Hero or a broken vessel?

God always uses broken, foolish and weak instruments.
History is crafted by the inspirational tales of men and women who have done and archived extraordinary things during their lifetime. There are heroes and heroines in almost all vocations of life, men and women who defied all odds against them, these people became number one and claimed superior quality over their inferior peers.
In philosophy we read about men like Aristotle, Plato and Socrates. Coming to science we meet men like Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. Touching sports we are told about men like Edson Arantes do Nascimento, also known as Pele, the great Brazilian soccer player. In boxing, history echoes names like Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. a.k.a. Muhammad Ali. Political history upholds in high and deep reverence men like Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther king, Jr., Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi a.k.a. Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. From the entertainment industry we see history presents us with musicians like Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Diana Ross and Aretha franklin, to name just a few of these heroes and heroines of history.
All of the above mentioned people are thought to have had the X-factor. It is believed these people are in the history records precisely because they possessed something (s) not inherent in other people. No one seems to know exactly what this X-factor is, because everyone has their own idea what this extra ordinary something is. We are told that we don’t know what it is but when we meet or see it we will know it. It is that undefined something special.
The world is at pains to constantly discover people with this extraordinary quality, that is why we have on our television sets, programs such as the X-factor, Pop Idols, Master Chef, The Apprentice, S.A. Got Talent, etc.  People are persistently seeking to discover the next Michael Jackson or the next Usain Bolt.
Almost every parent fancies their child or children to belong in this group of people mentioned above. From the time we are born, we are subjected to immense pressure to prove ourselves and carve our names in history books.
The truth is, like the ancient Greek nation we live in times of the cult of hero worship. The naive admiration of these idolised philosophers, politicians, athletes and musicians has elevated them to the status of being super human. These men and woman are deified by ordinary people, they are believed to be the perfect specimens of what all of us should be or at least strive to become. They are thought to be inerrant and infallible by those who worship them. History testifies to the truth that these men and woman were far from the saintly deification people attribute to them. Some of them had failed marriages, were adulterous, liars and hypocrites, while others had addiction (alcohol and drug) problems and many were absent parents. The list goes on and on.
Such hero worship has infiltrated the church, many Christians think that they need something extra in order to serve God. If only they had the X-factor like the heroes and heroines of this world, they would be mightily used by God. If only I could have a great intellectual mind, then people would listen to me. If only I had eloquent speech and desirable appearance then I would be used of God. Such are the thoughts of unbelieving professing Christians.
Scripture is filled with broken men and women whom the Lord used mightily. God is not looking for men and women with extraordinary talents, gifts, abilities etc. This is not how the Almighty Creator and God of all, works.
When the world selects and elects, their criteria is solely based on the inherent qualities  of the person selected, it is always about what the person has or has not, always about what the person can do or not do, it is often about what appearance the person has.
Let us look at some examples from God’s Word.
(Daniel 1: 3-4)
“And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.”
The criteria was young men from royalty who were strong, handsome in appearance, without any physical defect, intelligent and able to learn and to understand quickly.
It is only those who meet this criteria who are fit to serve at the tables of the kings of this world. Everyone else is a lesser specimen of inferior quality and therefore not fit. The world does not know what to do with the undeserving, except to put them to hard labour. But at God’s table, the table of the Almighty King of King you only find unworthy broken foolish servants. Only the non-deserving and unqualified.
(1 Samuel 16:6-7)
“And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’S anointed is before him. But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
Samuel look on the qualities possessed by Eliab, and Samuel based his decision to anoint him king of Israel, purely on the bases of how he looked.
But God says I have rejected him, because I do not look as man looks, man relies on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart. Man can only see the outward appearance, he can not see what, who and how the real person is.
When people chose the spouses they will marry they look at the outward appearance.  Employers when choosing someone they want to hire, they look at the outward appearance in a form of a resume or Curriculum Vitae. This only shows how we are limited as people. God’s criteria is more than an expensive suit and a thirty pages impressive resume.
God looks at the heart. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise (Psalm 51: 17)”
He always uses those ordinary men and woman who look not to themselves for anything but look to God for everything. God is looking for men and woman who are at a point in their lives, where they can say to Him “Lord I am not worthy and I am unable to offer anything to you, but if it pleases you, use me”
It is not what we can do for God but what He is able to do in us and through us. The Almighty is not looking for heroes and heroines, but for broken and rejected vessels, He is looking for those who know and admit with all their hearts that they are sinners, foolish and not good enough.
(Psalm 34:18)
“The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a  broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit ”
A broken heart is not an emotionally troubled hurt heart. A broken heart is a heart which is crushed by the weight of its tatol depravity and understand and confesses that it is a sinful heart and nothing good lives in it.
(Luke 18: 9-14)
Verse 13: “But the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote his breast, saying, God, be thou merciful to me a sinner.”
This here is an example of a man with a broken heart. A broken vessel which knows that he is not worthy and unqualified. This man goes to God by grace and not by right and enticlement.
(1 Corinthians 1:24-29)
“Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.”
You don’t need something extraordinary. God uses every man he chooses in spite of their abilities, gifting, talents, intelligence, appearance or anything in them. Men and Women in Scripture were great not because they possessed the X-factor but because they walked and served a Great God.
“A broken and a contrite heart God will not despise”
Author: Pastor Tshepo Laka (GGCF).

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