“If grace was a kingdom, I stopped at the gate
Thinking I don’t deserve to pass through after all the mistakes that I’ve made
Oh but I heard a whisper as Heaven bent down
Said, ‘Child, don’t you know that the first will be last and the last get a crown'”
You can listen to the full version of the song Broken Things by Matthew West here, but the opening lines pretty much sums it up. As I mentioned last week, all have sinned. We’ve made mistakes and no, we don’t deserve God’s grace. The amazing thing? God uses the broken things. He uses the vessels with cracks and lumps to fulfill His purpose.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
A classic example is found in Judges 6. In the days before the kings, Israel was governed by a series of judges. When they turned to idols God turned away from them and allowed them to be oppressed by the Midianites. Eventually the people repented and cried out for help. The Lord responded by sending them a deliverer.
Did he send a suave and courageous rescuer to the rescue? Nope. He sent them a craven coward. In Judges 7 you’ll see that once Gideon accepted his calling he led 32,000 Israelite soldiers towards the Midianite camp. 32,000 is a sizable army right? The odds were looking good. Until God said to Gideon:
“You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’ Judges 7:2
So 22,000 men left Gideon and returned to Mount Gilead. Gideon was left with 10,000 men. But as you’ll see in verses 4-7, God weeded out even more men. By the time he was done Gideon was left with 300 men.
So how exactly did Gideon triumph? He didn’t. The triumph was for the Lord. The battle was won and the Midianites driven off – and not through human means. Going up against an army with 300 men and jars of clay doesn’t sound like a great strategy. In fact it sounds downright crazy. And Gideon was no one, the least in a lesser family (6:15). Why did God choose him?
Because God doesn’t use the “perfect” people. He didn’t choose someone with battle experience, or with strong leadership skills, or even someone who could handle a sword. He chose a broken person – a broken vessel.
Reader, you don’t have to be perfect in the world’s eyes to be used to fulfill God’s purpose. You have to be willing and available for Him. He can work through our weaknesses. You just have to let Him.
Yours in Christ,
The Wednesday Witness
Upcoming: Castles of Sand