Webster defines the word anomaly as “a deviating from a general rule, method, or analogy; abnormal.” Yet I can’t think of a better word to describe why God chose to use some individuals who have neither education, good family connections, nor are particularly intelligent; while the gifted, educated individuals with good background and connections get set aside in the economy of God.
There are reasons, and I see them coming together in the life of a man well-loved by Jews, Christians, and Moslems—Abraham. Why did God use this man when surely others better qualified didn’t get the job? Three remarkable qualities or traits seem to come together in this man as they do in the lives of people, no matter where they are, past, present, or future if God is to use them.
Quality #1: Unswerving obedience to the call of God.
When God spoke to Abraham and asked him to follow Him, he packed up and said, “Let’s go!” When God said, “Abraham, I want you to give me your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love,” Abraham didn’t respond, “Hey, God, let’s make a deal. I’ve got quite a lot of money and servants, how about my giving you ten of my best?” He responded in complete confidence that God is a good God and that He asks no less than He, Himself, is willing to give in return.
It’s right here that a lot of well‑qualified individuals lose out with God. They want to make a deal with God, saying, “I’ll go so far but no farther.” They are more interested in serving God in an advisory capacity, rather than grassroots involvement. That kind of attitude not only would leave them out of corporate headquarters in the world of industry but doesn’t give God much to work with when it comes to His kingdom, either.
They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. Hebrews 11:38-40
Quality #2: Another reason why God uses individuals of simple background is that their commitment is undivided.
That was true of Abraham as it was true of Dwight L. Moody, a shoe salesman turned evangelist. Moody said, “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man who is totally dedicated to the cause of Christ. I will strive to be that man!” Moody realized that he lacked much, subsequently Moody gave himself completely and without reservation to God, and it is amazing what God can do with somebody who realizes that he is nobody.
Moses also painfully learned the same lesson. For forty years Moses thought he was somebody. After all, he was the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter, and then after failure struck, he spent forty years learning he was nobody; and then for forty years he discovered what God can do with somebody who is a nobody.
Quality #3: God uses unlikely candidates for success because they have a simple faith that God will honor the promises of His Word.
For years Abraham patiently awaited the promised son, yet he was confident that God would somehow meet him. Eventually, God did, and when that happened, God set aside the natural laws which had caused them to be childless. God made a promise, and Abraham believed that promise. In His time, God performed exactly what He had promised. The words of 2 Chronicles 16:9 are still true: “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” God hasn’t changed, and you can be the person used by Him in your office, your home, or your school. Trust Him and let Him work His will in your life.
Resource reading: Hebrews 11:8-10