor, a British missionary to China in the 19th century, once said, "All God's giants have been weak people." You can see the truth of that statement throughout the Bible. You can see it in the lives of the great giants of church history. God loves to use weak people to fulfill his will.
First Corinthians 1:27 (GNT) says, "God purposely chose what the world considers nonsense in order to shame the wise, and he chose what the world considers weak in order to shame the powerful." He receives glory.
I'm convinced the only reason God uses me is because I have committed to use the skill most painful to me for God's glory.
What's the weakness in your life you want to hide the most?
It's time you give it to God to use for His greater purpose.
God can and will use anyone who doesn't hold anything back—even their greatest weakness.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church, one of America's largest and most influential churches. He is the author of the New York Times' bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. Pastor Rick started The PEACE Plan to show the local church how God works through ordinary people to address the five global giants of spiritual emptiness, self-serving leadership, poverty, disease and illiteracy. You can listen to Daily Hope, Pastor Rick's daily 25-minute audio teaching, or sign up for his free daily devotionals at PastorRick.com. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global online community created to encourage pastors.
For the original article, visit pastors.com.
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