How Does God Use the Imperfect to Perfection?
Almighty God, in his infinite and unsearchable wisdom, knows exactly what he's doing when he chooses and uses imperfect people like you and me to perfection.
When we sit in church on Sunday, it's so easy to look around and mentally judge those sitting around us as being imperfect, unworthy to be used by God, let alone sitting in his house of worship.
We might even think of ourselves in the same way. But time and time again in Scripture, and in our daily lives, we can point to people who have played a role in God's plan, despite being imperfect, despite being human.
News Flash: God Knows What He’s Doing
Yes, the Lord, our God, knows exactly what he's doing when he chooses and uses people like you and me to perfection. After all, he is perfect, all knowing, not capable of making mistakes. In one sense, we are all perfect, God made you and me in his image, as he did, in his own way, at creation.
At creation, God had two perfect people, perfect humans, didn't he? A part of that perfection, was free choice. And we all know what happened. As they say, the rest is history, a history of imperfect people doing imperfect things perfectly, as God directs with his invisible hands.
Ever since Adam and Eve walked out of the Garden in shame, God has had to deal with only one kind of people, imperfect people.
Consider the long list of imperfect people God used in Scripture to do perfect things according to his holy and true will, to accomplish what he wanted done.
God Uses the “Good” and the “Bad”
Moses told Pharaoh to let the Lord’s people go. An imperfect servant of God told a very imperfect ruler to let his brothers and sisters go, and he listened.
David, the least capable soldier in the camp slew Goliath. He went on be one’s of God’s great leaders. But as he ruled and prayed greatly, he also sinned greatly.
The Apostle Paul, a “Pharisee of Pharisees” who persecuted Jews, became the first Christian missionary after his conversion and is mentioned more in the New Testament than anyone except Jesus. The Pharisees and religious leaders must have found it strange that Jesus surrounded himself with a team of misfits.
God also used “imperfect people” such as Abraham, Samuel, Joseph, Joshua, David, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, and Gideon to “achieve his perfect will.” And the list goes on.
God Does Extraordinary Things Because He Loves Us
On the flip side, you and I, very imperfect people, have to deal with---depend on---a perfect God who knows what he is doing every step of the way. From Genesis to Revelation, we read about a God who goes through extraordinary measures to be there for us because he loves us, despite our imperfection.
Yes, God uses the powerful and popular, the seemingly “perfect” to accomplish his will. And as we see throughout Scripture, he also uses the obviously evil to do the same. But he also uses people like you and me. People who are not great by society’s standards. People who go about their daily lives, serving the Lord in their own way.
Listen to the Apostle Paul.
"Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-28)
If you ever have moments when you can’t accept the fact God loves you and uses you to advance his purposes, just remember the long list of imperfect people in Scripture who God used to bring hope to a very imperfect world.
In God’s Words
”And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
”For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin." (Hebrews 4:15)
In the Words of Others
“Let us consider ourselves unworthy of being used by God and having others think of us, and then we will be well off.” St. Vincent de Paul
“We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared to believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” American pastor and theologian, Timothy Keller
In Your Words
Have you felt the Lord leading you to do something but delayed because you felt unworthy? Recall the circumstances.
How has the Lord used you to serve others in ways you never thought were possible? Describe the circumstances and how you believe the Lord was involved.
Recall an instance when you felt emotionally or mentally unprepared to do something, and you turned to the Lord in prayer. What happened?