How many of you have ever said “I just want God to use me”?
I think most of us have said it at one point or another. So many of us say this and we are totally sincere, thinking that our desire to be “used” is the very thing we were created for, but it’s not.
The truth is that God does not want to use you. Or me.
Within this statement that “God wants to use me” lies a fundamental misunderstanding of who we are, and who God is. Just ask yourself, why does an all powerful God need help? If He created me so He could use me, why did he give me free will at all? Why doesn’t He just do it all Himself?
Stop for a minute and imagine how the Gospel would change if God came because he wanted to use you. “For God so wanted little helpers that he gave His only Son, so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but get to be told what to do forever so they can help Him take over the world.” (John 3:16, revised to fit our broken beliefs).
Look at Heaven. God has beings that adore Him day and night, declaring His beauty. He has elders that serve him and angels that do anything he asks of them. (Rev 4-5) He has every need taken care of, and the angels do a much better job of even things like worship than we do. (You try standing in one place for the rest of your life, saying nothing but “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty!”) So even being used by God to bring Him glory is not the point. Yes, you were made to bring God glory, but God is not interested in getting that through you doing stuff for Him.
The problem with living to be used by God is this is at worst an abusive paradigm, and at best a paradigm of slavery. By believing we exist to be used by God, we make God into the most gentle, kind, loving, and merciful slave-owner in the universe. He creates people so they can do whatever He wants. He bought us out of sin so that he can make us his slaves instead. Perhaps, He wants to use us regardless of if we want to be used or not. Perhaps He chooses to use us and we have no choice but to comply. Now our good God is actually a cosmic Abuser. He gets what He wants, even if it goes against our will. This Abusive dicator has plans for our lives, and we had better obey them or He will make us.
If you are living to be used by God, then the greatest goal of your life is to simply stay on plan.
Even if you don’t like the plan.
Because you’re a Christian; you’re supposed to like it or else you are a bad Christian. (Oh, sorry, I mean you are “struggling to understand God’s will for your life.” Don’t want to be too honest here.)
You were not created to be used, the Gospel is way better than that.
From day one, God made man with responsibilities, but never for responsibilities. As a matter of fact, God never tells Adam how to take care of his responsibilities, only what they are. It’s like God says “So Adam, here’s your home. I want you to make the best of it. Take care of it, and spread your awesome life over this entire world. You are responsible for all this, and I trust you. Do with it what you think is best.” God made Adam a powerful person, capable of living a life of authority, getting to partner with God, not work under Him. But Man forfeited that purpose.
The Devil told beings that were already like God that they had to do something to become like Him, and they believed Him. Instead of living in their authority as powerful people in relationship with a powerful God, they chose to believe they were slaves that needed liberation from God! Instead of telling the snake “this is my garden, you are talking trash about my Friend, and you need to get your fruity lies out of here!” they said “you’re right, I’m not powerful, and God does rule over me, I need to fix that.”
For thousands of years after that, Man has been falling into the trap of relating to God like slaves, and God keeps trying to raise them up to friends. He goes to Abraham for counsel on His decisions, Moses changes His mind about Israel, He argues with the Prophets. He so raises up His children that He says He does nothing without first letting them in on it! (Amos 3:7) Finally, Jesus comes on the scene to clear things up. He says “I no longer call you slaves, but friends! You are now in on the plan, and you get to ask anything you want because you know where I’m coming from already.” (John 15:15-17, my paraphrase)
The New Testament uses wild, unorthodox, revolutionary language when it says that we are “co-heirs” and “co-laborers” with Christ (rom 8:17, 1 Cor 3:9). We are now friends of God, reigning with God, laboring with God, fully integrated into His heart, given all authority, taking part in the grand Reformation of all of the universe. If God wanted to “use” you instead of work with you, he would have never put that crown on your head. (You are a Royal Priesthood, remember?)
The whole of the Gospel can be summed up in this:
Christ died and rose again, so that you could have relationship with Him, and do everything with (not for) Him forever.
To be used is to forfeit your identity. To be in relationship is to finally find it.
To be used is to be a slave. To be in relationship is to be a friend.
To be used means you are weak. To be in relationship means you are powerful.
God doesn’t want to use you because He wants to labor with you. He wants you to be so deep in relationship with Him that you can ask anything, and know that He will give it to you. (John 14:14) You have been given all things, and God has restored to you the authority that Adam lost. God doesn’t want to control you, He wants to enjoy you. He has a plan that He wants you to be an active participant in, not just a passive victim of. Stop waiting to understand the plan of God. Instead, take Saint Augustine’s advice:
“Love God, and do as you please.”
P.S- A while back a blogging friend of mine posted a post I really like on this subject of God’s will for our lives, and it relates directly to a lot of this. In the comments on his post, we expand on the post a bit, because I feel there are a few essential clarifications that need to be made about how happiness is still the point, but with that understanding, the post is phenominal. I highly recommend reading it:
Jonathan Stone- What is God’s Will for My Life