We hear a lot these days about the need for more fairness and equality. People often get the idea that their worth or value is based on their salary, possessions, title or position in society. However, God’s Kingdom principles are very different. Some of the most highly educated and esteemed individuals today may not be making a positive impact on the world, and perhaps will not receive the greatest rewards in heaven.
Rivers of Living Water
It is interesting to observe how some of the least educated people often become some of the most fruitful and productive followers of Jesus and agents of change. There certainly is much inequality in the world today. However, it is encouraging to realize that God is an equal opportunity employer. He is no respecter of persons. He uses all of those who come to and believe on Him. In fact, Jesus has promised that when we do so, out of our hearts will flow rivers of Living Water. Of course, He is referring to the work of the Holy Spirit and His redemptive activity.
Doing the Impossible
Throughout Scripture and history, we see how God has and is using weak and flawed individuals. Samuel Chadwick, late principal, Cliff College in England, has said, “It is this mystery that has filled the history of the Church with anomalies. Inadequate men (and women) are always doing impossible things, and ordinary men achieve extraordinary results. God’s biggest things seem to be done by the most unlikely people.”
The Power of God unto Salvation
In the orality movement, we know of very significant impact in advancing the Kingdom by men and women who have very little formal education. When women, children and men of all ages hear, understand, and experience the transforming Word of God, they have great passion to share Him with others. The Good News of Jesus really is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe.
God’s Hall of Faith
While getting as much education as we can is important, it is liberating to realize that God often uses common people with little formal education in great ways. One of my former pastors, the late Dr. Adrian Rogers, used to preach a message titled, “God’s Hall of Faith.” He pointed out that throughout history, those who were greatly used of God were not necessarily the most educated, but were quite ordinary, and sometimes seemingly disadvantaged.
Containers of Deity
I was back in a West Africa a few years ago and heard reports from those who had received Bible storying orality training three years earlier. Those trained were now training others. It was a confirmation of the reproducing life of Jesus Christ in and through the redeemed humanity of common, ordinary followers of Jesus. What a joy to know that we all can be containers of deity and communicate the love and message of Jesus to the world around us. Orality strategies level the playing field and give ordinary followers of Jesus confidence that the Holy Spirit will work through each of us.
Who is Important to God
One of the important topics addressed in our orality training is that of worth and value. When learning a set of stories from the Bible, we observe how Jesus reached out and related to various classes of people. In the training sessions, we ask questions like, “Are women important to God?”, “Do children have value to Him?”, “Are demon possessed people important?”, “Are blind or crippled people important?”, and “Who has value in the Kingdom of God?”
When learning biblical stories and asking the appropriate questions (pre- and post-story discussion and dialogue), trainees conclude that all people are important to God, that all people have value and worth in the Kingdom of God. There is the recognition that our worth and value is not based on our performance, our ability, our possessions, or position in life. Our true value, from God’s perspective, is based on the price that was paid for us, the very life of the Lord Jesus. That means we are all very important persons (VIPs) in God’s sight.
Agents of Change
Therefore, we all have the capacity to be agents of change and transformation, not because of what we can do on our own, but because we are indwelt by Christ Himself and empowered by the Holy Spirit. For those of us who are privileged to have Scripture in our heart language and the ability to read it with comprehension, certainly we should read it, reflect upon it, meditate, and apply it to our lives. Yet today, most of the people in the world do not have that opportunity. We are hearing that more people are coming to Christ today around the world, than at any other time in history. They are do so by oral methods or modern technology and passing it on in the same way. These are indeed the most exciting times to be a part of God’s redemptive activity and being on mission with Him.