God Uses Ordinary People John 1:35 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
When I entered high school, I attended St. Anthony Seminary in San Antonio, Texas, with the intention of becoming a priest. However, by the spring of my freshman year I knew that I didn’t want to return to St. Anthony for my Sophomore year. So, I sent my transcript to a company that would forward it to prep schools in the southeast United States. I was notified by some of my acceptance for my junior year, but I wanted to enroll as a sophomore. In July, I was accepted by McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Thus, I began my Sophomore year at McCallie.
While at McCallie, I was invited to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting where I heard a testimony from another high school athlete about his relationship with Jesus Christ. I told the chaplain, Rocky Young, following the meeting that the student who gave that testimony had a relationship with Jesus Christ that I wanted. So, on the way back to the campus, Rocky preached the gospel to me and I received Jesus Christ that night. Who in the world could have arranged all of the circumstances necessary to get me to that meeting on that night to hear that testimony and be saved? I believe it was God and he simply used ordinary people in ordinary circumstances to accomplish something very extraordinary in my life.
God uses ordinary people in ordinary circumstances to accomplish extraordinary things. Look at these examples from the Bible.
Andrew – Jn 1:40-41 – Andrew was used by God to tell his brother, Peter, about Jesus Christ. It is very natural for a fellow to be concerned about his brother’s soul [Lk 16:27-28].
Philip – Jn 1:43-51 – Philip was used by God to bring Nathaniel to Jesus. It is very natural for a fellow to be concerned about hid friend’s soul.
Cornelius – Acts 10:23-24 – The circumstances of God getting Peter to Cornelius’ house are unusual, for sure. However, when Peter arrived, he found Cornelius with his kinsmen and near friends. It is certainly not unusual for a man to be concerned about the souls of his kinsmen and near friends. Yet, Cornelius was just an ordinary man, a soldier.
God sends us, ordinary people, to preach to people in ordinary circumstances so that he can accomplish extraordinary things [Rom 10:14-15]. Look how he sent Philip to the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:21-27. Is it not remarkable that Philip got there right at the moment that the eunuch was reading Is 53? Only God could arrange the timing of the meeting like that. There’s no soul winning method or program that can accomplish something like this.
We make a mistake thinking that there is some right method or right program to follow to make us soul winners. Paul’s custom was to go to synagogues and preach [Acts 13:5]. He also preached publicly and in peoples houses [Acts 20:20]. He was a pioneer to get the gospel into regions where it had not been preached. He preached where he found the people. Apollos was mighty in the scriptures and when he preached, he was persuasive [Acts 18:28]. Peter went to Jews, primarily. They were all very different and none of them had the ideal soul winning program for others to follow. As a matter of fact, Paul had to reprove the Corinthians for aligning themselves with the men God was using [1 Cor 1:12; 1 Cor 3:3-6]. This is God’s business and he uses whom he wants to use the way he wants to use him. There’s no pattern.
You ask, what can I do, as an ordinary person, to be used by the Lord in the ordinary circumstances of my life?
Present yourself to the Lord – Rom 12:1 – make yourself available so that God can use you.
Intercede for others – 1 Tim 2:1, Heb 7:25 – pray for your loved ones, your neighbors, your near friends, and so forth. Prayer, like the priests in the Old Testament, keeps the names of these folks on your heart [breastplate]. You stay burdened for their souls [onyx stones on shoulders]. God works in their lives and in yours in preparation for a time to preach to them.
Read the Bible – 1 Pet 4:11 – the Bible cleanses you [Jn 15:3] and loads you up with scripture that the Holy Spirit will bring back to your memory [Jn 14:26] so that you can speak as the oracles of God. This is what they need to hear.
Ask the Lord to send you – Is 6:8 – when the Lord is ready to send someone to the folks, for whom you have been praying, be willing to go. Let him send you.
Follow the lead of the Holy Spirit – Rom 8:14 – so that it is not you or others putting pressure on you to go, but the Holy Spirit leading you to go.
Preach Jesus – Acts 8:35 – when the Lord opens the opportunity, get down to the business at hand. Tell them about the Lord Jesus Christ. Open the Bible and let them see how to be saved.
Conclusion: God uses ordinary people in ordinary circumstances to do extraordinary things. He will use you.