Do you ever hear something and feel like screaming? Or hear someone state a fact and want to the world to know that the thought is incorrect? Lately, the same idea keeps being shoved in my face – and I want to tell the world that the idea is simply wrong. It is unbiblical – yet it is said in so many different ways from so many different people. Wonder what the idea is, yet?
I read a facebook article about why Christian Leaders should not drink alcohol. The article said that if you want a deeper level of God’s power, if you want revival, if you want to see notable miracles – than alcohol is not for you. A pastor told a story about how God told him to share the gospel with his friend and he didn’t – so he’s had to live with the guilt that his friend may be in hell because of him. And I read a statement in a book (that I 99.9% agree with) which said we must consecrate ourselves(be all-in, be set apart) to God to be used by Him. All of these things have one thing in common. God’s will, God’s plan, God’s saving grace, God’s presence is dependant on human works.
God is not limited by human endeavors. God is bigger than I am. God can do whatever He so chooses. Isaiah 46: 9 – 10 says, “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose;” Psalms 135:6 “Whatever the LORD pleases, He does;” and Job 42:2 “”I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”
God uses whom He chooses to use – and it is not dependant on us. God uses non-believers. Ezra 1: 1 -1 “ in order to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying: “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah.” God spoke through a donkey in Numbers 22. God uses angels and dreams to make his words known. Jesus tells the religious leaders that if people did not declare who is than the rocks will cry out and do so(Luke 19:40)
God even uses disobedient believers. Just take a look at Jonah. As a child’s story of a guy who got swallowed by a fish – Jonah, was a favorite. But then I read the book for myself. I don’t like Jonah. I really wondered why God would even include his story in the Word. God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and tell the people to repent and be saved. Jonah disobeyed and ran away by hopping aboard a ship. A storm came. Jonah knew it was because of his disobedience – so he said, “Throw me overboard.” He didn’t say – “Turn around I have to go to Nineveh.” He would have rather died than obey God. He was swallowed by a fish, spit out – and finally realized he couldn’t get out of doing what God had asked him to do. Because of Jonah’s message the people of Nineveh repented and were saved. Jonah wept because he didn’t want God to save the people! Jonah is not an example of godliness I want to hold up for my children to emulate. Then I realized the amazing message of Jonah – God will accomplish His purpose, God will save whom He chooses to save, and God will use whomever He chooses to use – despite us not because of us.
God does not need you to be consecrated. God does not need you to refrain from alcohol. God does not need you to share the gospel. God does not need you -period. God will accomplish His purpose with or without you.
Does this mean that we should not dedicate ourselves fully to God, that we should not refrain from things that inhibit the Holy Spirit’s control of our lives, that we should not share the gospel? No. Never. But – we don’t do these things because God needs us to, rather because it is the only appropriate response to a holy, sovereign God. When I realize that the God, who created and sustains the universe, loves and pursues me in the midst of my sin – when I realize that God turns my filthy, sinful heart into a righteous, holy one – there is no logical or emotional response other than to fall on my knees and give myself completely and totally to Him (consecrate myself to Him). When I realize that I have replaced the power, presence and peace of God for earthly substances like alcohol, shopping, food, people-pleasing – my only logical and emotional response is to eliminate those things and depend completely on God. When I realize that God could save someone as sick and depraved as me, someone full of pride and self-righteousness – when I realize God heals me, replaces my anxiety with His peace, replaces my depression with joy – the only logical and emotional response is to tell everyone I know and love what God has done for me and what He can do for them.
Jesus says in John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Our obedience is our act of love towards God. God using us to accomplish His purposes is God’s act of love towards us. The fact that God’s eternal work can be accomplished through me – a mere mortal – is nothing short of miraculous. My only logical and emotional response is thanks, praise, worship, and obedience.