Peter’s first reaction to meeting Jesus was, “Depart from me for I am a sinful man.” Luke 5:8 /Isaiah responded, to being in God’s presence with, “Woe is me for I am undone: for I am a man of unclean lips and dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips” Isaiah 6:5/Job was ready for his, “day in court” with God, until he saw God and said, “I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5 /Paul said, “I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle.” 1 Corinthians 5:9/ Again he said, ” Jesus came into the world to save sinners: of whom I am chief.” I Timothy 1:15/ David said , “Who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to serve God, from whom all things come and who owns all things? For, I am a stranger before you and my days on the earth are as a shadow.” 1Chronicle 29:14/ Jacob said to God,”I am not worthy of the least of all your mercies and truth you have showed to me.” Genesis 32:10/ Gideon said, “How will I save Israel, my family is the poorest, and I am the least in my father’s house.” Judges 6:15/ When God called Saul to be king, he was humble and said,” I come from the smallest tribe and my family is the least in the tribe” I Samuel 9:21/ When made king, Solomon said to God, “I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.” I Kings 3 :7/ When Jesus came to John the Baptist, asking to be baptized, John said, “I have need to be baptized of thee and comest thou to me? Matthew 3:14/ The powerful Centurion said, “I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof.” Matthew 8:8
So, do I want to be used by God? Then I must admit that I am powerless, blind, naked, foolish and unworthy.I must feel always hungry for more, morning over my sin while reveling in my forgiveness. Seeing the reality of my sin debt to be far greater ,yet seeing, and acting in, His grace which is bigger than all my sin. Feeling unworthy is not an excuse to hang back and let others build the kingdom. No it is the first step to jumping into the fray and striving for the kingdom. It is a prerequisite, for God being able to use me. When it seems obvious to me that I am the least–then I need to realize that doing my part is “much more necessary” than for those who seem to be somewhat. I Corinthians 12:22
The important thing is to grow in gratitude and humility, not just to see my weakness, but to allow an ongoing and increasing awareness. If I see my need and ask for salvation and then coast, I will soon slide backwards. I must let ALL scripture continue to reprove me and find faithful friends to keep “wounding me” with truth about my need to grow. Proverbs 27:6
At first, Moses felt unworthy to lead the people but he became arrogant and said, “Must WE fetch you water out of this rock?” He then hit the rock and had huge loss as a result. He died in peak health because the Israelis needed to enter the promised land and Moses could no longer go. Numbers 20:10, Deuteronomy 34:7
Saul started humble but got arrogant and wound up seeking guidance from witches and committing suicide.
Others, like Joseph and Paul stayed humble to the end, acting in God’s power but not getting all puffed up. It probably helps to have run around killing Christians or being the town drunk or a murderer. (The Bible was written mostly by murderers, you know.) Those of us who don’t have the good fortune to have obvious, horrible sins, need to beg the Holy Spirit to convince us that we are truly the chief of sinners with an ongoing need to grow. Only then can God use and bless us without our becoming arrogant. If you give a powerful motorcycle to a teenager, you will probably kill them. If you give it to a mature missionary, he will use it to visit remote villages and win the lost. Success position and influence will kill us if we do not remember it is and always will be the Lord and not take 1% of the credit. (Although it is fine to take all the blessing.)
I will always recall sitting in the parking lot of a prison. I was to “counsel” a man who had molested a foster child entrusted, by the state, to his care. I knew that I had to go in as the chief of sinners talking to the second chief. I sat there for an hour as the Holy Spirit convicted me and then He could use me to rescue the man and even his marriage.
I pray God that He thrust forth “Second-Chief sinners” into the harvest. He really can’t use people who have arrived who, “aren’t all that bad.” When Jesus told the Pharisees that it is sick people who need doctors, He was not implying that they were not just as sick but because they thought they were not, a “doctor” could not help them.
May you move on from wallowing in feeling unworthy to rejoicing in feeling unworthy and then, like Paul, go everywhere turning the world upside down!