Call to Obedience
CALL TO OBEDIENCE is a monthly letter to challenge you to live a godly life. Subscribe today to receive your free monthly copy, and don't forget to click to our archives to read past issues of the Call to Obedience. Below is our current issue for this month.CALL TO OBEDIENCE #405
"On Being Used of God"
By Pastor Reimar A. C. Schultze
The desire to be used of God is innate in every individual born of God, for at the moment of rebirth, that which is of God will get into His offspring in good measure.
When the new convert begins at once, at the moment of conversion, to deny himself and to follow Jesus, he will immediately be used of God in such a powerful way that he will seldom experience again for the rest of his life. That is so because the new convert, having changed overnight from death to life, from darkness to light, from self-centeredness to Christ-centeredness, will make a great soul-searching impression upon the lives of his friends and associates.
It is this powerful witness of a life transformed by the Holy Spirit’s work that caused the disciples on the day of Pentecost to become spectacles, attracting multitudes who concluded that they had been with Jesus.
Following conversion, for the rest of the new convert’s life, the changes will be more gradual and less noticeable to his fellow men, even though he will continue to change ...from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor. 3:18). However, if the new convert does not continue to follow Jesus after the foundation of his salvation has been laid, he will become a mockery to all. In that case, the new convert will blend in with the multitude of other gray souls. Although he may acquire some religious manners, he will never get into the battle of the kingdom, never experience the triumph of victory, and never sow in tears to reap in joy. He will go to the grave not worthy of having lived.
But when the believer remains healthy, he will continue to be used of God. Yet, he will not seek to be used of God in any other way than by the way of God’s choosing. For example, he who has a good singing voice will not demand that God use him as a singer; he who has the gift of speaking will not demand to find his place in the pulpit; he who has a gift of leadership will not demand that this is where God wants him to be. God does not look for natural talents to glorify His kingdom. Man glories in that which is of the earth; God glories in what is of heaven. The psalmist said, He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man (Ps. 147:10). And the Apostle Paul said, But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord (2 Cor. 10:17).
Men will train a man, but God will slay a man. Men will build up a man; God will break him down. Men look for a great man, God looks for a little man, little enough that people will see Jesus in him. God will remake a man, transform him and fill him with Himself. God did not choose Moses to deliver Israel when he was a confident orator, but after he lost his confidence in himself and because he had learned to trust. He did not choose him because of his intellect, but because he had become the meekest man on earth and the fire of the burning bush had gotten into him. When God looked for a man to be His first apostle to the gentiles, He chose a man whose speech was contemptible. When He chose that man to become the standard theologian of the church, He did not choose him for his earthly credentials, but as one who considered all those credentials as nothing but dung. He chose him for his passion to pray day and night. Paul’s theology did not come through Gamaliel the scholar, but through him having been taught of God in the Arabian desert.
If you want to be used of God, do not parade what you have from the earth, but parade Him whom you have and what He can do through a nobody. People run from church to church in order to be discovered. My friend, stop seeking to be discovered. The moment you are usable to God, you need not run anywhere to be discoveredGod will find you. He found such a person in a sycamore tree, another under a fig tree, another at a tax collection stand and another at Jacob’s well. This was also true of a young man attending a large Bible college. The school president felt that this youth had the least potential in the whole school for the kingdom of God. However, after graduation this “nobody” went to South America and wherever he went, God used him to bring revival. When you come to nothingness, God will do something with you that will last for eternity. Do not try to sell yourself, let God sell you. Do not try to promote yourself. Take the lowest place at the table and God will seat you next to Him and He will tell you what to do. In most cases, it will be a hidden ministry, little noticed by your fellow men, but receiving the smile of your Heavenly Father.
Be sure of this, God reveals His secrets and treasures to babes, the lowly, the ignorant and not to the somebodies, such as the scholars or the famous of this world. At the feet of Jesus, we learn what trust is and that God’s ways are higher than our ways. So, God may call an orator to a life of intercession: one, two or three hours a day. (One time, God called me to pray five hours a day, five days a week for two years. It was wonderful). He may call someone with leadership abilities to serve widows and orphans. Some of you are called to serve your pastor so that he can give himself ...continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4). In whatever God calls you to do, there you will find your anointing and not anywhere else. Many who think they are called to a public ministry are called to a life of intercession and the “washing of others’ feet.”
God will never waste a man whom He can use, not even for one second, because ...The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few (Matt. 9:37). If you are usable, you will be like a bright beacon shining into heaven; you cannot be hid from the throne of God. God will put you to work and most probably in something that will put you on a cross.
My next point is: Every man usable by God will be used in the soul-saving process. God’s grand design for the world is the salvation of the lost. You cannot be a Christian without being involved in this work. Now, immediately some of you faithful ones will get under a spirit of condemnation because you have never prayed with anyone to receive the Lord Jesus Christ. But notice, when Jesus said that he that abides in Him brings forth much fruit, He referred to the fruits of the Spirit. It may or may not include leading someone to Christ. Remember, Noah could never convince anybody. Most people Paul preached to rejected the gospel. When it comes to soul-winning, it is paramount that we realize that there are three essentials to lead a soul to Christ and to prepare him for heaven. They are: the ministry of the word, the ministry of prayer and the work of God. If you are engaged in any of these three, you are contributing to the soul-winning business.
1. The ministry of the word is planting through witnessing: sowing seeds in people’s hearts, even on hard, stony or thorny ground. But some will fall on good ground and bring forth fruit, some 30, some 60 and some 100-fold. No one gets saved without a sower. You may not have led a person to Christ directly. But if you have sown seeds of the gospel, you are as much involved in soul-winning as the one who brings them in with the sickle.
2. Regarding the ministry of prayer, it says in the Psalms, Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance... (Ps. 2:8). As no one has ever been saved without the sowing, no one has ever been saved without having been prayed for. If you pray for the lost, you are in the soul-winning business. And, praying for the lost is the hardest work when it comes to soul winning. The devil fights it fiercely. In prayer, you engage the powers of darkness and wickedness in high places. It takes much prayer to snatch a soul from Satan’s grip. You may pray for people to be saved whose names you know and you may also pray for people to be saved in other nations whose names you do not know. God will hear your prayers and people will be saved.
3. Relative to the work of God, the Apostle Paul said that God gives the increase (1 Cor. 3:7). Harvesting a soul is the easiest work. It is a gathering in of what others have labored for in sowing and praying. Remember, it is God, not the harvester, who turns a sinner into a saint. Yet, it is the harvester who needs the greatest amount of wisdom for ...he that winneth souls is wise (Prov. 11:30). Yet, there may be times here and there when God will give you discernment to bring in a soul. Sowing and praying are the works of man. The ingathering is the work of God.
So in summary: God wants to use His people. If He is not using you, there is something within you that needs to be to dealt with. God wants to save sinners and prepare them for the marriage feast of the Lamb. He will strategically place you in His great plan where you are the most useful to Him. Wherever He puts you, stay there. Stick with it even when the winds become contrary. The work of God is not a game, it is a fight.