Ephesians 3:8 To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ (NKJV)
It’s common for Christians to view Biblical characters as “super Godly”… that’s why God put them in the Bible, right?
Next in line after Bible characters are a few select saints of renown devotion and spiritual discipline which might include well-known Bible teachers, Pastors & preachers, and others that you personally know who have a reputation of being “super” Christians.
Because of the perception that these folks make up some kind of “upper class” quality of spirituality, we often settle for mediocrity in our own Christian walk believing that we can never achieve such high standards. We think we can’t possibly be as “good” as the famous Bible characters or those Christians we know who are so powerful in their walk with God.
Wrong. That’s a myth, a misperception, a built-in excuse
meant to trap you in spiritual lukewarmness.
In a moment we will look at the type of people some of our Bible heroes really were, but let me make a statement concerning the “great” Christians you may know today. The more Godly a person is, the more they realize what a weak and inconsistent sinner they are.
The most Godly and consistent Christians you know will be the first to proclaim how utterly weak and prone to failure they really are. Given the chance they would argue strongly that they are the least and the last person who possesses the goodness and qualities that God should be looking for.
Ask a “great” Christian how “good” they think they are.
Their self-realization of weakness and fault is in essence what makes them a “great” Christian, because that realization drives them towards dependence on God. It’s true today, and it was true of Biblical characters as well. The heroes of the Bible that we elevate to an unattainable elite Godly status were some of the most sinful and unlikely people you would think God would choose to do His work.
- Questioned and doubted God’s word – Ex. 3:11
- Was a complainer and grumbler – Ex. 5:22-23; Num. 11:10–15
- Was impatient – Ex. 5:22-23; 6:12; 32:19; Num. 11:10–15; 16:15; 20:10; 31:14.
- Was unaspiring and pessimistic – Num. 14:12–20; Deut. 9:13–29
- Was an adulterer – 2 Sam. 11:2–5
- Was a murderer – 2 Sam. 11:6–25
- Was a thief – 2 Sam. 11:26-27; 2 Sam. 12:1-14
- Was self absorbed at times – 2 Sam. 18:33; 19:1–4
- Pridefully disobeyed God allowing Satan to influence him – 2 Sam. 24; 1 Chr. 21; 27:24
- Was presumptuous and impulsive – Matt. 16:22-23; Mark 8:32-33; Luke 8:45; John 13:6–11
- Had failing faith at times – Matt. 14:28–31
- Acted without thinking – Matt. 26:51; Mark 14:47; Luke 22:50
- Denied Christ completely – Matt. 26:69–75; Mark 14:66–72; Luke 22:55–62; John 18:17-18
- Was a hypocrite – Gal. 2:11-16
- Was a prideful religious zealot – Acts 22:3; 23:6; 26:5; 2 Cor. 11:22; Gal. 1:14
- Was a murderer and persecutor of Christians – Acts 7:58; 8:1-3; 9:1; 22:4
- Was the least of Christians – Eph. 3:8
- Was the worst of all sinners – 1 Tim. 1:15
- Struggled constantly with sin – Rom. 7:14-25
The next time you think you can’t ever be like those “great” Believers in the Bible, or like those “super” Christians that you know in your life, remember that the whole bunch is made up of liars, murderers, adulterers, cowards, hypocrites and weak sinners.
God doesn’t look for the “good”, the “best” or the “exceptional”. God looks for the “available”, the “repentant” and the “willing”. It doesn’t matter what you were in the past, whether 5 years ago, or 5 seconds ago. What will you be from this moment forward?
Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (NKJV, emphasis mine)
I doubt your much worse than a coward, adulterer or murderer. God can use you no matter what you have done in the past, even if you “worst” sin is lukewarmness towards God. So don’t settle for Christian mediocrity in your life. Pray to God and let Him know:
“Lord, if you can use a bunch of sinners like David and Paul,
I’m already perfectly qualified to serve You!”
O Great God, I can hardly think of anyone less qualified to be called by You, but that very understanding, along with my willingness, makes me ready for You to use. I am a great sinner, but You are a greater God. Use me from this moment on… here am I Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.
Contemplation: Do you mistakenly see Bible characters or your Pastor as some sort of “special” Christian? Has that subconsciously (or maybe on purpose!) caused you to settle into a mediocre spiritual life? Do you hold back from complete devotion and dedication to God thinking “I can never be like ‘them'”?
Application: God typically does things just the opposite of how we would do them. If we were God, we would search out the “best” people to do our will. But God uses the least likely of us who may possess some terrible sinful qualities, but have in common a heart of repentance, willingness and availability. Remember, even after David committed adultery and murder, God proclaimed him to be “a man after God’s own heart”. Why? His willingness to repent, and serve God.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?