I write a lot about people being judgmental, about people trying to impose their rules on other believers, and similar things. Most of the time you’ll have gathered I’m less than complimentary about people who do that sort of thing.
But I have been listening to the quiet voice of the Spirit over the last few days, and I have come to realise that actually God can use anyone to further His purposes, no matter what their perceived state of grace at the time.
You see, Christianity is a huge and wide faith. There are, and have been, literally billions of believers, all of whom have believed that they are following Jesus to the best of their abilities. Nobody has got it all ‘right’ all at the same time. And God indeed looks on the heart. He looks at the motivation of the believer and works with that.
I freely admit that I was myself once a Pharisee; although I was definitely close to Jesus in my relationship with Him, and manifesting His power in my life and ministry, I still felt I had to follow the rules. I was extremely judgmental towards gays, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and generally people of ‘other’ faiths; people who did not believe the same things as I did. (And it took fifteen years for me to be detoxified from these attitudes). God honoured me by changing my heart on these matters, permanently.
And yet, my point is that, despite me, despite all my faults and ‘incorrectness’, God still used me to touch people’s lives supernaturally. Despite all my darkness and hangups, He chose to work through me, even in the ‘wilderness years‘. He doesn’t wait for perfection or for correct doctrinal beliefs before He works through you.
There are many people with whom I still don’t agree in terms of doctrine and stuff like that.
In fact, I was in danger of judging these people; in danger of falling into the same trap as I was in all those years ago. You know what? God doesn’t care what I think about them. He chooses to work through people in healings, prophecy, miracles, knowledge/wisdom…in short, in the same way as He works through the people in my relationship circle, no matter what they believe. Fundamentalist, conservative right-wing, liberals, staid ‘churchy’ people; He chooses to work through these people. Granted, people who have a close walk with Him will doubtless have more of the obviously supernatural happening in their lives. But even those whom outsiders might judge as non-spiritual; even those people, God can work with and through. He’s even spoken to me through Muslims and people of other faiths.
This of course means that no one group has a monopoly on God, and His power. He can choose to speak to you, or work, through someone from whom you might least expect that kind of help. And it’s always a surprise, but of course God delights in surprising His children in that sort of way. So let’s not put boundaries on how God can put His hands on our lives, and let’s not underestimate God’s ability to use others to further His purposes in us. Why indeed would we want to limit His power at work in our lives just because He wants to work, this time, through ‘Them’?
And be encouraged yourself too: you too do not need to wait for what you might think of as perfection before you let God use you. Even the apparently confident people who stand up at the front of Church to sing, preach or exercise spiritual gifts are by no means perfect! They’re just like you. So, just step out in faith; He will honour your efforts no matter how ‘puny’ you might feel they are!