For some reason, God likes choosing ordinary people to do His work. Remember Gideon? He was a farmer threshing wheat in a winepress to hide from the Midianites – but God choose him to deliver Israel. How about David – a smelly old shepherd? God choose him to be King. Or Ruth – an unknown widow from Moab. God choose her to be the great great great grandmother of Jesus. Or what about Jesus’ very own disciples like Peter, James, John, Andrew? They were plain old fishermen – but God choose them to lay the foundation for His church.
What do you remember about what God did through Elisha?
- He raises the widow’s son back to life.
- He made an iron axehead float.
- He healed Naaman of Leprosy
- He made the widow’s oil keep flowing.
1 Kings 19:19-21
Elijah calls Elisha to follow him – to one day be his successor. Elisha was an ordinary person. The Bible give no qualifications why God should choose him. It doesn’t say he was talented speaker. It doesn’t say he was scholar. It doesn’t say he was a man of great influence. It doesn’t say he was any kind of a great leader.
In fact, he was on the end of the line – plowing with the twelfth team of oxen, eating the dust of the other eleven plowmen in front of him. Elisha was just an ordinary guy, but God choose Him to be the man who would do extraordinary things for God.
God likes to choose ordinary people to do His work – people like you and me. He wants to use them in His church, in His ministries, in your home, at your work place – everywhere.
Think of an expensive painting: What makes it so expensive? Is it a special type of canvas that the artist paints on? Perhaps special paint? A unique type of brush? No. It’s the talents and the skills of the artist that give the painting it’s value.
Just as the artist uses ordinary paints, ordinary brushes, and ordinary canvases, so God uses ordinary people like you and like me to accomplish extraordinary things for Him.
Think of the 12 disciples. They were just ordinary, run-of-the-mill fishermen – but look what God has done through them! Think of Billy Graham – he’s just another ordinary guy. God has used him in an extraordinary way – reaching thousands, even millions of people with the Gospel.
So is it possible that ordinary people like you and me can do extraordinary things for God? Can you and I live lives like Billy Graham, Daniel, Joseph, Moses, Abraham, or Elisha? And if we can, how do we do it?
#1. We need to know God.
I don’t mean we need to know about God – I mean we need to KNOW God. Knowing all the typical Sunday School Bible stories does not constitute knowing God.
If I were to go to the library or on the internet, I could learn a lot of things about Abraham Lincoln. I could learn his birthday, what his pet dog’s name was, what he liked to eat, what he liked to do for fun. I could learn all that stuff about Him, but I still wouldn’t be able to tell you that I know Abraham Lincoln. Why? Because I’ve never met him. I’ve never talked to him. I have never had any kind of personal interaction with him at all.
Sadly, that describes many Christians’ relationship with God. Sure, they know the stories about God. They know that He is powerful and loving and all that stuff. But they’ve never met Him. They’ve never had a personal meeting with the Living God.
Do you know God? Have you met Him? Do you meet Him every day in your Bible, in your prayer time, in your fellowship with others? Do you know God?
There’s a test you can do to find out if you really do know Him. You can find it in 1 John 2:3-4. You can tell that you really know God if you obey Him.
#2. We need to be willing to obey.
God asks people to do some pretty strange things.
- He asks Joshua to march around Jericho.
- He asks Abraham to kill his own son Issac.
- He asks Ezekiel to lay on his side for 390 days straight as a sermon illustration.
But everyone of those people were willing to obey God.
What is God asking you to do – and are you willing to obey?
- Maybe He’s asking you to change your priorities.
- Maybe He’s asking you to talk to your co-worker about a personal relationship with Christ
- Maybe He’s asking you to take on a greater role in the church
- Maybe He’s asking you to lay on your side for 390 days!
I don’t know what God’s asking you to do – and really, it doesn’t matter. What matters is – are you willing to obey Him? Are you willing to make that hard decision and do what you know God wants you to do?
In order for us to do anything for God, we need to be willing to obey.
3. You have to be alive.
To explain what that means requires a science test. Which of the following things are alive?
- A rock
- A fish
- A popcan
- A tree
- A telephone
- A key
- A spider
We can tell what things are alive and what things are not alive by three things. Living things grow, change, and reproduce themselves.
We are made alive. That means we need to grow, change, and reproduce ourselves.
At the Bible camp I work at, we give the kids a list of four things they can do to grow as Christians.
- Read the Bible
- Tell Others
How have you been doing with that list of four? Have you been growing? Because as you grow – you’ll change. That’s the tell-tale sign of a growing Christian; they change. If you’re exactly like you were two years ago, maybe you need to review that list of four. If you haven’t been changing, then you haven’t been growing either.
But as you grow, and as you change, there’s something that will naturally follow that. You will begin to reproduce yourself.
Matthew 28:19 – “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations”
In other words – reproduce yourselves – reproduce disciples of the Lord Jesus
How well have you been reproducing yourself? What have you been doing to make disciples? Are you alive – growing, changing, and reproducing yourself?
Because those are the keys:
- If we know God
- If we are willing to obey
- If we are alive
That’s how you and I (ordinary people) can do extraordinary things for God.