Have you ever prayed, “God I just want to be used by you?”
I’d prayed this many times without considering the wording until my husband commented in a sermon, “We’d probably never say to a person, 'I just want you to use me’, but we often say it to God because we know we can trust Him." He had a point! I’d never ask another person to use me.
This made me consider, “So what do I really mean when I pray, 'God I want to be used by you?'”
The spiritual me might say, “Jesus, I want you to know I am available to serve you in whatever way you see fit.” But, if you’re like me, even praying this to Jesus is scary because we never really know what God will require or what me might have to give up for Him.
The honest me would probably say, “Jesus, I am available to serve you. But here’s an idea. How about you give me influence and favor so people will like what I have to say? Do you think you could just make me the next Christine Caine, Brooke Frasier or female Justin Beiber?"
During this Christmas season, many of us are admiring the courage of a young woman named Mary. I mean, she was visited by an angel who said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you!” (Luke 1:28). And when she was asked to give birth to the Son of the Most High, her response was, "May your word to me be fulfilled." (Luke 1:29-33, 38). Her words sound very similar to our own plea, “Lord, I want to be used by you” or “I want to serve you, Jesus.”
In retrospect, it’s easy to glamorize Mary’s calling because we know she is the mother of our Savior, but I wonder how she was perceived by the people of her own village. Maybe they saw her as the disobedient Jewish girl who was never punished for adultery and now carried an illegitimate child. Perhaps she was seen as disrespectfully selfish, ruining the reputations of both her and Joseph’s families. I wonder if Mary heard people murmuring in the street, “I’m not surprised she raised a heretic. He had the audacity to claim to be the Son of God, stirring up so much hatred among the Pharisees and Romans that he died as a criminal! Serves her right."
In the moment, it’s easy to pray, “I want to serve you, God”, because we may underestimate the journey God is about to take us on. I’m sure Mary replayed her words, “May your word be fulfilled,” doubting if she was the right person for the job. I believe God will lead our souls to pray impossible prayers, ones that we could never accomplish on our own because He wants us to look back and say, “God did things in and through me that I could never have done!”
We will have struggles where it’s hard to see God's purpose. But I’m confident of this truth: There’s nothing more satisfying than grasping victory at the end of grueling perseverance. No one can take away the elation that comes from walking hand and hand with God through a test you thought you’d never defeat.
I respect Mary for birthing my Lord, but more than that, I celebrate her many victories thereafter:
- Mothering a perfect Son alongside children who were not.
- Maintaining her sanity in a culture that probably scorned and disrespected her and her family.
- Trying to understand and support her Son while he changed their ideas of religion and God.
- Keeping her faith when God allowed her Son to be crucified.
- Living out her faith, and passing this on to her family (James) after Jesus returned to heaven.
Have you considered what you mean when you tell Jesus you want to be used by Him? Have you ever been disillusioned by God’s calling? If so, are you willing to look back and see if there is something good Jesus was trying to bring out of a situation that you couldn’t see before? Heroes aren’t born; they're created. I wonder who God is trying to create in you?
If Thought This was Sweet, Will You Tweet (share)?
- Heroes aren’t born; they're created. I wonder who God is trying to create in you! http://goo.gl/85Ww4J
- “So what do I really mean when I pray, 'God I want to be used by you?'” http://goo.gl/85Ww4J
- There’s nothing more satisfying than grasping victory at the end of grueling perseverance. http://goo.gl/85Ww4J
© 2015 by Sharie King. All rights reserved.