Can I ask a question to begin? I guess I already did! What is your testimony? How is God using you? Let me let you in on a BIG secret: You have a testimony and that can be a fantastic thing or an awful thing. Does your testimony magnify your name or does it magnify the name of Jesus? In John 3:30 we are commanded that “He must increase, but I must decrease.” That is so much easier said than done. Here is another great question, "How do we learn to get out of our own way?"
I think it is important to examine the very ingredient in the nature of this verse and discussion; humility. What is biblical humility? It is not bashing ourselves. It is not speaking negatively or meanly of ourselves. It is simply understanding who we are in light of who God is. The word picture is that of a bended knee. It is simply me acknowledging that God is God and I am not. It is affirming what Isaiah 55:9 states:
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Humility is simply understanding that on our best days, we will never have all the info and that we are not in control. It is understanding that we are finite and He is infinite. This world and everything in it will come to an end, but God will reign on His throne forever. Once we understand this reality and truth, John 3:30 does not become such a difficult idea. The fantastic news is that this verse is not telling us that we are somehow being placed to the side like an old bag of used clothes, but rather that God has chosen to use us. To give us a hope, a future and a purpose. He wants to carry out His glorious plans in us and through us. That may seem TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.
The real kicker is who God chooses to use? It is always the most unlikely people. Paul tells us in his letter to the Corinthians that:
"For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards,[a] not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
That is the stuff that great movies are made of. The goofy, uncoordinated guy who is picked on becomes the hero. The overlooked girl becomes the beauty queen. The crippled kid climbs the mountain. The catch is these kind of story lines always seem to good to be true. We never see this at work in our daily lives. I don’t know many underdogs who rise to victory or the overlooked who suddenly find themselves in the spotlight. We know that when it comes to following God, we hear about people who are used by God and how He worked though their lives in powerful ways and WE WANT IT TOO! is anyone here experiencing that? Can it happen?
The answer is an overwhelming YES! What an awesome thought! The creator of the universe wants to include you in His work, plan and purpose.
Usually people hear this and respond in two different ways. They either think, “blah, blah, blah…I don’t buy it” or “I hear you, but surely God can’t use me.” They think that there are others that are more talented, gifted, knowledgeable, better looking, wealthy or more qualified. Well, I have some bad news and some good news for you. What do you want first?
BAD NEWS: Even with enough praying, begging, scripture memorization, bible reading, chances are that you won’t become the president of your company, super wealthy, an expert, starter on the team, Mr. popularity, mistake free, etc… God does not fit us in to the mold of who we think is influential.
GOOD NEWS: He doesn’t have to fit you into that mold in order to make you influential. God doesn’t work that way. God isn’t like us. We don’t have to audition for Him. He can do whatever he wants.
We know that this is true. Look at how he used those in the bible before us. God used average, shameful, sin ridden, unlikely people in some mighty ways. David was a murderer and adulterer, Noah was a drunkard, Moses was a murderer, Rahab a prostitute (she came from Jesus's lineage too), and Gideon was just a forgotten about old man when an angel of the Lord came to him and said “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” Jesus's very own disciples were a rag tag group of tax collectors, fisherman, and zealots. GOD IS NOT ATTRACTED TO ABILITIES AND HE IS NOT DISTRACTED BY YOUR INABILITIES. God is not limited by our fears.
God tells us who we are:
"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." – Ephesians 2:10
That word “workmanship” in the Greek is poiēma. This is where we draw our English word poem from. Paul was telling his reader that we are God’s poetry. We are his masterpiece. we are in the process of being made into His image and into the form He desires. We are the clay and He is the sculptor. What an awesome privilege.