If you remember, I have suffered through a pretty dark depression all summer. To be honest, my relationship with God was dry because I was living in this fog of self-loathing and pity.
Every virtual knob in my life was dialed down to a blurry hum.
But do you want to know the crazy part?
God continued to work through me, even though I felt very un-spiritual.
I didn’t ask God to work. I felt very unworthy of ministering to anyone – even myself.
You see – I think we all have this notion that if we are on fire for God, and we are doing well in our prayer/worship/behavior, then we are somehow more capable to be used by God.
And that has a little truth to it. But just a little.
We can make ourselves useless to the Spirit. However, there is a huge requirement involved in becoming non-useful to God.
We are useless to God when we become prideful and self-sufficient.
Of all the instances I can read in the Bible where God called someone useless, they all involve a rejection of God himself – either intentionally or by losing trust in Him and start trusting your own prayer/worship/behavior.
No where in Scripture does it say that being weak, or feeling unworthy, or messing up disqualifies you from being used by God.
In fact, Paul mentions that Christ is glorified the most in our weakness.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. -2 Corinthians 12:9
I’m pretty sure of this concept after what God taught me this summer.
I was undisciplined, numb, regretful, and guilty of a few other things – and yet I touched the lives of others. God clearly showed me ways in which Christ was glorified through me, and yet I didn’t seek it or pursue it.
I didn’t “feel” worthy of seeing fruit in my life.
And yet, God clearly worked in the lives of those around me in spite of my feelings.
I honestly have to believe that knowing we are useless to God is a requirement to being used by God.
When we get a little too big for our britches – when we start thinking we have it all together and that Christ is just so pleased with how we are ministering – when we start to look at others and wonder why they are struggling so much – our usefulness to God is diminished.
And God will leave us there. He is patient and gentle. He won’t smack us awake right at first.
It is when we begin to understand and feel “un-spiritual” and unworthy of any ministry that we truly become useful.
As long as we are still trusting God.
If we are willing to admit to our unworthiness, and acknowledge the fact that our lives are not in order, and that the connection we have with Christ is the only good thing in our lives, then we are more useful to God.
Crazy thought huh?
A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor. -Proverbs 29:23
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” -James 4:6
When I was going through my dry spell, there wasn’t a time when I could say that God had caused it, or that God was less powerful because of it.
I was wallowing in my own despair. I wasn’t doing the things I needed to be doing in my relationship with Christ – and I admitted to that.
God wasn’t shocked or ashamed. Instead, he showed his power and mercy by choosing to work through me in spite of my weaknesses.
We have behavior backwards in ministry. God doesn’t want qualified, “good” people. He wants weak, humble servants.
Has God ever worked in or through you when you thought you were unworthy?