The Person That God Uses (Z.T. Fomum)
What type of a person does God use? Some people think that God can use anybody and others think that God can use only those people who have co-operated the most with Him. What type of a person can God use?
“The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Susa the capital, that Hanani, one of my brethren, came with certain men out of Judah, and I asked them concerning the Jews that survived, who had escaped exile, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said to me, ”The survivors there in the province who escaped exile are in great trouble and shame; the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.” When I heard these words I sat down and wept, and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 1:1-4).
What type of a person does God use? Some people think that God can use anybody and others think that God can use only those people who have co-operated the most with Him to ensure that they are like Him in character and power; that He uses only those who have used all that they are and all that they have to know Him as much as possible, and to serve Him as much as they could. What type of a person can God use? The answer is that for His short term purposes, he can use an Adam, a Jonah, an ass, a Balaam, a Judas, a Demas and the like. They serve some temporary purpose of His and that is all. They do not need to bring anything of the formation of Christ within into it, and they do not continue in His service for long. They are like water that a person uses to wash his hands and then throws it away, forgets about it and that is all. Such may be used to accomplish great feats, but only on a short term basis. They may be used to do the unusual, like the ass that spoke. That was a great event. It was a great miracle. Possibly it was the only ass that ever spoke, but it remained an ass.
God however wants people who know Him, who understand the goal that He has in mind, who know the method that He wants to use and the price that must be paid. God wants people who know His Enemy, his goal, method and discipline. God wants people who will make His goal their goal, His method their method and His discipline their discipline. He wants people who are prepared to look at His Enemy the way He looks at him and who are prepared to do to the Enemy’s goal, method and discipline, what He wants to do to them. Such people will enrol with Him and become His servants permanently. He will reveal to them His purpose and give them the responsibility of carrying it out for Him. These people will satisfy many requirements including the following:
1. THE PERSON MUST BE AN EXILE
Nehemiah was an exile in the court of the King of Persia. Although he was an exile, he was well-placed. He was not molested physically. He could have had anything he wanted. However, he was not satisfied. He was not a native of Persia. He was an exile. His home was in Jerusalem. His heart was in Jerusalem. His ambitions were in Jerusalem. His dreams were in Jerusalem. His concern was in Jerusalem. He was in Persia but he was not of Persia because of the place to which his heart was hooked. As soon as he saw people who came out of Judah, he asked them concerning the Jews that survived, who had escaped exile, and concerning Jerusalem. His concern was the Jews and Jerusalem. There was a lot taking place in Persia, but his interest was the Jews and Jerusalem. Nehemiah was not only an exile, he possessed the spirit of an exile.
All who are born again are exiles. The Bible says,
“He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Colossians 1:13).
This applies to all believers. However, there are some believers who although they have been transferred out of the kingdom of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of Christ, are nevertheless in love with the present world. (This world is part of that darkness from which we have been transferred). They do not possess the spirit of an exile.
What are the marks of those who possess an exile’s spirit?
They love the Lord, the king of their true country with all their hearts.
The only things that give them joy and satisfaction are the things of their true homeland.
The things of their exile country have no power to make them happy or sad.
They are burdened for the prosperity of their homeland.
The prosperity of the country into which they are exiled does not bother them. They will however see to it that all that can be acquired in the country of exile is acquired and transferred to the homeland. They do this as soon as possible.
They make no permanent investments in the country in which they are exiled.
They keep nothing in the country of exile which is useful and needed in the homeland.
They are totally undisturbed and unmoved by appointments, promotions and demotions in the country of exile.
They are not moved in the least whether or not they are appointed, promoted or demoted by the authorities of the country of their exile.
They are not ashamed of their identity as exiles and would not want to be mistaken for citizens of the country in which they are exiled.
They live with one great expectation - the day of the termination of their exile and their return to the homeland.
They bother about how much has been transferred from the country of exile to the homeland ahead of time.
They are fully aware that they will not be able to take anything with them when the time comes to leave. They know that any wealth that is not transferred is not really theirs, for it could be lost any minute.
No one who lacks these basic characteristics of the spirit of an exile can ever be appointed by the Lord to spiritual leadership in the church of the One who came and died in this world, on the cross, as an exile from heaven. Yes, the Lord Jesus was once an exile in this world. We can look at His life as recorded in the four gospels, and it becomes obvious that these characteristics were a part of His life. Did He leave estates, bank accounts, mansions, degrees, institutions... behind?
My own cry to God is that my entire life will be dominated by an exile spirit and that I will live in such a way that when the time to go to my home does come, I will leave behind:
no honours from worldly men,
no bank accounts...
My prayer is that the Lord will so work in me that:
the praises of this world,
the blames of this world,
the promotions of this world,
the demotions of this world,
the joys of this world,
the sorrows of this world
offer me not one minute of joy or sorrow. Lord Jesus, do this in me in a new way.
But my desire is not just that I may see the world as my Lord sees it. I want to see the kingdom of God as my Lord sees it. I want to desire the King and the Kingdom, with all my heart. I want to serve the King and the Kingdom with all my might. I want to put all that I am and all that I have into working for the King and for the Kingdom. I want to waste all that I am and all that I have on the King and on the Kingdom. I want to make the greatest transfers out of this world and into the Kingdom. I want to create a record for making the most out of the world and transferring it 100% into the Kingdom.
“Lord, help me not to be passive. Help me to be actively acquiring what is transferable. Lord, may I not acquire anything that cannot be transferred. Help me to hurry over the transfer process for the night cometh. Help me to help others to see and to act. Amen.”