Ever wonder why God seems to use some people more than others?
Maybe you think it’s because God only does amazing things through really “holy” and “righteous” people. Perhaps you think, “I’m not smart enough, or I’m not bold enough, or I’m not courageous enough, or I don’t know the Bible well enough!”
The truth is God specializes in using ordinary people to do extraordinary things. And He actually loves to do it!
The pages of Scripture are filled with ordinary people: fishermen, prostitutes, people who are uneducated, and people who others reject. And we see how God takes these ordinary, regular people with marred backgrounds and does something extraordinary with them.
Why? So that when the extraordinary happens, they and the people around them realize that it’s not the person but it’s God!
He just requires one, simple thing from us – faith.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. (Hebrews 11:1-3)
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Faith is the one thing that God commends. Every time it’s in a person’s life, in a person’s heart, and in Scripture, He values it.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (v. 6)
Having faith doesn’t mean just intellectual assent. It doesn’t mean just agreeing with the Bible or being a religious person. It means believing who God is and what He has said to the point that we act on it.
But having faith can be hard.
That’s why we’re instructed to: “Throw off everything that makes us hindered and the sin that easily entangles us.” (Hebrews 12:1)
Here’s what we often forget: faith and sin don’t operate together. So we’ve got to deal with the addiction issue, the lust issue, the money issue, or the lack of forgiveness … whatever the issue that we’re struggling with. We need to get serious about the sin in our lives.
Have you ever seen a marathon runner carrying a backpack? Of course not! They wear the lightest shoes and tiniest, most embarrassing looking shorts. Why? They know they need to “throw off” anything that keeps them from going where they need to go.
And God is saying that to us too. If there is anything that keeps us from living a life of faith, we need to get rid of it.
Is it difficult? Yes. But so worth it!
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Jesus died so that we could by faith have a relationship with Him. And in relationship with Him, He would transform us from the inside out so that ordinary people like you or me could be vehicles of grace to do miracles in the lives of others.
To learn more about the importance of your faith and how to get more, check out Chip’s series Authentic.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip