What Junk Do You Have On Your Family Tree? God Is Not Looking For Gold Vessels Or Silver Vessels. He Is Looking For Willing Vessels. Never Allow Where You Start to Dictate Where or How You’ll Finish.
Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above – spiritually transformed, renewed, READY TO BE USED] for good words, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them[living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us]
When David first arrived at King Saul's palace he was a simple, unknown shepherd boy. But he had an impressive rèsumè nonetheless! God, in essence, said, 'I saw you kill the bear and the lion; I was watching your courage, leadership, fighting ability and strength when you didn't even realize I had my eye on you.' Solomon wrote, 'A man's gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.' (Proverbs 18:16). David's ‘gift’ may have only been the ability to accurately swing a slingshot, but it opened the door to his future as Israel's king! So even though what you've got doesn't seem like much, give it to God and watch what He can do with it! You say, 'But I'm not formally trained.' But All God requires is that you show up, say yes, and make yourself available! When you give God what you've got, He gives you what He's got; and that alone makes your odds unbeatable! 'But I don't have the right credentials,' you say. So what? Benjamin Franklin had less than two years of formal schooling yet at 25 he founded America's first library, at 31 he started its first fire department, at 36 he designed a heating stove that's still in use today, at 40 he harnessed the power of electricity, at 45 he founded the nation's first university, and at 79 he invented bifocals! He was an economist, philosopher, diplomat, inventor, educator, publisher and linguist who spoke and wrote in five languages. Chances are, you already have more education than he had when he was your age and yet look at all he was able to accomplish! People of God, regardless of where you come from, your family structure, gender, ethnicity, age, education, employment, handicaps or even failures, you still have enough to accomplish great things!
Now, just in case Ben wasn’t enough and you need some ‘biblical’ examples instead, here’s a few you should always revert back to when you feel unqualified or unequipped:
1...Joseph becomes the Pharaoh’s right hand man. He can interpret dreams and he saves Egypt from a famine. But before that, Joseph was two things that weren’t all that great. He was a slave and a prisoner! Yet, look how God used him and blessed him! The Bible says, “So Pharaoh commissioned Joseph: “I’m putting you in charge of the entire country of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his finger and slipped it on Joseph’s hand. He outfitted him in robes of the best linen and put a gold chain around his neck. He put the second-in-command chariot at his disposal, and as he rode people shouted “Bravo!” Joseph was in charge of the entire country of Egypt.” (Genesis 41:41-43 MSG). Not bad for a former slave and prisoner! Likewise friends, regardless of your past, you too can have a great future ahead of you. Even if you dropped out of high school; didn’t go to college; can’t find a job; battled with addictions and habits; lived in the projects; come from a broken home; and even have a criminal record! You are still a vessel that God can use!
What Junk Do You Have On Your Family Tree? All of us can relate to this question in one way or another because some of us have come from families that were just a mess. Aren’t you glad that God’s isn’t like people? People will find one flaw or one crack and discard you and your entire life. But not God! He doesn’t make any attempts to replace you or use something or someone else because of the junk on your family tree. No, He uses the SAME old you to make you a better you! God doesn’t throw us away when we mess up, after all Jesus was a carpenter! Why would He throw away what He possesses the ability to fix?! You are never so badly damaged that God can’t repair you! And no matter what ‘labels’ people put on you (even the ones that are true), cannot hinder you from still being a work-in-progress workmanship of God’s! No matter who you used to be; no matter what you used to do; God Still Wants to Use Even You! Will You Let Him?!
2...If you were a shepherd and your daily work consisted of leading a bunch of sheep around you’d probably be shocked if God not only talked to you directly and revealed Himself to you, but also told you that you were going to lead His people to the promised land! So just because you flip burgers for a living, don’t you underestimate what God can do even with that! The Bible says, “Naaman was general of the army under the king of Aram. He was important to his master, who held him in the highest esteem because it was by him that GOD had given victory to Aram: a truly great man, but afflicted with a grievous skin disease. It so happened that Aram, on one of its raiding expeditions against Israel, captured a young girl who became a maid to Naaman’s wife. One day she said to her mistress, “Oh, if only my master could meet the prophet of Samaria, he would be healed of his skin disease.” (2 Kings 5:1-3 MSG). Could you imagine if this no-named, imprisoned, slave girl never opened her mouth, how would the story of Naaman had ended? One thing’s for sure, Naaman would still be a Leprous Leader! In fact, she didn’t mumble under her breath either! She went straight to the Lady of the House and spoke! So if he can use Moses, with a stutter to still declare the 10 commandments, and a no-named servant girl to bless a highly named general, surely he can use you just the same, no matter what you do for a living! You don’t have to be a preacher to share the good news of the gospel, you can be a bus driver! Just imagine how many people a bus driver comes into contact with every day!? What about a janitor or teacher at a school? They come into contact with hundreds of people (young and old, and of every ethnicity) on a daily basis! Imagine if they talked about Jesus! Not to mention a cashier! And they don’t even have to turn into the early church evangelist on the job either.
In other words, it doesn’t matter what your occupation is (or lack thereof), God can use you as long as you are available to be used! He doesn’t ask for perfect vessels, just clean ones! 2 Timothy 2:20, “Now in a large house there are not only vessels and objects of gold and silver, but also vessels and objects of wood and of earthenware, and some are for honorable (noble, good) use and some for dishonorable (ignoble, common).” (AMP) God will use a gold or silver vessel just like He’ll use a wood or earthenware one. The importance is on the vessel being available and clean! So He’ll use you if you’re a dog walker or a police officer; a CEO or a chef; a firefighter or a mechanic; a senator or the fry cook at Applebee’s; a professor or a high school dropout; young or old; educated or uneducated; wealthy or poor; from the white house or the poor house! God has no favorites! He’ll use any clean vessel! 2 Timothy 2:21, “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things [which are dishonorable – disobedient, sinful], he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified[set apart for a special purpose and]
, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.” (AMP) No matter what you do for a living, as a clean vessel, you can still work for the Lord! God Can Use, Even You!
3...God used Gideon to deliver Israel from Midian, but before that Gideon was nothing more than a farmer! But when it comes to sowing or reaping a plenteous harvest, no one goes looking for the CEO, they go looking for a farmer! So, don’t undervalue your gifts, talents or skill-set! The Bible declares, “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men.” (Proverbs 22:29 NASB). Whatever your gifts, talents, skill-set’s or abilities, God wants to use them. And that doesn’t mean you have to be a part of the five-fold ministry! People who are orderly God can use; people who are good thinkers and strategist, God can use; people who can sow; stitch; teach; bake; do laundry; work at the bank; restock the shelves at the supermarket, can all be used by God. All you have to do is know what your skill-set is, and then hone in on perfecting it through practicing it. Truth is, we spend so much time trying to get people into a black robe and into the pulpit, that we’re no longer preparing the next generation to put on a black robe and get into the government where they can change this world for the better! Yes the church has need of you; but so does this world. We are not citizens of it, but while we’re strangers passing through, let’s use our gifts and talents to leave it better than we found it. And that means telling God, ‘use me and my gifts and talents, wherever and however you see fit!’ Let everything you do reflect that you represent Jesus in everything you do! God Desires to Use, Even You!
4...Jephthah is used by God to deliver Israel from the Ammonites. Before that, Jephthah was only known as being the son of a prostitute! Listen: Don’t you dare let your past identify you! Don’t let your families’ highs or lows give you your value, or diminish it! Look at this: Ruth was a Moabite, a pagan, and yet her genealogy changes drastically with a son from her own womb: “...they named him Obed He is the father of Jesse, the father of David. “ (Ruth 4:17 NASB). So, don’t let where you started dictate where you’ll finish! If you have to start broke, just get started; if you have to start living out of your car, just get started; if you have to start right after the divorce, just get started; if you have to start with no help or support, just get started; if you have to start with the odds against you, just get started; if you have to start as you get off the bus, just get started; if you have to start while having chemo, radiation, dialysis, just get started; if you have to start with cancer, heart disease, lupus, unemployed or homeless, just get started! Think about it, everyone knew Jephthah was born of a prostitute, and yet when the people had to go to war who did they come looking to lead them into battle? You guessed it, the prostitute’s son! So no matter what your lot in life has been (you don’t have to keep living there); no matter the cards you’ve been dealt (you can play well and turn it into a winning hand)!
Just Never Allow Where You Start to Dictate Where or How You’ll Finish! Philippians 3:12-14, “I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out to me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward – to Jesus. I’m off and running and I’m not turning back.” (MSG); Isaiah 43:18-19, “…Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?...” (MSG) Start from wherever you are, and keep moving forward! Remember, God Wants to Use, Even You!
5...Like Moses, David was also a shepherd, but David was also just a boy! But that same little boy would defeat Goliath and he would eventually become king! So, don’t you dare let anyone limit you because of your age! Be it youngster or senior! Truth is: Joash was king at 7! (2 Chronicles 24:1, “Joash was seven years old when he became king; he was king for forty years in Jerusalem…” MSG) and the priest Aaron died at 123 (Numbers 33:39, “…Aaron was 123 years old when he died on Mount Hor.” MSG) So don’t you dare let anyone limit you! Remember the Word of God Declares God Can Use You and Bless You At ANY Age! “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are YOUNG. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12 NLT). Church, use our young people in God’s service! They can do more than sing on the choir and usher. Train them how to handle the security of the building; how to count money with the trustees; teach them how to teach; how to clean the House of God; how to play an instrument; how the sound equipment functions; you can even use them to bring forth a sermonette or meditation on a youth Sunday. Don’t despise their youth! If they can learn trigonometry, they can learn theology! “Even in OLD AGE they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.” (Psalm 92:14 NLT). Do not cast our seniors aside! Their wisdom; experience; knowledge; understanding; and guidance are all valuable to every generation! Don’t let them get to 65 and then try to retire them from the Lord’s Service! Joash served at 7 and Aaron served up until he turned 123 years of age! If God’s not putting time constraints on people, who are you to think you can? God Will Use Even You, at Any Age!
6...Like Joseph, Esther was a slave before God used her to save her people from being massacred! Women of God, who you were can’t stop who you’re destined to become! Eve had a hunger that cost her a garden; Potiphar’s wife had an unlawful sexual appetite; Lot lost his mate when she couldn’t get her eyes off the rearview mirror; Delilah should’ve left the hairstyles to the professionals; Sapphira needed a financial consultant; Jezebel should’ve remained single; Tamar never recovered from her brother’s rape; and Michal didn’t value the worth of her husband’s worship! These women didn’t get to redeem themselves, but you can! Take your past to the cemetery and start living life to the full! It’s time to fulfill your purpose! Esther 4:14, “For if you remain silent at this time, liberation and rescue will arise for the Jews from another place, and you and your father’s house will perish [since you did not help when you had the chance]. And who knows whether you have attained royalty for such a time as this [and for this very purpose]?” (AMP) You are still here on purpose, for a purpose, now fulfill it! God Wants to Use Even You, On Purpose!
7...Who did God choose to be the mother of Jesus? A famous actress? A celebrity? A great athlete? A famous politician? Nope, the mother of Jesus (Mary) was a peasant girl! Please understand greatness is not attached to Wealth, it’s attached to Willingness! “Then Mary said, Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to what you have said…” (Luke 1:38 AMP). God is not looking for great achievements, just availability! Are you willing to let God use you? Isaiah 6:8, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (AMP) Is that your declaration too? Or are you like Saul hiding behind stuff? 1 Samuel 10:22, “So they asked the Lord, “Where is he? Is he here among us?” And the Lord replied, “He is hiding in the baggage.” (TLB) Is that where you are today, hiding in the baggage? When God needs your gifts, talents, skill-set, know how, ability and availability, are you hiding in the baggage? Hiding in the baggage of your past; failures; bad choices; and the like? Well today is your day to come out of hiding and leave the baggage in the past! God has need of you, yes even YOU!
8...Matthew was one of the 12 disciples and wrote one of the Gospels that told about the life of Jesus. But before Jesus asked Matthew to join Him, he was a tax collector! Don’t under-value what you do from day-to-day, God is still watching, and He’ll call you and use you even while you’re doing your little day-to-day (seemingly unnoticed) job! Nothing you do is irrelevant, no matter how little! “His master said to him, Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys.” (Matthew 25:23 AMP). Furthermore, there are some jobs that people hate, just like that of the tax-collector. Dog walkers, they stop every few minutes so dogs can poop and they can clean it up, who wants to do that? Janitors and sanitation workers have to clean up and pick up some gross stuff, who wants to do that? But when you’re faithful to do even menial, not so glamorous jobs, God blesses you even in that. So never think that God is checking your employment status to bless you or to use you. God has proven time and again that He can use anybody, anywhere! And yes, that includes you!
9...Luke traveled with Paul giving him a companion to journey with and Luke would also write one of the four Gospels. But Luke was a simple physician! But what God uses your hands to heal in the natural, can’t compare to what He’s going to use your hands to heal in the spiritual! You see, Paul was known for killing folks in the natural, but that wouldn’t compare to the resurrection power he would possess in the spiritual! “...Paul talked on, way past midnight...A young man named Eutychus was sitting in an open window. As Paul went on and on, Eutychus fell sound asleep and toppled out the third-story window. When they picked him up, he was dead. Paul went down, stretched himself on him, and hugged him hard. “No more crying,” he said. “There’s life in him yet.”...Paul going one way, the congregation another, leading the boy off alive…” (Acts 20:9-11 MSG) Whether your hands cut people in the prison yard; sold drugs in the backyard; was rebellious in the schoolyard, God can still clean those hands and use them for His work and His glory! God doesn’t hold you to your past, so release yourself too! Your hands are the hands God will use to transform this world; yes even your hands!
10...Many of the disciples were just common fisherman and would go on to do God’s work. Peter is the best example as he would be an Apostle, a leader of the early church and he would write two letters in the Bible! “...Peter stood up and...spoke out with bold urgency…That day about three thousand took him at his word, were baptized and were signed up. They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers. Everyone around was in awe—all those wonders and signs done through the apostles!...Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved.” (Acts 2 MSG).
The very next time you doubt whether you have enough to do a work for God or dare to under-estimate yourself, your worth and value, just remember this: Jacob was a Master of Deception; Gideon was a Self-Doubter; David was a Premeditated Sinner; Solomon was an Unwise Lover; Paul Was an Adversary; Elijah was Suicidal; Noah was Drunk; Abraham was Old; Jeremiah was Young; Timothy had Ulcers; Job Went Bankrupt With Boils; The Disciples Fell Asleep During Intercession; Isaiah Preached Naked; Leah wasn’t exactly a Beauty Queen; Naomi Lost All the Men in Her Life; John the Baptist was Beheaded at a Birthday Party; The Samaritan Woman Had Too Many of Other Folks Men; Saul was Tall; Zacchaeus was small; Samson was a Womanizer; Rahab was a Prostitute; Jonah was a Prejudiced Prophet; and Lazarus was Dead and yet God used each of them greatly! So why can’t He use even you?!
Believe it or not, but YOU HAVE ENOUGH! YOU ARE ENOUGH! AND GOD DESIRES TO USE, EVEN YOU!
“I used to think you had to be special for God to use you, but now I know you simply need to say ‘Yes.’” (Bob Goff)
“There are times when God wants to use you in someone else’s life; it may not be pretty or comfortable, but they need to see Jesus.”
“The more you’re willing to risk, the more God can use you. And if you’re willing to risk everything, then there is nothing God can’t do in you and through you.” (Mark Batterson)
“God Is Not Looking For Gold Vessels Or Silver Vessels. He Is Looking For Willing Vessels.” (Kathryn Kulman)