God uses human instruments to bring to men the message of his truth and love; but it is he alone who wakes the hearts of men to new life. As he alone created the heart, so he alone can re-create it.
William Barclay, DSB: The Letters to the Corinthians, p. 31
Followers of Jesus are called to be be ambassadors and missionaries to the world. We cannot escape that responsibility. It is woven into the fabric of what it means to be a Christian.
Being Christ’s ambassadors in this world is a great calling and a huge responsibility. I will guarantee that most of the time we will feel inadequate for this important task. After all we lack the resources and the talents that are necessary to effectively proclaim God’s message of love and truth to the world.
Those feelings of inadequacy are correct. The mere presence of sin my life makes me inadequate to proclaim a message of holiness. This doesn’t even touch the lack of knowledge I have about the way the world works, of the Bible, and of the circumstances of other people’s lives. We need to confess that we are inadequate for the job God has called us to do.
Now there are two pieces that I want to add to this reality:
1. There is the piece that to be a citizen of God’s Kingdom we have to be “poor in Spirit.” Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount with; “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3; ESV) To be a follower of Jesus requires us to realize that we don’t have what it takes and that we must depend on God to provide us with everything that we need. We need God to provide our daily bread, patience to deal with difficult people, and the words to share with those who are searching for truth.
2. There is also the piece that we need to remain true to who God created us to be. The apostle Paul reminds us of this truth when he wrote:
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness (Romans 12:3-8, ESV).
This isn’t just about having a certain set of talents, but it is also about figuring out how to use those talents for God’s Kingdom. It is through using our unique set of talents to proclaim the Gospel which enables us to find our purpose in life.
With that being said we need to remember that the only person that we have any control over is ourself. While God has given us the responsibility to take His message of love and truth to the world He has not given us responsibility to change the hearts of other people. That responsibility lies with God Himself.
Therefore we do not need to worry about how people will respond to our message. We need to focus on the best and most effective ways to use our gifts and talents for God’s Kingdom. What a sense of relief that reality should give us. It is not up to us to change the world, we only need to let God use us for His Kingdom.