The People God Uses – Bill Muehlenberg

Friday, April 13th, 2018

‘What sort of people does God use to fulfil His purposes?’

“If you feel unqualified, you’re not very strong and you don’t have the natural talents and gifts that you think you should have to be used, well, you may in fact be the most qualified.”

He was a bit afraid and a bit hesitant and yet God said to him in these words that Gideon was somebody that He could actually use.

It’s the perennial question is it not? Could God do anything significant through me?

Bill Muehlenberg from Culture Watch who’s written an article on this very topic said it’s no secret.

A teachable spirit

“We find it clearly laid out in the prose and the lives of great saints when looking at things like humility,” said Bill.

Having a teachable spirit and being willing to be held to account, traits of godliness, meaning somebody whom God can use.

Bill spoke about Scriptures and certain passages that mention how God favours those who are humble or tremble at God’s Word.

“It’s not too secret, it’s there. It’s just that it goes against the grain,” said Bill, saying the world takes a different view of leadership.

“Strong, macho men who boss people around but of course the Biblical picture of a leader God uses is really a servant….”

“…somebody who looks to love others and serve them. Jesus was the perfect example of the servant leader.”

Godly biographies

“So in a sense there’s encouragement in the Bible and we all can be used if we’re willing to stay humble, to stay on our knees and just say Lord ‘I’m available and take it from there.’”

Bill commented on how we can see these attributes lived out in the lives of various men and women of God today and throughout church history.

One of the great things I always tell God’s people – if you want to get blessed and encouraged and grow and become more Godly, just start reading some of the biographies of the great men and women of God.

“You’ll see it time and time again,” Bill observed before turning to the Old Testament book of Judges and the story of Gideon.

“I always get a bit of a chuckle about what it says when the angel of the Lord first appears to Gideon.”

Gideon – ‘He was afraid’

“He says, ‘The Lord is with you mighty man of valour or warrior of God.’”

“And yet what was Gideon doing when the angel came? He was actually hiding from the Midianites. So he doesn’t look like this mighty man of God, this great warrior.”

He was afraid and a bit hesitant and yet God said to him in these words that Gideon was somebody that He could actually use.

“I think that’s an encouragement to all of us.”

“If you feel unqualified, you’re not very strong and you don’t have the natural talents and gifts that you think you should have to be used, well, you may in fact be the most qualified.”

God does not call the qualified

“There’s that famous saying, ‘God does not call the qualified but He does qualify the called’, so if He calls you to do something He can equip you, He can qualify you.”

“He can give you the abilities and the gifts but again these basic traits are humility, obedience, being to do whatever He asks – that’s the kind of stuff God’s looking for,” Bill outlined.

You can find the big strong men and women who look to the world like they’re great leaders, but it’s harder to find people who are on their faces before God.

“The humble contrite heart is essential,” Bill stressed, “because it’s God who gets the glory ultimately. It’s not humanity and our own strength that gets us through.”

Paul talks about that in Corinthians.

God gets the glory

“He says, ‘Not many who are strong and powerful and mighty but God chooses the weak and the despised and the rejected people of the world.”

“If somebody’s going to get the glory then it’s not going to be these people, who in themselves are no hopers, they’re nobodies, the world would never think of them as anybody to applaud and congratulate.”

So when God gets the job done through these various nobodies He gets the glory, He gets the credit, and then we can say, Wow! God can use even somebody like me!

Bill said it’s encouraging for all of us and that we all have something we can give.

“Even if we just give God our open hands and say, ‘Fill them with whatever you want,’ God can use us so that’s the good news,” Bill shared.

Back in my hippy days

And there are no little people. As Bill pointed out everybody in God’s kingdom is big because they serve a big God.

Then again God can take some of our natural abilities. Bill said he had these natural abilities before he became a Christian because God put them there.

I was a writer as a non-Christian. I used to edit an underground newspaper back in my hippy days.

“So there I had a natural gifting or a God-given gifting but of course using it for all the wrong reasons.”

“When I got saved God could take what was already in me, probably given to me by Him in the first place and then use it for the kingdom.”

But then it can all go the other way – a natural gifting that God doesn’t need from them post conversion.

It can work both ways

“You read some of these biographies, it might be someone very gifted, a musician, an athlete and God tells them to give it all up.”

“They then go off to Africa or China as a missionary and you never hear from them again.”

So it can work both ways. God will give us those gifts and abilities and we’ll use them for the kingdom, or He’ll say no, ‘I’ve got something else in mind.

“The key here is to be open to God and say, Lord, whatever.”

Bill said it’s about having an attitude of humility and to be willing to do whatever God calls us to do.

“That really is the key to be used by God,” Bill concluded.

To listen to the full audio interview click play below

(To read Bill’s article on this story go to Bill’s website – https://billmuehlenberg.com/2018/03/30/the-people-god-uses/

Footnote:

‘We live in an age where we see evidence of cultural decline, the erosion of values, the decline of civility, the denial of truth and the elevation of unreason. Many people are asking, “Where is our culture heading?” This website is devoted to exploring the major cultural, social and political issues of the day. It offers reflection and commentary drawing upon the wealth of wisdom found in the Judeo-Christian tradition. It offers reflective and incisive commentary on a wide range of issues, helping to sort through the maze of competing opinions, worldviews, ideologies and value systems. It will discuss critically and soberly where our culture is heading. Happy reading!’

https://billmuehlenberg.com/

Bill Muehlenberg

Bill Muehlenberg is an American-born apologist and ethicist in Melbourne, Australia. He has a BA with honours in philosophy (Wheaton College, Chicago), an MA with highest honours in theology (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Boston). He has his own ministry called CultureWatch, which features Christian commentary on the issues of the day:billmuehlenberg.com. He is a prolific author, and a much sought after media commentator, and has been featured on most television and radio current affairs programs. Bill teaches ethics, apologetics and theology at several Melbourne Bible Colleges. He is the author of Strained Relations: The Challenge of Homosexuality, Dangerous Relations: The Threat of Homosexuality,and The Challenge of Abortion. ( go to: http://store.vision.org.au/) Bill is married, with three sons.

CultureWatch – Bill Muehlenberg’s commentary on issues of the day

 

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