I am a fraud.
Satan reminds me of this day after day. He taunts me with his words: You can’t work for God. You’re not good enough. Look at what you’ve done…how can you be a true Christian? You’re a fraud.
And he’s right; I’m not good enough. I’m a sinner. I’ve done terrible things in my life, things that still haunt me in my darkest hours, when I’m feeling down about the person I am.
Satan is the master of guilt and self-doubt. Without warning, he slips into my mind and brings back memories of my past. There are so many people out there who are better Christians than you will ever be, he whispers. What makes you think you can talk to anyone about Jesus?
With Satan’s voice in my head, it’s easy to say, He’s right. I need to fix myself before I think about reaching out to others. Just this morning, I opened my Bible with those thoughts in my mind. “Okay, you need to do more for God. It’s time to memorize more Bible verses…pray harder…reach out to those in need…”
It’s not that there’s anything wrong with any of those things on my to-do list above. Those are all things that Christians are called to do.
But the thought process that got me there? It’s WAY off-base. And just like He always does, God brought that to my attention through His word.
In chapter two of the book of Mark, Jesus eats dinner in the midst of tax collectors and sinners. The scribes and Pharisees are angry that He’s surrounding Himself with “low” people such as these. But when He hears what they are saying, He responds with, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Mark 2:17)
It’s impossible to fix myself; Jesus is THE physician. I can’t make myself well and THEN go see the doctor; things don’t work that way. I have to come to Him, surrender myself, confess my sins, and let Him work in my life to make me into the person He wants me to be.
And as far as waiting until I’m “fixed” to work for Him?
In the book of John, chapter four, Jesus passes through the city of Samaria. There He encounters a woman drawing water from the well. She is a sinner, which He is well aware of, but He asks her for a drink. By doing this, He breaks major social rules of the day – first of all, men in the Middle East didn’t speak to women in public…not even their wives or mothers; second, Jews didn’t speak to Samaritans; and third, a teacher like Jesus would never speak to a woman like her – a social outcast with five former husbands who lived with her boyfriend in sin. But He ignores all the rules and tells her that He is the Messiah, that He can give her water so that she will never thirst again. And what does she do from there? She runs into the city and tells everyone she sees about Jesus. The Bible tells us that “many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified” (John 4:39). He used her – a sinner – to turn many people into believers.
Jesus can use the “worst” of us for His purpose. I don’t have to wait until I’m a “better” person; I can ask Jesus for opportunities to speak for Him just as I am, and He will use me for His good.
When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, He knew that we would never live up to them. But He loved us so much that He let His only Son die for us, taking the fate that we deserve. How thankful I am that I serve a God of mercy, a God who loves me as I am, listens to my prayers, teaches me, molds me, and forgives me time and time again.