• Pete Johnson
Man hiking at sunset

What kind of person is God looking to use? “Surely not me!” you may say. “I have no training, I have no specialized skill set, plus I’m shy and easily intimidated. I’ll leave all that to the experts!”

Many Christians battle the back and forth in their minds over the question, “Could God use me?” We have this desire to be used by God and perhaps even get excited about the opportunity, but then when that opportunity presents itself, something happens, fear and doubt come crashing in. The fear and doubt that accompany the opportunities that God gives us to be used by Him, seem to always focus on our ability, or the lack thereof.

God has and will continue to use gifted individuals, however, God has always used and will continue to use those of us who are “less gifted”. The question Christians should be asking is “Am I available?” In other words, are you willing to be used by God, despite the fear and doubt?

Acts chapter 9: 1-9 gives Luke’s account of Saul’s (The Apostle Paul’s) conversion on the road to Damascus. As truly significant as this event was, another event occurs here as well that is very momentous on its own; the availability of Ananias.  Ananias was sent by the Lord to Saul, who would become known as the Apostle Paul, the greatest missionary preacher of God’s word to the Gentiles.

In Acts 9:10-19, the narrative changes from the regenerative work that Christ did in Saul’s life as he becomes a new believer, now to the work of Christ in Ananias’ life, as a believer. So who was this Ananias that the Lord used? All that we know about him was what Paul stated in Acts 22:12:

And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well-spoken of by all the Jews who lived there (Acts 22:12).

Simply put he was just a man, with no special abilities, but he was devoted to Christ. Ananias was in a place spiritually where he was available to be used by God. Even though fear and doubt came crashing in, he didn’t allow it to prohibit his availability. What God had called him to do, God equipped him to accomplish.

Fast forward to January 1850. In the English town of Colchester, a massive snowstorm had dropped a foot of snow on the ground. (Back then there were no snowplows or four-wheel drives!)

A young teenage boy by the name of Charles H. Spurgeon, a church attendee but still unsaved was attempting to make his way through the storm to his church service. The wind and the blowing snow became too much for him to continue through, so he turned down a side street and came upon a small Methodist chapel. Entering in he observed that there were only a handful of attendees and the preacher himself was not even there.

In the pastor’s place a man by the name of John Egglen, a deacon who had never preached a sermon in his life, walked up to the pulpit. Spurgeon described Egglen’s message like this:

The minister did not come that morning: snowed up, I suppose. A poor man, a shoemaker, a tailor, or something of that sort, went up into the pulpit to preach. He was obliged to stick to his text, for the simple reason that he had nothing else to say. The text was, ‘Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth’ [Isa 45:22]. He did not even pronounce the words rightly, but that did not matter.

So on that morning, Charles H. Spurgeon was born again and God used him in a mighty way. Spurgeon, known as the “Prince of Preachers” was the greatest preacher of the 19th century through whose preaching thousands of souls were saved.

Also on that morning, a man with no special abilities was used by God in a mighty way because he made himself available. He didn’t allow excuses, such as the weather, his lack of training, or fear and doubt keep him from being used by God… he said yes to God.

God provides the ability where there appears to be none when we make ourselves available.

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 12:4–9).