So I'm getting back on my normal blogging schedule, and I'm really excited about it, even if today's is a day late. But I'm just really excited to be doing normal posts now, because God has been showing me a lot this summer. I had been praying hard that God would help me grow this summer, as opposed to the last times at home like Christmas and Spring break where I fell kind of stagnant, and God has answered my prayers so much more than I could have hoped for. God is just so good!
But now for today, I just want to talk about someone God was showing me last night. I am going through the Old Testament now, and I just started the book of Exodus. Now I have never read the Bible up until the beginning of my freshmen year, less than a year ago, so the only "Bible stories" I knew, I knew from Veggietales. So I was really humbled to read the story of Moses and his life up until the burning bush, and what he did when God called on him. For one, he killed a man in cold blood ("looking this way and that and seeing no one..." Exodus 2:12), and then when he was caught he just ran from his problems to Midian. He didn't face his accuser, he didn't seek forgiveness, he didn't own up to the consequences; he just ran.
And after that was the burning bush. Now the story of the burning bush I remember wasn't anything like what it actually is. When God calls on Moses that night, he is terrified of the task God is calling him to, and so he starts to make excuses, trying to find a way to avoid doing this task. He says that he is not charismatic enough to be God's mouthpiece to all the Hebrew people. But what does God do then? He does not accept no as an answer, and he tells Moses to use his brother Aaron to speak for him. God knows of our weaknesses and he knows of our fears, and he gives us everything we would ever need to overcome those fears and accomplish His plans. Nothing on this earth is too great for God, and if we have God working with us, nothing is too great to us to accomplish.
Just look at other people God used when they, at first glance, seemed totally unfit to be used by God. David, a scrawny little boy, being the only man willing to take on Goliath, and succeeding, because he knew he had God's help. And Joseph, earthly father of Jesus, who nearly left Mary when he learned of her pregnancy, despite the Law forbidding divorce. James, brother of Jesus, who at first did not believe in Jesus as the Messiah, and later goes on to be an influential leader in the church. Simon Peter, who denies Jesus thrice before being redeemed and made another very influential leader in the church. And Saul, the great persecutor of Christians, who goes on to be one the biggest influences on the spread of Christianity across all of Asia minor and Europe. In fact, there are many more instances of people who seem totally unfit to work for the King who are called on regardless. God is a redeemer of men, taking us from our sinful place and bringing us into his perfect, redeeming peace through the blood of Jesus Christ. Luke 15:7 tells us, "there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent." God would much rather see a man taken from a place of pain and struggle to be used for His purposes. I can't think of a single story in the Bible of a man used by God who has not come from a very dark past.
But what's incredible is how God uses our brokenness to first draw us closer to him, and then to bring us to our knees and want to do everything we can to glorify Him. God has already forgiven us of our past, so why do we hold onto the sins of our past like they are still a part of us? To quote a lyric from one of my favorite bands, Demon Hunter:
I wont conform to what I see in you
I wont surrender what I am
And even if it was a part of me
I’ll never be that way again
~ Not I, by Demon Hunter
There are certainly things from our past that we can learn from, but that should be the extent to which they affect us. Don't ever say that you are unfit for God's service because of what you have done. God has forgiven you already, and even if it was a part of you, if you know that God is for us, then nothing can stand against us, and you will know that the old, sinful part of you is dead. You have died and risen again with Jesus, and you are made completely new. Rejoice, and look for God can use you in this world.