For the sake of His Name.

God can use anyone. He’s God. And I’m grateful for that. Because I know God has used me when in all honesty, in whatever various season I was in, I’m sure I wasn’t the best “choice” for being God’s hands and feet. But he choose me anyway. And I’ve learned a lot about God in those situations. A lot about His sovereignty and grace.

A couple weeks back I posted on Facebook:

“The Israelites weren’t God’s chosen people because of anything they did. They were God’s chosen because of God and the faith of a few. In the same way we aren’t children of God because of anything we’ve done. We are children of God because of the obedience of Jesus Christ.”

The people of Israel were God’s chosen because of God. They were God’s chosen people in spite of who they were. 

Near the end of Ezekiel God is talking about reclaiming His people and restoring His Name and holiness. It’s a beautiful description of God using us in spite of ourselves. 

“Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.” (Ezekiel 36:22, 23 NIV)

I like this reminder on a couple of fronts. First and foremost it’s a great reminder that it’s not about us. God wasn’t bring the people of Israel out of captivity for their sake. It was for the sake of His holy name. When God is moving and doing stuff through us, or in spite of us, it’s for His name and His glory. 

Secondly, it’s a great reminder that God can still use us and do things in spite of our sinfulness. Again, because it’s not about us. It’s about Him. And using us to bring Him glory in times when we’re at less than our best (which is most the time) should be a reminder to be careful how we judge others and should help serve us on to strive to become more and more who God is calling us to be. 

And lastly, as the theme continues, it’s about God. And not people. We accuse people of doing very damning things in the name of Jesus. We don’t like so and sos theology. Or their views on x,y, and z. They don’t do church the right way, or say the right things publicly, or endorse such and such. We get frustrated with people who make public declarations in the name of God that we disagree with or cringe at. And some of those are worth cringing at. But we need to remember that they’re our family. Like them or not, you don’t get to choose your family. And if they’ve accepted Christ and are following Jesus, they’re family. And God can use people we think are misguided, just as much as he can use you or I.