I recently attended an event with multiple speakers. A couple of speakers had messages that immediately resonated with me. I heard from God through their words and was moved to action as I listened to them. There was one speaker, though, who made a big impression on me…but not in a good way!
Her style was abrasive, even obnoxious at some points, with random intense outbursts that didn’t seem to relate to anything meaningful. I’ve watched a lot of speakers over the years, and this was truly bizarre! Her content and presentation was so scattered that it was a challenge to figure out what the point of the message was.
In the days following the event, I spent time meditating on the things I had gleaned from the good speakers. As I drove to work one morning, God brought to mind a sentence I knew I had heard during the event. He started using those words to work in my heart and reveal things to me. It was one of those beautiful, unexpected moments with God.
As I tried to remember who had spoken those words, I was completely surprised with the realization that it was that bizarre speaker!
And right then I had another opportunity to hear from God. I learned two things in that moment.
- God will speak through anyone He chooses. If I only listen when people and circumstances measure up to my expectations, I will miss out.
- God can use me even when I don’t measure up to my own expectations. He expects availability and surrender, not perfection.
That speaker was available; she showed up! And in the middle of a presentation that I would not have classified as a “win”, God spoke and God got the glory. And isn’t that what it’s about anyway?
Sure, the wins are nice, too! It feels great to nail it! God gets the glory in those times, too.
But those times when we are less than our best, when we feel like we’ve botched the whole thing…those are the times that allow the beauty of God’s grace and strength to shine!
God spoke in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
The Apostle Paul described it like this, “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” (2 Corinthians 4:7)
I’ve been in a season like that in my own life. You know those times when it seems that every flaw has a big spotlight shining on it? Times when we botch things up and then every attempt to fix things only seems to make it all worse. Times when, at the end of the day, we are left with a list of failures – some real, some imagined – that start to whisper, or shout!, DISQUALIFIED.
When it’s tempting to listen to the voice of defeat, we have to fight back with the Words of Truth! We have to recognize that we have an enemy who will shout whatever lies it takes to keep us from walking in the purpose of God in our lives. Sometimes those lies are incredibly believable. But what does God say? What is the truth that will silence the lies? We find the only solid truth in His Word. Dig into the Bible! That is how you will defeat the lies!
Recognize that God can use you right where you are, flaws and all. And that He loves you too much to allow you to stay there. Surrender, repent, submit, rest in His love and grace….but DO NOT quit! You are not disqualified. You are a beautiful work in progress who can allow God to shine through you, in spite of you!
“… And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith…” Hebrews 12:1-2
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28