We all have a past. We all make mistakes. I heard a saying once, “God equips the called, not calls the equipped.” If God wants us, He will call us and He will give us what we need to do His will in our lives. God doesn’t doubt my talents, I do.
Often, I catch myself comparing myself to other ministry leaders or people doing God’s work in public. I watch then on stage and I listen to them encourage people and I think to myself “Boy, I wish I could do that, I wish I could be like them!” But God made me as me. I am who I am in Christ. The devil wants to keep me looking to my past but God wants me to look at who I am today and who I can be.
My past is a part of me. My past are hard lessons learned. My past is a tribute to what God can do with a changed life. My past is an example of pains and hurts and God’s healing and His promise to me. My doubts about my abilities and being able to spread God’s word and my worthiness in His eyes, are not of God. God gives me everything I need to carry out His plan in my life. He supplies me with His strength, His courage, His patience, His insight…all the tools I will need to carry out His will.
Jeremiah 29:11 is a verse that I often tell myself over and over again when I doubt my abilities. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
I will not fail when I do things God’s way. When I remember this, I am encouraged and motivated and so full of thanks that the Lord would choose me to be His servant. Me. Not my sister, not my neighbor, not my sister, me.
I am not alone in this as I reflect on 1 Timothy 1. In this letter to Timothy, Paul reflects on his past and his present and his future:
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do His work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve Him, even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus.
"This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners"—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in Him and receive eternal life. All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; He alone is God. Amen.” ~1 Timothy 1:12-17 (NLT)
Oh, how I can relate to Paul’s words to Timothy!!! Pau’s past was pretty bad. He was known around the area as the man who persecuted Christians. He stood by and allowed the crowd to stone Stephen to death (Read Acts chapter 7) and Christians (including the disciples) feared him. BUT, on the road to Damascus, Jesus came to Paul and asked him:
“Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” ~Acts 9:4
“Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! 6 Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” ~Acts 9:5
Of all the people for Jesus to call to be His Servant, he chose Paul (or Saul as he was known before his conversion) The man who was responsible for the deaths of many Christians was now being called to serve God.
God sees in us, what we can’t see in ourselves. God knows our hearts both before we come to know Him and after we are born again. God believes in me and He believes in you. Cast your doubts to the wind…let the wind carry them as far away from you as possible and as you go through your day, hold your head up high and know that you are God’s child. He chose you and He does know the plans for you in your life. Let him use you as an example to those around you.
Lord, I am so thankful to you today. I am thankful for my changed life through You. In Paul’s words, All honor and glory to God forever and ever! You are the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; You alone are God!!! Amen
© 2011 Giving Thanks Daily, Darci Escandon