This world is filled with people who have made a difference.
The Wright Brothers worked tirelessly on an invention while listening to years of doubt and ridicule from those around them. They persisted, and today, we still benefit from the airplane.
A young Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team and later would become one of the most significant role models of his generation and beyond.
After graduating from high school, Stephen Spielberg pursued three different film schools and was rejected all three times. Now, he stands as a world-renowned film producer.
Lastly, Abraham Lincoln, one of the most impactful presidents in history, experienced the loss of his fiancée, endured a nervous breakdown, and ran for political office eight times before he was finally elected.
These people were once told by society that they could never be anything, do anything, or achieve anything, yet they went on to accomplish incredible things.
So, who does God choose to use and why? First, let’s explore those God does not and cannot use.
Who Does God Choose Not to Use?
While writing to the church of Corinth, the apostle Paul drops an eye-opening nugget of truth about who God chooses to use. However, he also writes about those whom God cannot use.
“For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.”
1 Corinthians 1:26, NKJV
Those Who Are Wise According to the Flesh
God cannot use the know-it-alls or those who think they have the answer to everything. Because they believe they have no room for intellectual growth, they don’t participate in Bible classes or engage in environments where they can learn.
Saints, God can’t use you when, out of your belief that you have it all together, you don’t open your Bible or submit yourself to an environment to be taught. Because ultimately, we don’t and can’t know all there is to know.
Those Who Are Mighty
The word mighty in verse 26 refers to those who think they are strong, powerful, and gifted beyond the standard.
These people question how someone else got the job they were after when they were more qualified. They are vocal in questioning how you got the promotion because they are more gifted than you. These types of people are hard to work with because their pride is much more immense than their willingness to serve.
Be encouraged; God doesn’t use the same criteria the world uses when He picks people for his holy, Kingdom work. He looks at the heart, not the ability.
Those Who Are Noble
Those who are noble are considered aristocrats. They have all of the “stuff” of their generation – the money, the gadgets, and whatever they need to succeed.
While there is nothing wrong with having resources, we must be cautious not to rely on the things of this world over God’s sovereignty and power. To cling to material things is to tiptoe into idolatry.
However, Paul goes on in verse 27 to tell us of the people God does choose to use.
Who God Chooses to Use
Growing up as a teenager, I wasn’t chosen by many people. I was always the last one to be picked for street basketball teams. I was never invited to parties; no one ever came to mine. Nothing can ease the pain of being picked over for other people, especially as a young adult. Looking back, I can see this was hurtful because, in their actions, they were saying I wouldn’t make a difference. They dismissed me, and it was painful.
I wish I could say things got easier as I got older, but rejection still came. However, as an adult, God helped me to see that even though the world rejected me, God chose me. And with a surrendered heart, God will choose you too.
“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,
1 Corinthians 1:27-28, NKJV
God Chooses the Foolish
In today’s context, foolishness can be described as being dull or stupid. In other words, it is when someone isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. While the world considers these assets useless for incredible things, God wants to use someone no one else has faith in and do something miraculous.
Be encouraged; even though everyone has counted you out, God considers you valuable for His purposes.
God Chooses the Weak
Culture places high value on the strong and able. We see these ideal characteristics in the media and our everyday encounters. And on the other hand, to be weak is to be useless and overlooked.
But here is the good news: When you surrender to the realization that you can’t win in your own might, gifting, or knowledge, God invites you to be His representative to be used for His glory!
God Chooses the Base
What does it mean to be the base? According to this passage, they are those without kin or having unknown relatives. In 2023 terms, they are those who don’t know who their daddy is.
God is placing special attention on those of us who have been forsaken by our earthly father and reminding our hearts that He will never leave us.
You are seen and desired by a perfect, good God.
God Chose the Despised
Throughout life, we all have had seasons where we have been rejected and despised. Maybe it happened in a close relationship where you were written off, or perhaps someone close to you told you that you wouldn’t amount to much of anything.
God delights in using those who have been knocked down because it is through His ability that our faith is strengthened and others can see the goodness of God.
God Uses Those Who Are Not
Who are those who are not? Well, they are those who are in the negative. In other words, they don’t even have enough money in the bank to take care of the bills that are piling up.
God looks for those who don’t have enough and allows the overflow of His abundance to work through them. He overlooks those who are prideful – thinking they have their lives together and will choose the heart that longs for His provision and faithfulness.
Saints, if you feel discouraged and overlooked in your life circumstances, know that God is picking you for His glory and Kingdom advancement.
Why God Choose the Least of These
“that no flesh should glory in His presence.”
1 Corinthians 1:29, NKJV
You may consider yourself unworthy, small, and with nothing to offer, but the God we serve looks beyond what you don’t have and supplies all that He does have. He chooses the foolish, the weak, the base, the despised, and those who amount to nothing because they are the ones who seek to elevate and honor the name of Jesus.
All the glory belongs to the matchless name of Christ, and He alone is worthy of it all.
I remember God speaking to me in my teenage years during that season of rejection. He said, “I don’t want you to fit in because I am taking you where they can’t go.”
Be encouraged, Church; God is taking you to loftier places. He is inviting you to leave behind the desire to be wise in the flesh, mighty and noble, and surrender to His will. And as you allow God’s glory to manifest through your life, you will receive the joy set before you.
Let’s be a people God chooses to use.