The subject, ‘the man that God uses,’ is deeper than meets the eye. A superficial approach to the subject would entail listing out godly qualities such as holiness, faithfulness, focus, zeal, love, etc., as what qualifies a person to be used by God. Much as these attributes are good, such an approach is at best, human effort to interpret the basis for the calling or election of God.
The truth is that God is sovereign and is not answerable to man or to any of His creation. He is God all by Himself and can choose to use any man or woman that He wills. As human beings, at times we cannot justify or explain His choice, but we must always remember that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8,9).
The best of men, even with the seal of the Holy Spirit, can at best see dimly as long as we are in this body of death. There are several things that we may never know on this side of life until we shed our mortality for immortality. Any attempt to ‘package’ God according to human understanding is at best an exercise in folly and ignorance.
To better understand the topic, we will discuss it under 3 headings: (a) The man that God uses (b) The man that God continues to use (c) The man that accomplishes God s purpose for His life.
A) The man that God uses:
God uses the man or woman that He chooses to use by reason of His omniscience and mercy, which are divine prerogatives, and not necessarily because of any qualities that the people possess. He can make anyone what He wants them to become through empowerment by Grace.
Several examples abound from scriptures:
- God s choice of the nation of Israel (Deut. 7:6-8; 9:6). God observed that they were a stiff necked people and were even fewer in number than other nations. There was therefore nothing special about them nor their Patriarch – Abram; himself an idol worshipper to warrant God s choice (Josh. 24: 2,3,15; Gen. 11:31 – 12: 4).
- God s choice of a covetous schemer – Jacob: The man, Jacob, who God chose to become Israel, did not have any inherent character (humanly speaking) that warranted the choice based on his actions. On the contrary, he was a cunning trickster who dispossessed his brother of his birthright (Gen. 25: 31,34; 32:22-24).
- God s choice of two murderers – Moses and Paul. God chose Moses, a hot tempered murderer, to deliver his people from bondage in Egypt (Exod. 2:12; 4:1ff). God also chose, Saul (Paul), a misguided, overzealous murderer (Acts 7: 58; 9:1- 4; 26:9 -11) to further His kingdom.
- God s commissioning of a lying spirit to fulfill his purpose: 1 King 22:19ff.
- God s choice of a pagan king and nation to deal with His people Israel. 2 Kings 24:10,13; 25:1ff.
B) The man God continues to use:
It is one thing for God to use a man, it is yet another, for God to continue to use the person. God will only continue to use a submitted or yielded vessel that is available for His use. submitted’, means to be submitted to God s ways and commands. When we are disobedient, we stand the risk of disqualifying ourselves from God s continual use. Several examples abound in the Bible:
- God discontinued His use of King Saul: 1 Sam. 13:13,14; 15:24-26
- God discontinued His use of Eli s lineage: 1 Sam. 2:29-31.
- God discontinued the angelic services of Lucifer and the other fallen angels: Isaiah 14: 12-15; Ezek. 28: 14-18; Rev. 12: 7-9.
The man that God continues to use is the man who is willing to make his calling and election sure: 2 Peter 1:5-10; Prov. 6: 16-19.
Finally, God will use the person that He wills to continue to use: Jonah 1:1-3; 3:1,2.
C) The man that accomplishes God s will for His life:
It is one thing to work continually with God and yet another to accomplish God s assignment. There are examples of men in the Bible who though they were used of God, ended up not accomplishing God s purpose for their lives. Moses (Deut. 32:48ff) and Joshua (Josh. 13:1ff) were such men. However, Jesus Christ is an example of a man that fully accomplished God s will for His life (John 17:4). Therefore, through His life we can learn the qualities that are necessary for any man or woman to accomplish God s will.
- Early awareness of God s agenda for his life, backed by focus, and time consciousness: John 9:4; 18:37; Luke 2: 46-49.
- Constant communication with God, being full of the Holy Spirit and power: Luke 6:12; John 5:19; Acts 10:38.
- Being completely sold out to God s will for His life and whose sole desire is to please God: John 4:34; 8:29.
- Willingness to endure trials and obstacles, while having his gaze fixed firmly on the prize: Heb. 12: 2.
All of creation work for God; known or unknown, willfully or not. The depth of the wisdom of our God is such that all things created by Him ultimately are used to accomplish His purpose.
However, as Christians, we must be fully aware that we are God s workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them (Eph. 2:10). Therefore, our focus as children of God should not only be to be used of God continually, but ultimately that we may accomplish His perfect will for our lives like Jesus.
We can only do this as we follow the example of Jesus, who knew God s purpose for His life, made it His sole priority, and put His entire being towards accomplishing it. It is my prayer, that you will fulfill the reason for your existence in Jesus’ name!
Now, unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory, for ever and ever. A-men’.
The Revd. Dr. Nduka Iwuchukwu. Priest, Diocese of Lagos West, is presently attached to St. Nicholas Cathedral, Anglican Diocese of Victoria Nyanza, Tanzania. (firstname.lastname@example.org)