Posted by Meg Duck Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 7:19 PM
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. ~2 Corinthians 4:6-7~
In the summer I turned 21 I was working at roller coaster park in Ohio (Cedar Point, if you've heard of it). I worked as a cashier at one of the over-priced gift shops 6 days a week, and I usually just slept on the 7th day. I lived in one of the "dorms" which were jammed with as many people in a room as the Fire Marshall would allow.
One late evening one of my co-workers (a lovely boy named Evan) was doing a drag-show at one of the local gay bars. A group of us decided to go and see him perform. It was a crowded place, full of scantily clad women (and men dressed as scantily clad women) and the room resounded with loud music and hoots and hollering toward the stage. I bought drinks for all the minors, and sat down with my group, bumming cigarettes and cheering on the performers.
After Evan performed (I don't remember the song) we headed outside to get some fresh air. There was a tarot card reader asking to read people's fortunes. Now, I became a believer when I was 17, and I believed that tarot carried demonic power. I was slightly buzzed, and I was curious as to what would happen. She offered me the deck, I took a card, handed it to her, and the lady flipped.
She started ranting, asking me what kind of spiritual power I had, telling me that I had ruined her deck. She went to a car to get a new one, and my co-workers all stared at me, awkwardly. Eventually the mood lightened, and we went back inside. But for me it was, pardon the expression, a very sobering experience. Conviction choked me.
There I was, knee-deep in sin, and God rattled me to my very core. It was in that moment that I realized that no matter where I go and no matter what I do, I carry the Spirit of the living God within this frame of skin and bones, and no matter where I am, I am an ambassador for Christ.
Even when I am a terrible one.
It was a very convicting experience for me, and I certainly do not boast about my behavior that summer. I often hid my beliefs from my co-workers, hoping to be liked, and fearing conflict. And there was God, reminding me that I can never run, nor ever hide, from the truth that my life is no longer my own.
Now, the point of this blog is not to condone lascivious behavior, because God will use you anyways. God would have been far more glorified by my abstaining. God would have been far more glorified it I had chosen to live by His precepts.
God is greatly glorified as I walk in the spirit of obedience. Like it says in Matthew 5:16, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." One of the greatest witnesses we have is our obedience, our good deeds, the evidence of sanctification in our life.
Still, for one such as me, who is often ladened with guilt and shame, the truth that God uses me despite me, is one of the most freeing truths in the world.
Here is the thing: I fail. I fail a lot. And yet God has still uses me as His representative to humanity.
"Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us." ~2 Corinthians 5:20a~
I had gotten in a fight with a friend, and spent the weekend in my dorm, bemoaning my life. I went to dinner, and a girl walked up to me and said, "I had a dream last night that you had knew the meaning of life. So tell me, what is it?" An open door.
I had just transfered colleges and I was so lonely and miserable, I was making myself sick. A friend invited me to Moe's for a burrito. As I went to get my soda from the fountain, a man walked up to me and said, "You have the happiest aura I have ever seen. Why are you so happy?" An open door.
I had gotten word that my finances were a mess. I was broke (as I often am), and had no way to rectify the situation. I spent hours and hours complaining to anyone who would listen, refusing any comfort. I got out of my room, and eventually I found a friend crying. She said, "I have been thinking a lot, about salvation." An open door.
These are just a few of the times that God has pulled me out of the mire of my life, and used me to wield change. This, then, is the conclusion that I have drawn. God's ability to use me is not dependent on my obedience to Him. Just as Jonah's greatest hour was executed by God only moments after Jonah's greatest failure.
My personal roadblock to sharing my faith, to actively acting as the ambassador for God that I know I am, is shame. I am often aware of how unworthy I am.
Since that summer, God has slapped me around a lot, and gotten me flying straight in a lot ways. But still, I stumble. The point of this blog is this: Sin, even "great sin" does not disqualify you from God's work. If you have spent time in bars, slept around, snorted crack, stolen cars, or even beat up your best friend, if you are a believer, you are an ambassador of Christ. And though God may have a lot of work to do in your life, he can use you today for His work.
Not because we are worthy. Not because of anything we can accomplish of our own power. The Bible is jam-packed full of characters who failed God time after time, and yet God still used them. Why? Because, "we have this treasure (the power of God) in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us."
Picture taken from