You’ve had enough of empty living. At last, you are free to soar above a mundane existence to uncharted heights of excellence. You have commenced the life of fulfillment you were created for.
Most of us, ably supported by Satan, are unnecessarily harsh on ourselves. This self-inflicted, satanically-enhanced torture can wound deeply. We may presently be so hurt and agitated that we can’t be sufficiently still to hear God’s call, or are too despondent to amass the faith to embrace his challenge. In this and the next three chapters, we will look to the Lord for healing and inspiration. With our hurts healed and the pressure eased, we can maximize the benefits of the remainder of the book and be equipped to enter the fulfillment we were created for.
Portions of this book are devoted specifically to readers who feel they had their chance at ministry and have lost it forever, but we will start with more general considerations. Before we do, however, why not, for at least a few moments, passionately ask your Healer to touch you as you read these pages? From him alone flows everything you need.
Scripture’s silence implies Jesus spent most of his time on earth doing almost nothing worth mentioning. This impression is amplified by the shock registered in his old acquaintances at the thirty-year-old’s miracles. More astounding still is that even his teaching and wisdom surprised people who had heard him all his life.a Thirty years! That’s over ninety per cent of his earthly life.
Dare we say that during this time the Sovereign Lord of Glory was useless, or a failure? The very thought is blasphemous! You know God’s Son is of infinite worth because of who he is, not for what he does.
Well, remember that you, too, are God’s child. You have already attained the highest status.
Real significance and fulfillment can only be found in your union with Christ. To seek them through what you do is to chase a vapor. For starters, it’s a perversion akin to parents looking to their children for things that should only be found in their marriage partner. Secondly, earthly service is temporal. Will you suddenly decline in value when age forces retirement upon you? You were created for the security that only God can offer.
To look to anything other than Christ for our sense of worth is like a commoner made royalty by her marriage to the king, hoping her trinkets will make her important.
Performers often gauge their success by how much people pay to hear them. The King of glory paid the highest conceivable price – the staggering cost of his Son’s life – just to be close to you. That’s how precious you are. Furthermore, he has made you heir to heaven’s riches, destined to reign with eternal honor. As God’s heir, you are of such mind-boggling importance that nothing – not even the greatest achievement – could increase your significance.
If we seem to be achieving nothing, it is usual to feel like second-hand chewing gum. No matter how real the feeling, however, to give credence to the illusion is to throw one’s brains away. It is human to suffer irrational feelings but only the hopelessly insane are compelled to believe those feelings. Only people living in a land of fairies and goblins have the right to surrender to feelings of inferiority. Though you feel as cherished as a lump of soap at a boys’ camp, to God you are priceless. You may seem as useful as an inflatable anchor, but with God, no one is useless.
Our mighty Lord can use anything for any purpose. Look at the tiny book of Jonah. God used a storm, heathen sailors, a sea-creature, a plant and a grub, as well as moody, heartless, rebellious Jonah.a Centuries later, the Lord even made a Messianic prophet out of the man who sentenced Jesus to death.b
One of the things that transformed the great evangelist D. L. Moody was the sudden realization that ‘It was not [the famous preacher, Charles Haddon] Spurgeon who was doing that work: it was God. And if God could use Spurgeon, why should he not use me?’3
Was that same God who mightily worked in Spurgeon and then in Moody suddenly incapacitated when he took up residence in you? Dare you claim that your weakness could weaken God?
If the Lord could work only through people of a certain caliber, the Most High would be impotent and dependent upon human abilities. That’s unthinkable. Either God can move the world through you or he isn’t God.c Incompetence melts in the presence of omnipotence.
So if the Lord appears not to be using you, it cannot be because you lack ability. In fact, God delights in displaying his majesty by employing those who seem hopelessly inadequate.d
And I hope you know enough about God to realize that it cannot be because he does not love you! What more could the One who died for you do to prove his love? Let’s not slander the Holy One by imagining infinite love is so fickle that it fluctuates according to a person’s physical attractiveness, popularity or talent.
By making you feel as if God loves you less than certain other Christians, it seems as if Satan is attacking your self-esteem, but he isn’t. He is attacking the integrity of God. He is hissing that God’s love is so inadequate that it is only people who have certain qualities whom God can love or be gracious to. That’s a lie! God’s love toward you is perfect. GOD IS FOR YOU. He’s cheering you on. He’s on your side!
In this world, success is often relative – the closer the relative, the higher you go. Don’t decry the system: remember who you call Father.
Christian, you are the focus of divine love; filled with the majesty of Almighty God; spiritually enthroned with Christ in his heavenly palace; granted the highest level of access to the greatest Person and the holiest place.e You are the work of divine hands, made perfect in Christ Jesus. And enshrined within your being resides the infinite power of the sovereign Lord.f How dare you think you’re useless!
Top fashion model Claudia Schiffer has been nominated the most beautiful woman in the world. Yet as a teenager, she concluded from her lack of popularity at school that she was not beautiful. We make a similar mistake in assuming that if we are not popular with people, we lack what it takes to make it in a big way with God.
In 1943 five missionaries tried to establish links with an unreached tribe in Bolivia. Not only did they fail, it cost them their lives. It took the wisdom and perseverance of Joe Moreno, using an entirely different tack, to achieve what the five could not do. Joe was a sixth-grade drop-out; a middle-aged farm laborer with three children who had been abandoned by his wife. He considered himself unworthy of the title ‘missionary’ yet he achieved more than those he revered.4 The lower you are, the stronger God’s urge to lift you high.g
If you have so far achieved little, it says nothing of God’s plans for you, nor of his evaluation of your worth. Prized silverware is reserved for special occasions. The fact that it is rarely used hardly means it is of little value. A craftsman will use some tools more than others, simply because they have different functions. Frequency of use in no way indicates quality, nor the craftsman’s pride in the tool. No one in a right relationship with God has a sane reason for feeling inferior to people who are used often.