Does it line up with God’s will?
Joel Osteen recently posted the following on Twitter:
You’re not average. You’re not mediocre. You are God’s biggest deal.
— Joel Osteen (@JoelOsteen) 27 October 2016
Soon afterwards, I read an article that questioned what Joel was saying. It said that many Christians are just average, that they are just mediocre. The claim was that most people in the world do not become famous, that we only know the names of a few people in Scripture, and that many of God’s servants are unknown and have remained obscure, or even average and ordinary. This is certainly true, but the question is – does it line up with God’s will? The article pointed out that God uses us even in obscure and average settings, it mentioned the stay-at-home mom (or mum) who quietly works behind the scenes, doing God’s work in her little realm; the blue collar worker lacking college education who can be God’s servant at the factory; the third world Christians who live in rural and humble circumstances, and serve God in the daily grind of life. So are you merely average? Am I merely average? Or are we much more than that in God’s eyes? Surely some people will always be average, won’t they? Let’s turn to the Bible for answers.
Many a Christian has took hold of this verse and laid claim to being just a vessel of wood or clay.
One verse that is often used to back up the assertion that not everyone is destined for greatness is 2 Timothy 2:20, “In a large house there are things made of gold and silver. But there are also things made of wood and clay. Some of these are used for special purposes, others for ordinary jobs” (Easy to Read Version). Many a Christian has took hold of this verse and laid claim to being just a vessel of wood or clay – nothing special – and that is what they have remained, Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he“. The message, “You are not average. You are not mediocre. You are God’s biggest deal“, is designed to change your way of thinking and hence, change you – which is all well and good, but is it Biblical? To find an answer we do not have to look far, because the very next verse in 2 Timothy 2 begins, “The Lord wants to use you for special purposes“. God states quite clearly that He wants to use us for special purposes, that we can be like the things made of gold and silver and not just average, ordinary and mediocre. But how can we become vessels of gold and silver? Keep reading, “So make yourself clean from all evil. Then you will be holy, and the Master can use you. You will be ready for any good work“. So yes, some people will be used for special purposes and some for ordinary jobs and certainly all can be used by God in some way, but the category that you fit into is not determined by God, it is determined by you.
When we disagree with God, we are not being humble.
Claiming to be average is seen as being humble, but it isn’t. If God has designed us for special purposes, to be more than just average; then claiming to be average is disagreeing with God. Let’s be blunt, when we disagree with God, we are not being humble. Disagreeing with God is prideful thinking, disguised as humility. Many Christians, like Moses, have their excuses as to why they are not destined for greatness, “Oh, Adonai, I’m a terrible speaker. I always have been, and I’m no better now, even after you’ve spoken to your servant! My words come slowly, my tongue moves slowly” (Exodus 4:10, Complete Jewish Bible). But God has the same response for everyone, “Get going. I’ll be right there with you—with your mouth! I’ll be right there to teach you what to say” (Exodus 4:12, The Message). In the natural, on your own, you are just average and the chances are you are incapable of doing what God is calling you to do. But who said anything about operating in the natural? Who said anything about having to do things alone? God has promised that whatever He calls us to do, He will be right there with us. God has promised that He will show us what to do, that He will give us the words to speak.
People are going to find it hard to believe that Jesus, the Son of God, can do nothing by Himself.
Everyone who was successfully used by God in the Bible operated in this principle, including Jesus. In John 5:19 from the Disciples’ Literal New Testament, Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you— the Son can do nothing from Himself except something He sees the Father doing“. Why does Jesus say “Truly, truly” at the start of what He says? Because He knows that people are going to find it hard to believe that Jesus, the Son of God, can do nothing by Himself – Jesus is emphasising that He is speaking the truth. Maybe, even after everything you have read, you’re still not convinced that you can rise above your current situation. So let’s look at a couple of specific verses that show us the will of God:
- “All the nations in the world shall see that you belong to the Lord, and they will stand in awe” (Deuteronomy 28:10, The Living Bible). If people are going to be in awe of you, you are going to have to stand out from the crowd, you cannot be just average.
- “The Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above, and you will not be underneath” (Deuteronomy 28:13, New American Standard Bible). Does that sound like average to you? No it doesn’t!
You are not average. You are not mediocre. You are God’s biggest deal.
To be clear, you do not have to be something special for God to use you. If you look at most of the people in the Bible that God used, they were pretty ordinary people – originally. But when they allowed God to use them, they did not remain ordinary; they became vessels of gold and silver. So don’t buy the lie that you are nothing special, that you are one of the people who will always be just average. Rise up and take the place that God has prepared for you. You are not average. You are not mediocre. You are God’s biggest deal.
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
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