By Brian Jakowski
I was sixteen and tweaking my Pontiac GTO for street racing. While swapping out the stock exhaust for racing headers, my dad said I needed a different wrench. I didn’t listen. Two hours later an exhaust manifold was cracked and half the bolts were stripped.
The car had to be towed to a shop that could fix the damage I’d caused doing it my way.
I wouldn’t have walked to work for two weeks or spent all those extra hours washing dishes to earn the money for fixing my car, had I just listened to my father.
Our faith and our spiritual lives are much the same. If we listen to our heavenly Father, no matter what state we’re in, we can become the perfect tool to be used by Him.
Being Broken and Defective Makes You Available!
In a world that idolizes celebrities of all sorts ranging from sports, entertainment, business, fashion, and more, it’s easy to feel you don’t have what it takes to be useful in any venue.
If you struggle with this, relax, you’re in good company. The apostle Paul talks about this in 2 Corinthians 12:7–10,
7–10 Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first, I didn’t think of it as a gift and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations cut me down to size — abuse, accidents, opposition, and bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. (From the Message Translation)
Paul was the guy to watch, a rising star among the Pharisees, a Roman citizen who spoke Aramaic, Greek, and Hebrew. All this meant he was fabulously equipped to move across the known world.
Nonetheless, Paul let what he perceived as brokenness cause him to take his eyes off God and focus on what he couldn’t do. His struggle was so great that he begged God not once but three times, to take it away.
Finally, Paul listened to the Father and realized his defect, the thorn in his side, was a gift that kept him humble and available for God’s work. Stop and listen for the Father’s voice and this will be true in your life as well.
How Brokenness Makes Us Usable?
A broken vase or chair isn’t good for much in your own hands; however, in the Father’s hands, your brokenness transforms you into the perfect tool for the task he’s set before you.
What you see as brokenness, defects, and limitations bring you to the end of your own strength and places you where the Father wants you at precisely the right time.
When you recognize your limitations and depend on the Father’s strength, He goes to work, and His plans and will are accomplished.
Look at 1 Corinthians 1:27,
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. NIV
As a follower of Jesus, you have the mandate to know God and make Him known. When the Father uses you in spite of your brokenness or defects you are an integral part of bringing Glory to the Father, fulfilling that call.
Don’t Trust In Your Own Abilities
In Philippians 3:8 Paul talks about not having confidence in our own abilities,
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ. NIV
Paul thinks of all his education, experience, personal gifts, and skills as trash in comparison to knowing, depending on, and serving Jesus.
After wrestling with a thorn in his side, Paul heard the Father’s voice. He accepted the Father’s lesson of humble submission and went on to rock the known world in the Father’s strength.
Are you Hearing The Father’s Voice?
All those years ago instead of listening to my earthly father, I listened to Sinatra and “Did it my way” only to damage my prized Pontiac GTO. The same is true in our walks with Jesus; whose voice do you hear most clearly, the Father’s or everyone else’s?
Hearing and heading God the Father’s voice will make you a valuable tool in His hands. What is the Father trying to tell you today?
What is the Father trying to tell you today?