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God Uses the Ordinary to Transform

When we think about change and how we can bring about revival one thing we need to remember is that God isn’t looking for perfection—He’s looking for obedience. God isn’t looking for superstars—He uses the most ordinary of resources to cause significant, life-changing, and world-shaking transformation.istock_000004140750xsmall_breakthrough_2-292104148_std

The apostle Paul helps us understand this as he wrote in 1 Corinthians 1;27, “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.” He’s telling the people that God takes pleasure in using the common, the weak and the lowly things of this world. Why? Because they confuse the proud. They confuse the rich and famous.

We can see God doing this very thing when we read about the apostle Nathanael’s first reaction to Jesus. His buddy Phillip goes looking for his friend Nathanael and says, “Hey, we’ve found Him! We’ve found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”

“Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”

You see Nazareth was a rough town. Its culture was unrefined and most of the people who lived there were uneducated. It wasn’t a beautiful place to live. There was social prejudice as well as most Judeans looked down on people from Galilee.

In spite of all this, Jesus and his disciples turned the world upside down. God chose to bring His Son out of the ordinary, not the regal.

But God. He chooses to use simple, ordinary people like you and me to change the world. Maybe we don’t come from the right town, or maybe we’re not the best educated, but God—He can use us to transform our neighborhood, our towns, our state and our country.

The Believer’s Bible Commentary reminds us that, “God used trumpets to bring down the walls of Jericho. He reduced Gideon’s army from 32,000 to 300 to rout the armies of Midian. He used an oxgoad in the hand of Shamgar to defeat the Philistines. With the jawbone of a donkey He enabled Samson to defeat a whole army. And our Lord fed over 5,000 with nothing more than a few loaves and fishes.”[1]

R.T. Kendall in his excellent book about the prophet Elijah notes that Elijah was “both extraordinary and ordinary.” He goes on to assure us, “If God could use a man as human as Elijah was, there is hope for all of us.”[2]

Yes, friends, there is hope for all of us. God wants to use you and me to do His will. He wants to use us to help others see Jesus and bring about revival as we bring more and more people Christ. It doesn’t matter where you come from or what you’ve done. Biblically and historically God has used humble ordinary people from humble ordinary places to accomplish His work.

We can do it. Are you ready to start a transformation?



[1] William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1989), 1751

[2] R.T. Kendall, These are the Days of Elijah: How God Uses Ordinary People to do Extraordinary Things, (Bloomington, MN: Chosen Books, 2013), e-Book edition

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