Being used by God is a real blessing, but how does it work exactly? Here are some things to remember!
God wants you. He does. I’ve heard a lot of people tell me, ‘why would God need me, I’m irrelevant compared to Him?’ I’m not saying we come close to His majesty, but He does need us. He needs to use us. The difference however, when God uses us and when people use us is that with people, most times, one person comes out victorious and the used person is left drained, ashamed and at a loss.
But with God, there are three victors in the end. Firstly, His name and power is glorified, the person we speak to is lifted out of darkness and saved, and finally we – the ones that were used – are blessed. The blessing comes in many shapes and forms and it comes immediately in joy, contentment, love and growth, but it also comes in blessing over time: of provision, rewards and strength. And in turn, a lot of the time, God then uses someone else when we fall into a need. And then the cycle begins again.
So you see, Jesus using you isn’t the same concept as when it comes to people: it’s a good thing. In fact, it’s an extraordinary thing.
Yes, God is merciful and giving and He will bless us. Still, it is not this that should ever be our intention behind being used, we should merely seek to please Him. For when you please God, your whole life aligns to His mighty name in the centre and that’s when it all begins to grow into such an indestructability, that your character will eventually grow into someone just like Christ Himself.
Let me ask you this: when you eat a delicious bowl of soup, then get up, full and satisfied, and speak of it, what is it that you complement? The soup, of course. Do you talk about the bronze shine of the crockery or how smooth the spoon felt on your tongue? No! Even the notion of that is making me smile because it’s ridiculous. It’s the food that matters. It’s the purpose of the spoon that is praised and glorified: what it did (satisfy you) and how it did it (deliciously).
The same counts for God: when He uses us, what is normally praised in a person’s life is God’s grace and love in helping us say and do the right things. For me, one of those would be a few years ago when I was in Australia for a Hillsong Worship & Creative Conference. We were in the middle of service. I had come to that conference with so many questions for God to answer: one of them being a long-standing one about my career as a writer. I had been praying whether writing is a good future option for me. And I always praise God for that day when He used a woman behind me (total stranger) to tap me on the shoulder and tell me that God wants me to continue writing for He wants to use my writing skills for His glory one day.
To this moment, I praise God for caring about every part of my life. And what is most important to me about this event? What God told me, and how He did it. Do I know who the woman was? What she ate for breakfast? Where she was from? I didn’t even know her name! What I’m trying to say is that yes, those people should be appreciated for listening to God and acting on it, but it isn’t about them, it’s about the food that one person needs in that moment of their lives: and what a joy it is to help someone eat what their Father has prepared for them.
My whole life, I’ve always yearned to please God. He had saved me from myself and from the darkness of this world that I never wanted to forget my gratitude. In doing so, I bumped my head a few times in life, only because I got too excited and ran ahead of things I wasn’t ready for. But in the end, my Heavenly Father came down to me, looked at my scraped knee, healed it and helped me walk again: this time stronger and more stable than before.
But at the end of the day, as long as we’re here, we are still humans. And we are, naturally, proud. Especially when we achieve and conquer, other people will notice and glorify you. And when you are worshipped, you are proud. It’s inevitable. Even the humblest of people have pride. And pride is good and important to have. We need it. But it’s where we place it that matters.
With Christ in the mix, this becomes even more dangerous because God is not a physical being that is famous and will tweet ‘I said those words, not her’ to protect His reputation, when an interview of a woman predicting the future goes viral. God trusts us with His power. And He gives it to us in various ways and gifts of the Spirit.
And if you think about it, it sounds like a lot of responsibility. And it is. But as long as we take it seriously, He will help us and give us the wisdom to know what to do with it. But too often we just want to be right, we just want some credit and our mouths speak before the Spirit tells us to.
1 Corinthians 12 tells us that we are like the body of Christ, each one of us an equally vital member of the body, no one is more or less important. But this world has us always judging each other and comparing ourselves with our sisters and brothers like it’s a race. Like it’s a competition on who is more Christian-like. Every institution in this world has somehow managed to create competition for those who practice it, even religion. But that’s the good news, I guess: Christ didn’t come to sell us religion. He came to give us life and make us new again. He came to change our lives for the better and to bring the exciting Holy Spirit into a life of dull emptiness.
Through some personal experience, God has shown me what happens when we get in the way of His will. He needs us but He’s not dependant on us. If not careful, that pride can take over and make us feel like God can’t do what He wants to do without us. But if you refuse, you know what He’ll do? He’ll just find another person or way to do it. And we are left humbled and embarrassed, losing out on His destiny for our lives and on all the blessings He had prepared. It’s still us that are at a loss, not God. The only problem is that sometimes there is only one opportunity for a specific person and if people get in the way or try to control the situation themselves, a blessing may be missed on both ends.
1 Thessalonians 5:19 says that we should not “quench the Spirit”, meaning do not try to reduce its power or try to extinguish its authority. God may be trying to use someone in your church or your life, or your friendship group, to help another or to help more than one person. But it’s not our place to tell them to stop speaking about Christ or to stop praying or cease encouraging someone in the spirit, or even to give them something as small as a nudge.
At the end of the day, it is God’s work we are doing, and each person answers to God when it comes to being used, not to other people. Of course, when someone in the church is evidently wrong or speaking against the Word of God, that’s a different situation. In moments of wrong intentions, we are to answer to God.
In some cases, another way you can be used is having the Holy Spirit take over your tongue and wisdom and help you embellish what someone else has said. It expands even further on someone else’s prayer or point (read more about how to experience the Holy Spirit’s works here) so don’t be afraid to do that. However, those are intentions of purity along with the mutual intention to please God together and to serve God’s people. Our intentions are as important as our actions. For if the intention was because you wanted some of the credit for the miracle that took place, or that your name is more important to you than this other person that has only known God for a few months: then you’re not standing against that person, you’re standing against God and what He wants to do.
This may all come with a somewhat harsh underlying message, but God inspired me to write this because of its vitality. I want to encourage you to continue seeking God’s will, to desire to be used by Him more, and for the courage to listen when He wants to use you: all in order that you may witness what God can do through you, for you and in you. I pray that through Him, we can have the pure intentions and actions we need to please Him. And in return, live the Christ-like, Spirit-filled life He has prepared for us.