I heard a man’s story today at church that truly moved me. But let me back up for a second and tell you about my church. It’s probably one of the biggest churches in Loja… has a ton of teenage and college student, big building, really awesome band, lively worship music, and a good number of “programs” and meetings during the week. Here is the one thing about my church that breaks my heart, they rarely talk about Jesus. Last week, for example, the only time they said the name of Jesus was in worship songs or at the end of a prayer. This is something that continues to perplex me… what is a church without Jesus?
So on to today’s story… a man stood up and gave testimony of how the Lord had rearranged his life. It was the kind that people love to hear… “I was drinking, smoking, doing drugs, being sexually promiscuous, and the like and then I found Jesus.” I really was expecting him to say, ‘I found Jesus and I never wanted to do any of that stuff EVER again.’ But he didn’t… instead he said, “I was sitting outside on a Saturday night smoking a joint and wondering to myself if I would go to church the next day.” Isn’t that real life? And then he said, “And the Lord spoke to me and said, you can’t live like this anymore.”
I was listening to an English sermon on line on the way to church and the guy said that we were all in different places in our spiritual life… all had struggles, and if we SAID we didn’t we were liars. And then he said, “You’re messed up and that’s ok… BUT its not ok to stay that way.” How profound is that… people fall on both sides of the fense here… you’re a Christian now, so you shouldn’t struggle with sin (which is a load of crap) OR it’s ok for me to stay in my sin and not grow and because Jesus saved me (which is also a load of crap). We are all in progress, but the point is that we are GROWING to know Jesus more every day.
At the end of this man’s testimony he did something that I’ve been waiting to hear at my church for a long time. He spoke the name of Jesus. He spoke his name in relation to Jesus’s death and resurrection being our salvation… he preached the gospel. I almost jumped out of my skin I was so excited. YES! That’s where you find true freedom and purpose!
But he didn’t stop there, he went on to say that God has called us to be used by him… and talked about all the things that God has used of the decades for his glory. Five rocks, a staff, the sea, frogs, jars of water… the list goes on. But my favorite was this example: “If God used a donkey to speak to a prophet, he can use me to speak to the nations.”
I was brought to tears because I realize that I really don’t think God can use my “junk,” he can only use what I would consider strengths. So in that moment I confessed that I’ve been too cocky about my strengths and too timid about my weaknesses. If God needs me to be a donkey, then a donkey I will be.