God Can Use Everyone!
Could God really use me?
Have you ever felt like you couldn’t be used by God? You needed more training, more apologetics, more time?
In Mark 5 when Jesus healed the demon-possessed man, the man was sent back to make disciples in 10 different cities with only one interaction with Jesus! He had no pedigree, no formal Bible education. He had the testimony of Jesus changing his life.
As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled. Mark 5:18-20
We want to break down these barriers with people who have been following Jesus for years or decades, but still feel so inadequate. To see the look on their faces when they initially are reserved or scared, but later can say, “I can’t believe how simple it is!“
To empower the Body of Christ to live out the passions they say they have, not just talk about it. To model simple, reproducible methods that anyone can do and not feel belittled because they don’t have a seminary degree or enough knowledge of the Bible.
The Average Joe
Recently, I took Joe to meet some of my friends from the Middle East. Joe had no idea what we were going to do, but he was eager to live out a loving obedience to Jesus. I kept telling him, “We are just going to talk to them! There’s no agenda. We just want to connect with them.” No matter how many times I said it, my friend Joe was convinced we were about to go off on some 50 minute theological debate with people he’d never met from another religion.
As Joe and I started talking with these guys, the local religious leader showed up and started talking with us too! This leader has become a friend, but has always been somewhat reserved to have in-depth discussions. However, with Joe, something resonated in a deep, spiritual place. He asked Joe thoughtful question after thoughtful question. I had been spending time in this community for years building friendships and rapport with him, but never had a conversation this good.
God used Joe, this humble, meek guy using authentic, simple words to have a profound impact on this religious leader. Joe didn’t say anything more than how God had worked in his life.
At the end of their conversation, the leader said, “There is just something about you . . .” which he then followed with giving Joe a HUGE BEAR HUG.
Sure seems like God can use anybody that is willing.
Discipleship in Action
I invited Alex to a meal with some guys from the Middle East. We were able to hear their stories navigating their lives amidst fear, bombings, dangerous travels, denied visas, and more. After hearing about some of their holiday traditions, we talked about the beauty that God provides the substitute for our sin and the hope that it brings relating it to Abraham’s sacrifice of his son.
After the lunch, Alex said, “I’ve never done anything like that before. I didn’t realize how easy discipleship could actually be. I want to do that again.”
This meeting later led to an invitation to gather regularly to see what God has to say about life, and we are continuing to discover God together with these guys in Scripture to this day!
In Mark 5:1-20, the former demon-possessed man begged to join Jesus on His journey. Jesus told him, “No! Go back to your friends and family and tell them what I have done for you.”
This man had little knowledge, training, or experience following Jesus.
What did he have? The work Jesus had done in his life.
Later Jesus came back to those towns and found many who believed in Him – which we can assume came from the testimony of the demon-possessed man.
I pray that you see God has equipped you with the work He has done in your life, the Word of God, and the Spirit of God. You are equipped. You can make disciples. You can love your enemy. You can be used by God to change the world. You have far more knowledge than the demon-possessed man. The experience of that man is no different than yours can be. Jesus has people in your life, even today, that He has sent you out to love.
Please join us in saying, “I can!”