Do you ever question your usability? By that I mean, you love the Lord wholeheartedly, you’re serving Him faithfully and with utmost devotion. And yet you find yourself looking at others who are seemingly more successful, more prosperous, more talented, more popular, more needed, more … usable. And hence consider yourself of little or no use to the Lord?
Just before Christmas I was arguing such a case with the Lord during a church worship service. I found myself struggling with inadequacy and as a result, feeding my mind with negative self-talk and self-flagellation. I somehow became caught up in the compost of comparison—comparing my ministry with others who seemed to have a “higher calling” than I did. A more vast impact than I had. Doing so much more for the Kingdom than I felt I was being given opportunity to explore or achieve. From there I landed firmly in the dung-heap of defeat.
As I poured my heart out to the Lord from my place in the pew and made room for Him to speak into the empty recesses of my heart, we were asked to stand and sing. “O, come all ye faithful” rang out. There was no question in my mind that this was God’s personal invitation to me. “Thank you for your faithfulness, Lisa. Thank you for your commitment. Thank you for your service. Thank you for your devotion to me.” But He didn’t leave me swimming in self-exultation. Rather, He challenged my heart with the next refrain, “joyful and triumphant”—causing me to ask, “Am I being joyful? Am I acting triumphantly?” My honest answer was, “No. Obviously I am not or I wouldn’t be having this conversation with you, Lord”. Now that He had my full attention, he took the freedom to ask, “who are you, O [Lisa], to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? (Rom. 9:20-21). Hmmm…
I’m guessing that you’ve had similar conversations with the Lord. Even as you’re reading this, you’re searching your own heart and struggling with some battles of the mind.
Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple and Dancing in the Rain. Additionally she has written articles for Just Between Us Magazine and devotionals for theStory. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (3 on earth, 1 in heaven) and serve the Lord together in London, Ontario, Canada.
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Contact Lisa at: firstname.lastname@example.org