Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Who is worthy to speak for God?

Moses knew the feeling. When God told him to lead Israel out of slavery in Egypt, Moses knew one truth: God was picking the wrong man. Isaiah painfully realized that he was not worthy to be anywhere near God. How could he dare to speak for him? Jonah ran and sailed as hard as he could to get away from God's mission for him. Preachers today sometimes dream that they're standing naked before their congregation or that they're speaking a foreign language (which they don't understand well) while they're preaching. Each dream, like the experiences of the biblical heroes mentioned above, shouts, "How dare I speak for God?" Who is worthy to such a task? Only one, and he now sits at God's right hand: Jesus. But God still reaches out to hardened, hurting people and sometimes he uses other hardened, hurting people to say, "I love you." The Bible talks about the "foolishness of preaching" and God's using "broken vessels." Sometimes I wonder how I can talk to others about God. And then I think, "If I don't, who will?" To be sure, there are thousands out there, perhaps millions, who will, but perhaps my voice, shaped by unique experiences and blessed by exposure to gifted teachers of God's word, will be the only one heard by that man or woman who most needs God at this moment. And if he or she can't, or won't hear me, then who? Could it be...you?

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