In all sorts of things we want to do it is important to choose the right tools. Old West pioneers could bring down trees for their log cabins by chopping them with an ax. Even better, though, is a saw. Someone trying to fell a tree with their pocket knife, however, may no longer have their right mind.
It is also important that the tools are in good working order. If you are going to need a Philips head screwdriver, it is important that it is not worn down, right? That’s what makes God’s choice of Saul to become the Apostle Paul a bit confusing. Jesus told Ananias in Acts that he had chosen Saul especially for the work of taking the Gospel to the Gentiles. He said,
“he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name” (Acts 9:15-16 ESV).
But even Paul knew how odd a choice this was. It was like choosing a flat head screwdriver that is broken when you need the Philips head. Paul described it this way:
“though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent,” (1 Timothy 1:13).
The important thing, of course, is that God took Paul who was completely unfit for this work and made him fit for it, “and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus,” (1 Timothy 1:14).
As disciples of Jesus, we are all chosen instruments of God for good works as long as we live (Ephesians 2:10). We only need to trust God’s choice and His power to form us and lead us according to His will
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Nathan Wheeler, PhD, is the Preacher for the Eastside Church of Christ in Farming-ton, NM.