Have you ever felt foolish? Have you ever felt ill-prepared for what you are called to do? Have you ever asked, “Who am I Lord, that you would send me?”
The strongest, the fastest, the richest, the smartest, the most powerful, this is what the world values. Look at me. Notice me. Listen to me. Follow me.
But we’re in the God business. Missio Dei. Let’s remind ourselves what matters to God…
“For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:25-31)
Ever heard of a blenny? What about a gobby? These are the tiny fish that sometimes live only sixty-five days but make up most of the food that coral eats. Coral reefs can be the largest living organisms on earth, yet they rely on these tiny little fish larvae in order to survive. Something so tiny and insignificant is foolishness in the eyes of the world. That’s the thing about God, He doesn’t act the way we expect.
A pebble, a sling, and a teenage boy took down a nine-foot Philistine warrior. An eighty-year-old man faced an Egyptian pharaoh and got him to release about one million Hebrews. A young, virgin, teenage girl gave birth to the Son of God. A ninety-year-old woman gave birth to Isaac. A bunch of fishermen became our first pastors. A woman was the first to tell the good news of Jesus rising from the dead!
And, here’s another crazy, foolish-to-the-world, God thing—God didn’t choose to have Jesus, His Son, the Savior of the world, come to us in wealth and position and worldly power. He came to us as an innocent baby born in a stable, a feeding trough for a bed.
The very people God has chosen are the very people man would NOT have chosen. Have you ever thought about this? And we’re lumped in with this bunch. We’re kind of like the Land of Misfit Toys.
God destroys the conventionally great. God turns things upside down. God does not choose greatness the way the world chooses greatness. God does not operate the way the world operates. To the world, the gospel is considered a thing of weakness because it came to us through the cross. God’s ways are not man’s ways. God’s ways are foolish to man.
It is absolute craziness that God uses us to be His instrument of distribution. The gospel is not shared through scientific discovery or through wealth or world domination or perfect oration. He uses simple men and women endowed with the simple power of humanity and His Holy Spirit.
When speaking of God’s wisdom, the famous Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon says, “For one wise man to confound another wise man is remarkable; for a wise man to confound a foolish man is very easy; but for a foolish man to confound a wise man — ah! this is the finger of God.”
The weakness of God is wiser than the wisest of men.
God has chosen us—sinful, flawed, and flesh-focused—to proclaim His good news of salvation to the world.
“[B]ut you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:1-8)
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)
Why in the world did God choose us to do His work? We may not be the biggest, strongest
or most powerful. We may not even be men. Perhaps this is exactly why He has chosen us. Is it really so surprising that many of His disciples were lowly fishermen or women of ill repute or people who were over the age of forty? For many of us, it takes half our life to even realize it’s not about us. It’s about Jesus. Tear down my ego Lord, empty me of me, and now use me.
We exist for the Missio Dei, not to brag about membership or discipleship for discipleship’s sake but for the sake of soul care. We exist to share the good news of our merciful Father. To the world, the cross is foolishness. What we are called to do makes no sense. The gospel of forgiveness given to a world that doesn’t think they need it is a fool’s errand. God bless the fools! If we are to boast, let it be to boast for the Lord.