I think a lot of us look back at who we used to be and think, why me? Why would God use me, when He is the one person who actually knows me? My friend Nathan wrote an incredibly honest spoken word that perfectly sums up how I think we all can feel.
It’s great that God knows us – Luke 12v7 – because we can so often feel unseen and alone in this world. However, I have definitely struggled because if He really knows me then how could He ever love me like it says that He does? How can I be good enough to be used by Him? Why would He choose to cast me His plans, when the bible says that He knows my past? I definitely wouldn’t pick me based on who I was.
Yet, the bible helps us to see that God hasn’t made a mistake by picking us. There are so many examples of outcasts, with terrible pasts who God chooses anyway:
Let’s start with a Christian Killer
Yup, the bible is full of thrillers
He was bitter and hated the healer
Isn’t it funny that he was then healed?
Given back his sight
So that he could be used
His past was bruised but that’s no excuse
Because God had other plans for this man…
So that we now look up to him
As a letter writer
A church planter
A disciple maker
A people influencer
That’s the story of Paul
A Christian killer restored into a Christian Maker
And then there is the one who denied
and lied and went to hide
That’s three times that he let him down
Three times that he turned from the crown
Three times he cowered away from the truth
And he knew it was true
He was one of the few who trusted Jesus enough to see breakthrough
He walked on water
Was there for the miracles
There for the unexplainable
But he left when it got difficult
However, he stood back up
He admitted he had messed up
He did not hesitate and ran towards the tomb
Peter the rock
So if God is prepared to use people like Paul and Peter, surely I am also good enough?
God does know you. He knows who you used to be and the mistakes you have made but He also knows the you that you don’t even know yet. He sees who you will become, the people you will influence and the story you will one day be able to tell. In Galatians 3v27 we read that when we find Christ, it is like we are putting on new clothes. Pastor Michael Todd describes it like putting on a new jacket. It is zipped up and covering the old t-shirt underneath, that t-shirt still exists but all people see now when they look at you is Christ – until you unzip it and can begin to show your scars and use them to transform others.
BTW – God will never make you unzip your jacket and reveal the scars of your past, until you are ready to show them! He protects you from your past and your future.
God doesn’t just pick you because you are there, He picks you because He created you for such a time as this – Esther 4. He wants to use you despite your flaws, despite your past and despite every mistake you are still going to make! He wants you, exactly as you are right now.