From Average To Extraordinary

From average to extraordinary

by Leanne Lippincott-Wuerthele

 

I consider myself an “average” Christian. Like every human being, I’m a sinner—an imperfect individual from the moment I took my first breath. I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home where I learned of God’s saving grace through the death of His Son.

I like to think I’ve grown in my Christian walk over the years, but I’m still average.

First off, I’m not a skilled evangelist. Not one drop of Billy Graham’s oratorical blood flows through my veins.

Secondly, I’m not a Bible scholar with a vast supply of biblical knowledge sloshing about in my brain.

Thirdly, I’m not a Christian counselor with multiple degrees and a long list of initials after my name.

Fourthly, I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m not even a faithful prayer warrior. I’ve graduated from the rote prayers of my childhood, and I’ve reached the point where I can pray out loud in front of people without my knees knocking and my heart pounding. Still, my prayer life leaves much to be desired.

Finally, it goes without saying that I’m certainly not a preacher with a divinity diploma on my office wall.

As a youngster, I did preside over the wedding of my younger sister, Jean, when she “married” a neighbor boy at age 8. I also “played pastor” using my mother’s large, red, horseshoe-shaped living room chair as a pulpit. (My congregation consisted of my sister and all of our dolls and stuffed animals.)

Although God certainly uses “average” or “ordinary” people for His glory, the Bible tells us He often uses the “lowly” and “weak,” infusing them with power and confidence.

Elizabeth Marks is a Christian author, teacher, and speaker who founded ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries. In a March 2012 devotion she wrote, “If Christ Himself was ordinary, being a lowly carpenter’s son, why would we expect God to use only special people for His purposes?” She also noted, “Think God can’t or won’t use you? Think again. His glory shines the greatest through the weakest of vessels.”

Dr. Ray Pritchard, in a 2008 sermon entitled, Why God Chooses Splendid Sinners and Lovable Losers, points out the Bible’s imperfect heroes:

Noah got drunk, Abraham lied about his wife, Jacob was a deceiver, Moses murdered an Egyptian, Rahab was a harlot, Samson had serious problems with lust and anger, David was an adulterer, Paul persecuted the church, and Peter denied Christ.

“If God chose only well-rounded people with no character flaws, some of the credit would inevitably go to the people and not to the Lord,” Dr. Pritchard pointed out.

Because we’re weak in our imperfection, we’re sometimes oblivious to the Holy Spirit’s urging. Worse yet, there are times when we actively fight against that urging. We not only turn a blind eye on occasion; we sometimes plug our ears and barricade our hearts.

While I was confronting brain aneurysm surgery last year, a dear sister-in-law sent me a devotional book, which she received from another dear sister-in-law. I eventually mailed copies of that same book to a friend and my sister.

Recently, Jean’s husband phoned and asked where they could buy the book. My sister wanted to give a copy to a friend.

When I first received Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, it was like a small pebble tossed into a pond, creating ripples that spread in all directions. Along with my sister and sisters-in-law, I listened to “the sound of a gentle whisper” (1 Kings 19:12, NLT) and was obedient to it. Because I acted at the Holy Spirit’s prompting, that devotional digest continues to bless many individuals.

Most of us may be “average” Christians, but our Heavenly Father can use each one of us in marvelous and wondrous ways.

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