God will use anyone.
The problems start when we underestimate God. We may believe that our past will keep God from using us. We may believe that our struggles will keep God from using us. We may believe that our imperfections will keep God from using us.
But the Bible tells a different story. God’s Word is full of imperfect people that have done all sorts of terrible things, yet God uses them. As we look forward to this Christmas season, we need not look further than Jesus Himself to prove this.
In Matthew 1, Matthew lays out the genealogy of Jesus. Since Matthew writes to a Jewish audience, it was important to do so, especially since Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father, was of royal blood.
So these had to be some pretty great people to bring our Savior into the world, right?
Abraham (v. 2) is the father of the Jews and a great man in scripture. He did originally doubt God about having a child in his old age. He also took matters into his own hands by having a child with his wife’s maid, who became the father of the Arabs, who have fought the Jews for centuries.
Jacob (v. 2) was a deceiver in a number of ways and played favorites with his children. Most of them became thugs to some degree.
Judah (v. 3) made a woman wait, as was custom, to marry his third son because the first two were killed by God. After his daughter-in-law, Tamar, waited for years, Judah didn’t honor his word. So Tamar dressed up like a prostitute and had sex with Judah, who, after he impregnated her, wanted to have her killed for adultery. After proving Judah was the father, they had the child, Perez, who is in the lineage of Christ.
Rahab (v. 5) was a prostitute in Jericho when Joshua’s spies showed up. Though a disgraced citizen due to her profession, she realized that the God of Israel is the true God. Thus, she housed the spies and was later saved during the invasion. She married Salmon and became the mother of Boaz.
Enter the second woman in this genealogy. An entire book of the Bible is devoted to her. Ruth (v. 5) was a godly woman, but an outsider. In fact, she was a Moabitess. Moab was a child from an incestual relationship between a drunken Lot and his older daughter after the destruction of Sodom (Genesis 19). Hence, they were not highly looked upon by the Israelites. Make no mistake, God used women in a great way along with men. Christianity is hardly oppressive. Different roles do not indicate inequality.
David (v. 6) was “a man after God’s own heart”, but even he had some faults, such as the one mentioned in Matthew 1. He had a child through “Uriah’s wife”, Bathsheba, and murdered her husband. After their adultery, they were married and had Solomon (v. 7). Solomon too had problems with lust, as in he had 700 wives and 300 concubines.
Then, of course, there were a number of kings of Judah that “did evil in the sight of the Lord.” Their brief mention in Matthew 1 (vv. 7-11) would have to be supplemented with their many chapters in II Kings.
So why? Why did, why could, God use all of these individuals? The question is easily answered when we look at the power source. God did not use these people because of their merits. He used them in spite of their imperfection. It is not at all the attributes of man. It is all the adequacy of God. All these people were merely vessels through which God worked.
See, it’s like this. Salvation is through faith for a reason. We simply aren’t good enough to do things on our own. It’s why God told Gideon to whittle down his army to only 300 to face an army numbering around 100,000. In no way would God let people think that Gideon had done it on his own. God made sure to show that HE won the battle.
So if we aren’t adequate enough to earn Heaven, how can we be adequate enough to fight our battles on Earth?
We can’t. That’s the point.
God chose to show His might by taking a bunch of misfits that were guilty of just about anything bad imaginable and using them to bring His Son into the world. Through that He’s clearly sent a message: He will use anyone.
Since it isn’t our power anyway, it doesn’t matter what we’ve done. All that matters is what God does in us and through us.
There was one common denominator between the forefathers of Jesus: obedience. They all were willing to be used by God. That’s enough.
So don’t be left thinking you’re inadequate to be used by God. Know that you are! And that’s a great relief, because that puts all the pressure on God to perform what He wants done.
I think He can handle it.