God Uses Ordinary People

It never ceases to amaze me to see the ordinary people Jesus used in the Bible.  From cover to cover the Bible has ordinary men and women perceived as flawed, failures, weak and lowly. But they were able to meet the needs of others, were instruments of His peace, and shared His Good News. God uses ordinary people in the most extraordinary ways!

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God Works in Mysterious Ways

Sometimes I think God was looking for the people with the messiest lives.

•Moses was a murderer and an outlaw who fled for his life to Midian where he became a lowly shepherd.

•David was an adulterer, arranged for the murder of his lover’s husband, and disobeyed God’s direction.

•Peter was outspoken and impulsive.  When he had the chance to defend Jesus, he vehemently denied him 3 times.

•Paul was a vicious persecutor of Christians, set on destroying Christianity.

It almost seems like He was on the lookout for the most unlikely to work out His will.  What did God see in these men?

“Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge!  How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!  For who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice?”  Romans 11:33-34 NLT.

God Sees the Heart

God looked past all these men’s shortcomings, sins, and faults and saw great faith and trust in their hearts.

•He saw Moses as a leader of His people (his upbringing included being an Egyptian prince, after all.)  While it took some persuading on God’s part, Moses was obedient and faithful even in his fear.

•God called David “a man after my own heart.” Acts 13:22 (NIV) David, for all his failures, had a firm faith in God and His forgiving nature.  He was quick to confess his sins from his heart and became the greatest king of Israel.

•Peter was a leader among the disciples and showed great enthusiasm.  He boldly professed his faith in Jesus as the Messiah.   Jesus picked Peter as the rock on which He would build His church.

•God used Paul’s training as a Pharisee and his tenacity to transform him into a great preacher of the Gospel. When Paul personally met Jesus, he was a completely changed man.

God used each one of these men, as improbable as it may seem.  On their own, they had many strikes against them. But their willingness to say “yes” to God changed the trajectories of their lives.

God Uses the Weak

Do you feel too “ordinary” for God to use you?  Slow of speech, like Moses? Feeling guilty of past sin that would put you out of contention?  Maybe you feel a bit of the impulsiveness of Peter- too scatter-brained to be effective. Maybe you’ve denied God in your life for what you believe is far too long.

Paul has some help for you-

God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.  God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.  As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.”  1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (NLT)

It speaks volumes that Jesus did not use the Jewish priests and elders of His day.  They were completely caught up in total external obedience to the law and pretended to be righteous.  They were jealous and judgmental and loved their power and authority more than God.

God wants the world to know His great love for each of us. He wants all to know that salvation comes through His plan alone; not by any efforts on our part.  So if you feel unqualified or unworthy, you have exactly the qualities God is looking for!

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God Works in the Ordinary

The 12 disciples were simple men with a weak and basic faith. God can work through and use the same ordinary people today.  God uses ordinary people like you and me- common, ordinary, flawed people- for His glory.

Jesus transformed the disciples through teaching, admonishing, transforming, and empowering them.  He does no less for us.

We just need to say “yes”, then listen, learn, surrender, and draw close to Him. He will take our faithful hearts and do extraordinary things!

“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, the Lord looks at the heart.”  1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

God judges us by our faith and heart attitude.  He sees us as His treasure, His masterpiece!  He gives His love and guidance in abundance to all who believe in Him.

God Uses Broken People

We all have a few things in life that try to break us down.  Some may look at their lives and see broken dreams, deep grief, a sense of failure, or hear an inner voice that tells them all is lost or “I’m not good enough, smart enough, confident enough”, etc.

This is where God does some of his best work.

Jesus said “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Mark 2:17 (NLT)

You can make a full-blown mess of your life, and He says, “no problem.”  In fact, Jesus is more than willing to make you whole and use you!  He will shape your life and recreate it into something beautiful.  It is why He came to earth!  He can heal you with His great love and use you in His kingdom.

Isn’t it freeing to know you don’t have to “have it all together” for Jesus to use you?  He can use you right now-today- just as you are.

Scriptures on Allowing God to Use You

Paul had a troublesome “thorn” in “his flesh” which he pleaded for the Lord to remove.  Instead, Jesus spoke the following words to him:

•“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9a (NIV)

(Insert your name in this verse to make it personal- it’s an empowering statement!)

The “thorns” in our lives may be there for a reason, and we can’t use them as excuses to sit on the sidelines.

•“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:16 (NIV.)

Jesus is the Light of the world, and He wants us to shine His light into the darkness of this world.  Our “good deeds” should reflect His light. The world is filled with lonely and hurting people.  When we show others His love, joy, and kindness, we are reflections of Him.

•“I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5 (NIV.)

Staying connected with God is essential to bearing fruit for Him. Study and pray; actively follow and trust Him!

When God Uses You

God uses ordinary people for His glory.  The amazing things we accomplish as ordinary and broken people point to the One who deserves all the credit- God.

God uses our hardships and failures to build us up and testify to His grace in our lives.  It requires us to have a humble and contrite heart and an attitude of thankfulness for all He has done for us.

We don’t need to be perfect, strong, or a Bible scholar to be useful.  Why?  Because Jesus was perfect in our place, gives us His strength, and trusts us with His Word.

God uses all kinds of gifts and abilities for His good purpose.  He gives us the Holy Spirit to empower us, grow us and use us.  He will take your everyday obedience to show His virtues to others and grow them into something beautiful for His Kingdom.

Are you willing?  Are you ready to let God use you? God can and will work miracles through a mustard seed of faith and small, humble acts of obedience!

Just say “Yes, Lord!”



Related Post∼Finding Your Purpose in God

Photo Credits: AnnMarie Anderson

14 thoughts on “God Uses Ordinary People”

  1. I enjoyed reading your article, “God uses ordinary people.” I love the scriptures you used. I have often why God uses the nobody’s, the weak, the despised, the lowly to accomplish His will and purpose. But I am also learning why He uses these simple and ordinary people, because they have nothing to boast in but the Lord Jesus and the cross. That is all we can boast in what the Lord has done and is doing in our lives as we surrender our heats and lives to Him. We can only point others to Jesus and what He has done! It is all of the Lord! God says I will not share my glory with another. From the day we are born again, it is all His work in and through us until He takes us home to be with Him forever. Yes, it is all Gods work and as His instruments, all we can do is thank and praise Him and give Him all the glory for what He has done. My greatest desire is to fully commit my heart and life to Jesus Christ and let Him use me as He desires to share His love for others. This brings me the greatest joy to be used by God in such a way that as He touched others lives, I am deeply humbled that He could even use the simple, ordinary people. It is the greatest joy and blessing in my life. I remember my late Pastor Chuck used to say, Only one life and it will soon be past, and only what is done for Jesus Christ will last.Here I M an old man now, but my hearts desire is to still be used by God with whomever He brings into my life. I love to be filled with the Holy Spirit and His love, to overflowing, continuously, and just let Him use me for His glory, alone. Thank you letting me share. It is a good article you wrote and God used it to minister and encourage my heart with it. Sorry for the long message. God bless you and use you greatly all the days of your life.

    1. Bless you Dieter for your spirit filled and encouraging message! It is so humbling to know that God sent His Spirit to live within us and help us along this pathway of life. This process of becoming more and more like Jesus, and to share His love with others, only grows stronger and stronger within me as I go along. I too, am amazed at how He can use ordinary people like ourselves to accomplish His purposes. And not only ordinary people, but people with flaws and checkered pasts! Next week’s post is on Rahab- the prostitute whose faith led her to be included in the genealogy of Jesus! You said it so well- all we can do is thank and praise Him and give Him all the glory. Amen!

      1. You are right. Our love for Jesus just grows stronger as we see His beautiful work in our lives. When you fall in love with Jesus, you just want to surrender your everything to Him. No one will ever love you more than Jesus. Let that sink in because it’s true. True love can only be found in Jesus Christ! May we make Him our first love all the days of our life…❤️❤️❤️

  2. I am currently in a space not understanding how, or why, God is choosing little ole me, to do these amazing things that God keeps sharing with me, through others. I am literally as ordinary as they come, and I do not see this powerful person God intends for me to be. This write up was extremely helpful, and of course, spoke directly to me. It was the first one that came up in my Google search. Thank you for being the messenger for God.

    1. God bless you Twana for being a willing vessel and saying yes when you felt God speak to you! I loved writing this post and knew God would send it to whoever needed to hear it. I felt small and ill-equipped to even start this little blog, and He has done great things. Your comment made my heart so happy 🙂 We just need to say “yes”, then listen, learn, and surrender. He will take your faithful heart and do extraordinary things!

  3. This was EXCELLENT!! And just the perfect timing for me! I’m going to keep repeating
    2 Cor. 12:9 to myself as this verse (always a good one) spoke directly to me today.

    1. I’m so glad, Cindy! I love that verse too😊 It’s the verse from my first Cursillo- it was so perfect then, and still is today!!

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