What do you think of when you hear the word “status”? In this day and age, you probably think of Facebook, but anyways…
Status is what nearly every individual on earth strives to achieve. Status can be defined in a variety of ways; reputation, credibility, likability, popularity. Most people strive to be likable, credible, popular, and reputable in their lifetimes. Some people aim for fame and popularity for decades before dying with little to no worldly recognition. Others give up their chase for popularity early in life after repeated discouragement from external sources in their lives. Some people even struggle to find likability among their own friends. For all types of people, the underlying reality is the same:
God doesn’t attach His decisions to use people for His Kingdom with their worldly statuses.
He doesn’t go to your Twitter account and assess your amount of followers before using you to reach out to a friend, co-worker or fellow student. He doesn’t count the amount of friends you have on Facebook before using you to speak truth into the lives of any audience, big or small. He doesn’t restrict your ability to share the gospel based on the amount of dollars in your pocket. He doesn’t limit your ability to share spiritual insight based on the grades on your report card. In fact, God uses the least likely candidates in the eyes of the world to do powerful things for His Kingdom.
Didn’t make it into college? Can’t compete in a philosophical argument? Don’t have enough money to travel across the world? Feeling like you don’t have many friends? There is good news for you, and it lies in The Good News itself.
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” – 1st Corinthians 1:27
The dumbest, ugliest, poorest people by the world’s standards are just as capable to be used by God as those of lofty status. Take, for example, the story of Gideon. When God called Gideon to save Israel, he thought himself to be in no position to do such an important thing. “ Judges 6:15-16 says “’Pardon me, my lord,’ Gideon replied, ‘but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.’ The Lord answered, ‘I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.’
Gideon was the lowest of the low. He had no credibility, no resumé, no worldly success. God saw his heart, however, and used him in a humanly unthinkable way. God was with him, and Gideon knew that was all he needed. Gideon listened to God’s call, and his willing and listening heart proved strong. With the power of God, Gideon crushed the worldly forces who likely had far higher social statuses and far more worldly power than he did. However, God chose Gideon. Gideon answered the call. Gideon was used by God in a mighty way.
The story of Gideon proves an extremely important point. You’re never too weak to be used by God. By worldly standards, Gideon was the weakest of the weak. In today’s society, weakness could mean many things. You may think you’re weak in terms of intelligence – you find yourself on the low end of the grading scale in your classes or because you can’t get into an academically prestigious college. You may think you’re ugly, unpopular, not cool enough, too shy, or that you have some other type of weakness in the eyes of the world.
But God doesn’t see through the same eyes as the world. Proverbs 16:2 says “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD.” God passes by all of your supposed worldly weaknesses and looks straight at your heart. Is it willing? Is it responsive to His leading? If your heart is set on advancing His Kingdom, God will use you. You don’t need straight A’s. You don’t need an overflowing wallet. You don’t need the wisdom of the world. God knows if you are a man or woman after His own heart. After all, “…the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” (1st Corinthians 1:25)
Let the last four verses of the first chapter of 1st Corinthians be a constant encouragement to you:
“God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
If you are in Christ, your status is in Christ; you are perfectly capable of advancing the Kingdom. This fact is completely independent of the way the world sees you. God’s wisdom is of a different order, anyway.
“’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9
God sees you, God loves you, and God knows your heart. You’re never too dumb, too ugly, too unpopular, too weak, or too poor to be used by God. All you need is a listening and willing heart. Listen to what God says about you, not what the world says. Rise up. Answer the call. Be heard.