Last week during a powerful musical worship session, I was pummelled by memories of my past... "from where you came..." The destitute and dark sins and soul-holes left from my past; as well as, the sins of my forefathers, haunt me sometimes. The enemy of my soul uses them as a weapon.
My current weaknesses are used as flaming darts, as well. I am very keenly aware of my weakness. Sometimes I feel that my consistent struggles with old sins, wrong thinking, behavioral patterns, and insecurity are certainly an indication that He can't use me... or at least He can't use me today (maybe later when I become more holy and more whole).
And yet, I know that this way of thinking is so far from the Truth we find in Scripture.
Who is it that God uses? I needed reminding of this.
This morning the visiting pastor at church spoke to this questions and his words were a balm to my thirsty soul. Who is it that God uses?
An old man like Abraham?
A young boy like Samuel?
A proud liar like Jacob?
A adulterer like David?
A polygamist like Solomon?
A prostitute like Rahab?
An outsider, a foreigner, like Ruth?
A fisherman like Peter?
A demon possessed one like Mary?
A divorcee and outcast like the woman at the well?
A persecutor like Paul?
Who is it that God uses? He takes that which was and is broken and makes it whole... and then He breaks it again to fill it and shine through.
God did not see Abraham as old... He just saw Abraham. He did not define Samuel as "just a boy". He saw him as Samuel. He did not think of Rahab as a prostitute. He saw, knew and loved Rahab. And He used her greatly.
Jesus didn't see Peter as a fisherman... He saw him as Peter. He saw all of Peter... the whole of Peter. Jesus saw and knew the good, the bad and the ugly. And, in Luke 5, Jesus asked Peter to do one simple thing: put your boat into the water. Jesus knew he would obey. He knew Peter. Peter did what Christ asked. And, then Christ asked him to do one more thing... "put your nets into the deeper water". Jesus knew Peter's heart... and Peter's heart said, "if you say so, Lord, I will".
This is what God sees. He sees the heart. He describes this adulterer, murderer David as a "a man after God's heart". What did God see in David? He saw his heart! He saw David as he truly was.
He knew that day (Luke 5) that Peter's heart would and wanted to trust and obey. So, he asked him to put the nets out and Peter obeyed. And, then he asked him to do something harder... to follow him. And, he knew Peter would. He knew his heart.
Who is it that God uses? He sees the heart and the whole person. I am not defined in God's eyes as "the silly boy-crazy girl prone to seek love in all the wrong places" that I was at age 14. I am not defined in God's mind as the "wounded and hole-filled soul that questions her worth". I am not defined by "the non-believing, divorced and dysfunctional family" I came from. This is not me. This was me... or a part of me at one time. But, I am not defined by this any longer.
Last week in that worship session, I was hit with memories of my past. And, in that same worship time, the Lord of the Universe spoke deeply into my soul a whisper that was freeing and powerful, That is not who you are any more. That is not you. You are not defined by those things any longer. I have made you and am making you something different, something new, something beautiful.
And I want to use you. You, Stephanie.
Thank you Father for using weak things. Thank you for using broken jars of clay. Thank you for rescuing and redefining. Thank you for seeing all of me and being willing to work in, with and along side this girl. ...this God's girl. I belong to you! I am defined by you.