Growing up, we used to attend a certain church. It wasn’t as large as it is now, but it was still quite known globally – to an extent. A family member was a major leader there, and was very close to the Head pastor.
Then stuff happened. Politics, lies, manipulation came in and the family member left. My parents who were leaders in the church were also unfairly stripped of their positions, simply because of their connection and personal convictions. They were ostracised and the members turned hostile. My parents were deeply grieved and hurt.
For many years, I didn’t understand how the head pastor could act in such a manner and believe things that were untrue. Didn’t he have the Spirit of God?!
Then I grew older – and wiser. Today, the head pastor is someone I completely respect and honor.
When people criticize certain ministers, especially ‘Generals of the faith’, I am usually silent – or I ferociously defend them. No, I don’t wear rose-coloured glasses. I see them clearly, warts and all – but I have learned to see things from a broader (I dare say ‘divine’) perspective. I understand, with every passing day, why God uses them despite their obvious flaws:
(1) Their Hearts.
As I study and listen consistently to many of them, I realise they have a true passion for the people, and a true desire to please God. Simply put, they love God and they love people.
Someone once said, “God would rather you have a perfect heart and imperfect hands, than perfect hands and an imperfect heart.” I agree.
(2) The Imperfection Of All Humanity.
No matter how spiritual a person is, they have flaws. Ask those living with them. “Elijah was a man subject to like passions…”¬ No one in the Bible was perfect – neither will anyone used by God today be, you and I included.
Unfortunately, merely being a Christian magnifies your flaws in the world. Being a Christian Leader in the public eye blows them up to astronomical proportions…and God understands this. He still uses His imperfect vessels – with their impatience, anger, insecurity, ego, depression, fear – just like that.
(3) Their Secret Place.
Many of us see their public errors – but we don’t see the secret dealings by God when His vessels err. Or do we think they don’t realize when they err, fall face down and ask for mercy – just like us? Do we think God doesn’t chastise them – even more than others?
More importantly, do we think God doesn’t forgive them? Or do we secretly feel that, even though He forgives, He should stop using them?
We don’t know what goes in their closets – but the longevity and continuous impact of some of these vessels prove there is an ongoing work in the secret place. This leads us to the next point:
(4) The Growth Process.
When I look at the minister I spoke about at the beginning of the post, I have seen astounding growth over the years.
Trust me, there are many things God’s servants cringe about, regret, or wish they hadn’t done or said – but like EVERY successful individual, they learn from their mistakes, “forget those things which are behind and press forward.”^ God knows His children will grow – and He allows them to.
(5) The Behind-The-Scenes Footage.
Do we know what it means to liberate people from hell? Do we truly expect the enemy to passively fold his hands as souls and destinies are brutally snatched from his jaws?
People grossly underestimate the sacrifices made by these vessels – or the spiritual warfare they experience: the attacks on their reputation, physical health, marriages, children, finances, ministry, mental health etc.
God sees everything behind the scenes – and He is fiercely loyal to His servants. He understands that the accuser never fights clean – and, unlike many humans, He will not abandon His children because they fail or fall.
(6) Kingdom Impact.
And this, right here, is one of the biggest reason God still uses His ‘unfit’ vessels.
Sometime ago, I watched as the minister above preached standing, despite the heavy rain, in an open air crusade – and he is over eighty-years old. All over the world, miracles occurred and souls thronged out en-masse to give their lives to Christ.
While many of us sit in our cozy ‘perfection’ as armchair-generals, unwilling to walk into the next street to share the gospel, these ones are on the battle- and mission fields, bringing kingdom to earth.
-While we see imperfections, God sees the devil frothing and insanely raging as hundreds and thousands are snatched back from the brink of hell.
-He sees His children delivered from heavy demonic bondage and affliction.
-He sees the visible relief and unbelieving joy after years of intense pain or medication.
-He sees hundreds/thousands/millions thanking Him that the ‘unfit’ vessel answered, “Yes, Lord” when He called them.
-He sees Isaiah 61:1-3 become a reality.
Look, God is a business man – and these vessels are giving Him massive returns on His investment.
If heaven rejoices over one sinner that repents*, these ‘unfit’ vessels are sending heaven into paroxysms of joyful frenzy.
Also, time is running out, and the end-time battle is savage. God is looking for “the highest possible impact in the shortest possible time,” – and these vessels have made themselves available and willing.
Only eternity will fully reveal the magnitude of the sacrifices they have made – and still make daily – to be used by God.
My highest Salute to God’s Generals.
( ¬ James 5:17; ^ Philippians 3:13&14; *Luke 15:7)
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