How Strange Are You?

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by James Washington
Special to the NNPA from the Houston Forward-Times

When you take a hard look at the Bible, you see some things that really register. For instance, in scripture it’s understood that God uses people in the strangest ways. I guess what I’m really trying to say is, God uses strange people to carry out His will. Fact is that the Bible is made up of “strange” men and women, chosen by God to exercise heavenly strength here on earth. Moses was a murderer. Paul killed a few Jesus lovers in his time. Rahab was a ho and Jacob was, well y’all know all about Jacob’s shortcomings. The point is that God uses the least of us to carry out His plan in spite of what we think we’re capable of, or, what we think we’re worthy of. I mean, most of the prophets were reluctant participants in how God’s message for His people was delivered. As a matter of fact, most did not want anything to do with carrying the Word either because they didn’t think they were worthy, or they didn’t think the people would listen or, they didn’t feel the people were worthy of God’s blessing and deliverance in the first place.

Whatever the reasons, we should all be mindful that the hand of the Lord is at work where He deems it will do the most good. Regardless of what we think, anyone and everyone is a candidate for greatness in the eyes of the Almighty, including you; yes, even including me. I used to think that only the one who was called to preach had the gift of ministry. Try telling that to anyone who has accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and see how quickly that misguided thinking gets you. Slowly I’ve come to accept, we all have a ministry according to the will of God. Neither economic status, social class nor educational attainment means anything if God says it’s your turn to do His bidding, carry His message or simply let others see Him in you. One thing is for certain: you cannot refuse God when He comes a knocking. Just as importantly, ask yourself as I have lately, what are you reluctant to do in the name of God? Only you know if you’re in denial. Only you know if you’re trying to convince God to choose somebody else. The question is how long will it take you to realize, as they all did, that sooner or later, you’re going to do what God is commanding you to do? I think you might want to get to that conclusion before God stops asking you do anything and starts telling you. You know God just might take no as your answer and abandon you all together. I have at times internalized that. The prospect of that gives a whole new meaning to “When I say to a wicked man, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sins, and I will hold you accountable for his blood.” Ezekiel 3:18.

I now believe that the measure of your life and mine is how we respond to God’s call, and not how hard we work, even if that work is somehow judged by us as benefiting others. We all must still obey, according to what we’re called to do. The question then is how do we know when God is talking to us as supposed to someone or something else. I must confess to you that I believe God will not allow Himself to be confusing to you. I believe He is talking all the time. The key for us is to make a very deliberate and conscious effort to hear Him. That requires persistence and prayer. Together then, listening becomes habitual. To all of you who hear what I’m trying to say, know I’m trying to hear God each and everyday. In doing so I’m obligated to share with you that maybe my job and my calling is to accept this platform as a blessing, use it as but another wonderful conduit for God’s will and continue to say very loudly and clearly that Jesus is Lord and if you also believe this, then you better tell somebody.

May God bless and keep you always,

James

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