“God isn’t looking for religious protocol; God is looking for tax collectors who climb trees, prostitutes who crash parties, people who push through crowds wanting to be healed, people who yell at the top of their lungs like the blind beggar. He is looking for people who cut holes in ceilings, jump out of boats and follow stars to get to Jesus” (Max Lucado).
I’m thankful that God isn’t like us. When we want results, we go to the experts. We look to the elite and the famous for our inspiration. We want to be lead by those who have their lives together and come across as practically perfect in any way. But God is looking for people like you and me.
When it comes to who God uses, God seems to favor the nobodies and the screw-ups. Just ask the shepherds who were the first witnesses to the arrival of Emmanuel, God with us. Or ask Zaccheus, that infamously short tax collector that nobody liked. Ask just about anybody who was in the lineage that led to Jesus. They were adulterers, liars, foreigners, whores, and so on. Just about any one of the people in the Old Testament who got the flannel board treatment had their fair share of flaws and misdeeds.
But they’re in the Bible not because they were so great, but because they were the ones God chose to use. People very much like you and me.
“Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of ‘the brightest and the best’ among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the ‘somebodies’? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, ‘If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God'” (1 Corinthians 1:26-30, The Message).