Worth (Part III): Enough For God's Plan

...teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matt.28:20
The Inspiration of St Matthew, by Caravaggio (1602) was sadly destroyed, but shows a beautiful depiction of God using His child to complete a beautiful plan despite difficulty.

In the first two parts of this series we looked at two important points:

  • It’s all about God: He says you are worthy.
  • He chose you, He knows you, and calls you worthy (that means He already knows everything… everything).

But what for? What could God possibly need us for, even if he does seem to like us? This great, big almighty God, omnipotent, omniscience, etc, seems to actually want us around? Why? We can’t be that worthy?

God includes us in His plan because we are an integral part of it. We are His children and as such He will attempt to teach us, mould us, and help us grow into the people we need to be. Logically there is no reason for this, but because He loves us we get to help anyway. One story told to me by a father was about how he used to chop wood for the fireplace over the winter. Each day his little girl would ask to help chop the wood. It took twice the time, and twice the effort as he guided her and assisted with her attempts, but the time spent together was worth the cost. This is how God teaches us, He allows us to get involved, invites us to spend time with Him, and guides us, even if it would have been quicker alone. By allowing, even asking, God to use us we see a little more of Him. Even if we mess up God keeps on going, working out the kinks of our mistakes.

God has also given us a responsibility through his anointing, not just a gift. We are part of how the new heaven and new earth gets closer, the “not yet” becomes “now”, and we are able to show others a little bit more of God and His kingdom on earth. Israel, as God’s chosen people, not only had the blessing of being God’s children, but they had the responsibility, a mission, to show the world who God was. Deep in their faith was the instruction to share God with the world, and that God’s plan was for all the nations, peace on earth. This was a promise fulfilled in Jesus when Jerusalem no longer held the only location for their God; through Jesus and the Spirit, hope was given to the world. The Jews were hardly the easiest options to be the vessel in which salvation came, the Roman writer Juvenal described them as “morose and surly”, but still God came through them, His children, working with them in the most unexpected of ways.

Through God’s sacrifice, He brought us into relationship with Him, alongside Jesus within the trinity and all that means for creation. This means getting involved in some pretty big stuff and can feel like a huge risk to take. But with every request God protects us, and guides us. That doesn’t mean it will be easy, or that life won’t be hard, but ultimately when our purpose is so wrapped up in God and who He is we have to give ourselves over completely. I was once told that we are immortal in the hands of God; this means that if we are following Him we will not die until it is our time. This still sounds like a lot but it suggests that even our death will have it’s purpose, and death has lost it’s sting: we have nothing to fear. We are worthy for all the plans God has for us and our reward is in eternity, included in the Godhead, held in love forever.

But still… me? Really? Surely there is someone else?

Well let’s look at a couple of examples of God using unexpected people:

Mary, mother of Jesus was hardly an easy option. Once pregnant she would have been condemned by her community as a woman who did NOT follow God’s laws. She was a woman with very little say in her life, but in her encounter with God she learnt to trust Him to the end, despite the suffering she knew would come. Through her, God became human, in the humblest of ways, coming right to the lowest of the low where He might reach us and help us understand. She risked everything by saying yes to God; legitimately she could have been stoned to death, thrown from her family house, divorced, penniless, alone. She had to watch her son, the child she had risked everything for, be put to death in the cruelest of ways. But even at the end, Jesus rewards her by making sure she is protected and honoured, and she continues to be an inspiration.

The Pieta by Michelangelo (1498-99), St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City.

Saul, later named St Paul, did not make it easy for God. His beliefs as a Pharisee had led him to persecute many of Jesus’ followers with violence. He was blinded by God on the road to Damascus and struggled to find safety before His eyes were opened. He finally understood this extraordinary layer of promise in the scripture he knew so well and knew the Messiah had come. He set about sharing the gospel, reaching Jews and Gentiles and anyone who would listen. Skills that were previously used against Christians were used to spread the gospel far and wide across the Mediterranean. He risked everything for the truth, was stoned, saved, ran, taught and was imprisoned, and was likely killed in Rome. His life could have been so much easier but the effect his life had on the early church was breathtaking.

So you think you’re not worth bothering with? Don’t get why God would use you with all your flaws? There seem like better options for a task at hand?

Well, truthfully there might be someone stronger, smarter, and whatever else, but God has a plan for you, and comparing yourself to others should not be your concern. God loves us, works His greatness and grace in you, and asks for you to follow (not to give Him excuses). God sets you apart, refines you, guides you and anoints you for greatness, and what can be greater than a part in the greatest plan in the history of the world. God chooses you for His plan. It may not be easier but He asks anyway, includes His child out of love. If you answer then you my end up risking everything but God is beside you, protecting you, with you. If you turn Him down? He’ll either keep bugging you about it (check out Jonah!), or ask someone else.

You don’t want Him to ask someone else!

God has said you are worthy. God has adopted you as worthy. God has plans for you that you are worthy of.

Do you get it now? You are worthy!

You are worthy.

You are worthy.

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