A Biblical Paradox: God’s Choice of Men
1 Corinthians 1:26-29 NKJV
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.
God is out of the box in the way He does things. Think for a moment. God sent a man well schooled in the Law to reach out to the Gentiles who had no knowledge or value for the Law. He sent Peter who had no knowledge of the Law (the Bible calls him ignorant and unlearned) to reach out to the Jews. Paul cannot claim that He succeeded in reaching out to the Gentiles because he knew Law. He gave the credit to God and His grace. Peter as well will have to decry any form of self promotion and point us to God’s grace. That’s God for you. He uses the most unlikely.
It amazes me the quality of people God uses to do amazing things. God thinks differently. I have been pondering lately the character of God and His unusual way of using the most unlikely people to do outstanding things. Let’s think about Gideon, a man who was filled with fear and unbelief whom God used to take territories. See Judges 6:11-17
Do you know that God had to downsize the army he enlisted to make sure that the credit for the success will NOT be attributed to numbers? God is TOO wise to allow men take glory for His work. This disproves something we have always believed that success is in numbers. That’s not true based on this Scriptural example. See Judges 7:1-8. God used three hundred untrained men to conquer nations. I think sometimes we rely on numbers too much. Let’s trust God to outdo what our collective efforts can achieve. Even the Scripture says “There’s no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few.” See 1 Samuel 14:6; 2 Chronicles 25:1-12.
Another inspiring example of this biblical paradox is the story of David who was the last child who was merely a teenager and the least likely to be selected to be king. He was also left out of thought and lost in the bush, yet he was the one God chose to be king. Have you considered yourself a misfit and out of place when you consider what God has called you to do? Then be rest assured that God truly called you, though you are currently surrounded by contradictions.
Later in life, this same David was surrounded by the most incorrigible people in his country; they were in debt, discontented and in distress. What a bunch. Yet these men became David’s mighty men. This is the beauty of ministry. God brings you people in their raw state so that you could teach, train and thrust them into the destiny God has for them. You may not have the people you think you want but you have the people you need. Keep investing in them. Give them a little time and they will become mighty men that everyone will desire to have.
This brings me to the experience I had many years ago. I was talking to the Lord about the quality of people I had around me. And He told me He had the same kind of people. A ragtag team of local misfits. Peter and many others were local fishermen who were unrefined and uncouth. One of them was a zealot whom we will call in our day a religious militant, there was a doubter, a tax collector and other societal rejects.
None of us will want to pastor people like this or make them part of our leadership team but this is the same people that God appointed as Apostles through Christ Jesus in His earthly ministry. This is one thing that Jesus knew. God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. God sees people in the light of their potential and not in the light of their circumstances. You have the right people around you. You have the best people around you. Keep investing in them. Let the Word of God turn them into a wonder.
Stop looking over the fence. Keep feeding what God has given you. Keep pouring into them. The Peter that denies you today could lead three thousand souls to Christ tomorrow. Don’t give up on these sheep who have come to put their faith in you and what God has called you to do. Go all out and invest in them. Bless them. Uplift them. Encourage them. Out of those men will come mighty men that will change the world. Selah
In His Majesty’s Service,
Preserving the Faith of the Fathers For Future Generations