Did you get a chance to read Rahab's story last week? Pretty incredible, huh? If you didn't, then in a nutshell it's the story of a prostitute who helps two spies hide out in her city. They are there to scope out the city for an attack and in exchange she asks them for protection for herself and her family. That's the very condensed version, but can you imagine? Would you put your trust in two total strangers (spies no less) and be able to convince your family to hide out in a room that's built into the temple wall and then wait out an attack, fully trusting that God will come to your rescue through these men? Most of us would probably either flee or tell some sort of government official and have these two men captured! And did you catch that first part, about her being a prostitute? Yeah, if you think the Bible is boring then you're apparently missing a lot of these stories. I'm not sure why Hollywood writers don't just look here for ideas... it is just full of interesting characters and amazing tales of adventure and suspense. What a rich history!
But I digress...
Like I said, she was a prostitute, and through her faith she helped Joshua lead a very successful attack into the promised land. And because of her faith, the temple walls fell and her little room was spared. She tied a red cord that hung out her window and that part of the wall was unharmed. Her family was rescued, as promised, and she went on to live amongst the conquerers. So what's the point? Well, I don't know about you, but if I had to guess who God would use to help carry out a dangerous mission, I'm not sure I'd guess that He'd choose a prostitute. Now I am not one to judge and I know a lot of these women don't actually choose this profession and are trapped in an awful situation (more on that another day), but most of us think that God would use, well, some sort of reverent, perfect person to carry out His will, right? Surely He'd use someone who had hardly ever sinned, lived a close-to-perfect life, to do great things. But God is smarter than we are.
I'm not sure if you realize this, but none of us are perfect (gasp!). I think part of the reason I love this story so much is because even though Rahab knew her current situation, she did not doubt for a minute that God would be willing to use her to do great things. I think a lot of us sometimes doubt our own usefulness. We think, "God, I've screwed up too much, why would you want me?" or "I don't know enough about the Bible and Your word, so I couldn't possibly help... let me learn some more and then I'll be ready." But the truth is, no matter how much knowledge you have or what kind of Christian you think You are, God can move through you in mighty ways. Rahab lived in a culture that did not even worship the same God, but rather multiple idols, and yet she still knew deep down that He was powerful enough to use her to accomplish His mission. God is just waiting on you to be open to it, to trust in Him fully, to admit that although you might not feel "perfect" or "ready," that you're still willing to be used as a vessel for Him. Many of the greatest stories in our history were carried out by people who were far less than perfect- Moses was a murderer, did you know that? Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament (yes, all of that good stuff!) was once the cruelest persecutor of Christians, killing and torturing many. Noah... well, he got off the boat when it was all said and done, got drunk and passed out naked in his tent. We don't always read to the end and focus on the full story, and even though God always knows the full story, He does not pass over anybody. He knows our potential, He knows His plans, and He wants to use us... what an honor, right?
I was originally going to use this opportunity to update you all on our church plant (since this topic is so fitting for that), but this is already getting a bit long so I'll do a separate post on that very soon. My challenge to you this week, however, is to open yourself up to the idea that YOU can be used in mighty ways for God, if you just allow Him to use you. Josh often says, "Find the thing that ticks you off and you'll probably find the thing that makes you tick" meaning, if there is something that breaks your heart in this world, that might be the cause that is worth looking into being a part of. You don't have to start your own ministry or charity, as there are so many great ones already out there. Maybe it's just serving at your church and making others feel welcome (because you once felt like an outsider at church) or working in the kids' ministry to ensure that the next generation is learning about God (because you have kids that you care about or did not grow up with God). Or maybe it's going on a mission trip, considering adoption, or even just donating money each month to an organization that is working to cure a problem that rips your heart out. Take the first step, and when you open the door, I think you'll find that God has even bigger plans for you than you ever thought possible... that you are just taking the first step and opening a door to even greater things. Whether you believe it or not, YOU ARE A WORLD CHANGER... never forget that.
As always, you can read Brittany's post here, or link up below if you wrote one. I know that we rarely get a link-up, but I will always continue to leave it open in the chance that God moves you to post on one of these topics. And for those of you who have participated without leaving your link below (you know who you are), that's okay, too, and I have really loved reading your thoughts... thank you for sharing your hearts.
Brittany is in the middle of a move to Colorado right now (and really stepping out to trust God on this one... how appropriate!), so I am picking the topic again this week. And because I know that Brittany loves her some Priscilla Shirer, I am taking a post from Priscilla's blog (titled "Need") for this week's topic:
The best way to honor God is to celebrate and share those times that He came through for you. My challenge is for you to read through this beautiful post and then reflect on a dark time when you thought God wasn't hearing your prayers. Then share how He ultimately did come through, in true God fashion, even though it wasn't what or how- or even when!- you expected. His plans are always the best ones and there are no such things as coincidences... only His plans, which are always good. I love a good God story... I hope you'll share one with us next week.
As always, thanks for reading. Have a great rest of the week!