Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Wonderful Peace"1 (Lyrics)
1 Samuel 22:1-2 – So David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. Soon his brothers and all his other relatives joined him there. Then others began coming — men who were in trouble or in debt or who were just discontented — until David was the captain of about 400 men. (NLT)
What others consider misfits, God often considers fits.
My father served as interim pastor for a small, struggling church after he retired. Once a thriving church on the local lake, it now struggled to survive. Dad tried to get them to take their eyes off their situation and focus outwardly. If the church grew, many of their problems would disappear.
At Dad's behest, the church began reaching out. They ordered door hangers and placed them on houses in the community, inviting any and every one who would come — planting seeds. When the church called a new pastor, the preparatory work had been done. He picked up where Dad had left off and continued going into the community, inviting all.
People from all walks of life began to come — most of them from the wrong side of the tracks, people who had sordid backgrounds and lived questionable lifestyles. The people in the church found that the people in their community were quite different from them, but they didn't let that stop them. They loved them and took them in. Soon, the church became the fastest growing church in the local association. But it was a church of misfits — at least according to many.
Jesus also had a tendency to invite those to follow Him who were considered misfits. His twelve disciples weren't exactly ones whom others might have picked to change the world: fishermen from despised Galilee, a scorned tax collector, ordinary men with no education. But those disciples initiated a world revival. Likewise, those who collected around David as he ran from King Saul's attempts to kill him were mostly misfits, but they became a great army.
Thinking that God can't use us because we have a sordid background or because we're enduring unfortunate circumstances in the present is the devil's ploy. If he can convince us, he will keep us unproductive. God, on the other hand, has good plans for us. We were created in His image, and nothing we've experienced — or are experiencing — can hinder His work, unless we let it. Confession, repentance, and trust in His forgiveness wipe the slate clean.
God loves to use those whom the world considers misfits because, when great things are accomplished through them, He gets the credit. After all, shining the spotlight on God is what life is all about.
Let's not allow others — or Satan — convince us that God can't use us. All that God requires is our willingness.
Prayer: Father, we thank You that our pasts don't hinder You from using us in Your kingdom's work. Amen.