God of the Ordinary
"Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him."1
"Down the streets of Portsmouth [more than two] hundred years ago," said Lt. General Ira C. Eaker in a speech he was making, "walked a sailor with one arm, one eye, a persistent state of nerves, and unable to tread a ship's deck without being seasick. Indeed he would probably have been in a home for the incurable were not his name Admiral Lord Nelson. The man's spirit drove the flesh. The point is, when weighing the characteristics of a leader, remember a stout spirit can drive a weak body a long way."
I believe this same principle applies to all who seek to live in harmony with God's will and serve him; that is to people with the right attitude and a determined spirit.
When God says that not many of those he uses to do his work are wise or influential by the world's standard, I don't believe he is saying that we shouldn't be prepared or well qualified. What he is saying is that he uses ordinary people who are available, who use the gifts they have and have stick-ability, a stout spirit, and hang in and hang on when the going gets tough, but don't hang up! These are those who trust in God, who believe in a noble cause—God's cause—and dedicate their lives to help fulfill it; and who know at the end they will be welcomed into Heaven by Jesus himself with his words, "Well done good and faithful servant . . . enter into the joy of your Lord!"2
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you choose and use ordinary people to do extra-ordinary as well as ordinary tasks for your Kingdom. I am available and pray that you will use me to be a part of what you are doing in the world today. No matter how small or large my calling may be, help me to be faithful, and give me a stout, determined spirit so that I will never give up. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name. Amen."
1. 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 (NIV).
2. Matthew 25:23.