The Person God Uses
Samuel Logan Brengle
I was talking with a Christian store-keeper a while ago who said, "People are crying for God to use them, but He can’t. They’re not yielded to Him, they’re not humble, or teachable, or holy. There are plenty of people who come to me and want to work In my store, but I can’t use them - they’re not fit for my work. When I need someone, I advertise and sometimes spend days trying to find the man I need, and then I test him to know whether he’ll suit me or not."
The fact is, God is using everybody that He can, and using them to the full extent of their fitness for His service. So instead of praying so much to be used, people should search themselves to know whether they’re usable.
God can’t use just anybody who comes along any more than a storekeeper could. It’s only those who are "sanctified, useful to the Master," and "prepared for every good work," that He blesses with great usefulness. (II Tim. 2:21) God wants men and women, and He’s hunting for them everywhere - but He has to pass by hundreds before He finds even one that is usable.
Attitude - Not Aptitude
The Bible says, "For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His." (II Chron. 16:9)
Oh, how God wants to use you! But before you ask Him to use you, make sure your "heart is completely His"- then you can count on God to show Himself strong on your behalf. Glory to His dear Name!
When God searches for someone to work in His vineyard, He doesn’t ask, "Is he talented? Is he well educated? Does he have a great voice? Is he eloquent in prayer? Is he a powerful speaker?" But rather, He asks, "Is his heart completely Mine? Is he holy? Is he loving others? Is he willing to walk by faith and not by sight? Does he love Me so much, and have such a confidence in My love for him, that he trusts he’s being used even when he can’t see it? Will he be tired and quit when I correct him and try to prepare him for greater usefulness? Or will he, like Job, cry out, ‘Though He slay me, I will hope in Him?’ (Job 13:15)
"Does he study My Word, and meditate on it day and night, so that he may be careful to do according to all that is written in it? (Joshua 1:8) Does he rely on My counsel, and seek to always be led by My Spirit? Or is he stubborn and independent, like the horse and the mule, which have to be held in check with bit and bridle? (Psalm 32:9)
"Is he a man pleaser and one who lives for his own pleasure, or is he willing to wait for his reward and seek solely the glory that is from the one and only God? (John 5:44) Does he preach the Word, and is he ready in season and out of season? (II Tim. 4:2) Is he gentle and humble in heart? (Matt. 11:29)"
When God finds such a person, He will use him. God and that person will have such a friendship with each other, such mutual sympathy, love, and confidence, that they will at once become workers together.
Fully Yielded - Fully Used
Paul was such a person - the more they whipped him, stoned him, and tried to rid the earth of him, the more God used him. At last they threw him in prison, but Paul declared with unshaken faith, "I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned." (II Tim. 2:9)
He spoke God’s Word and neither devils nor men could put. shackles on it. It pierced right through the prison walls and flew across oceans and continents. Down through the long centuries it has borne the glorious news of the blessed Gospel - overthrowing kingdoms, powers of evil, and everywhere bringing light, comfort, and salvation to troubled and sinful hearts.
Paul’s mighty words and works are bearing tremendous fruit almost two thousand years after his enemies thought they had finished him. Since the time they cut off Paul’s head and thought they were done with him forever, his usefulness has increased, and his mighty words and works are still bearing fruit today. "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord... that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them." (Rev. 14:13) How surprised Paul will be on Judgment Day when he receives all of the treasures he has laid up in Heaven and the everlasting inheritance prepared for him!
Paul saw dark days. He wrote to Timothy and said, "You are aware of the fact that all who are in Asia turned away from me." (II Tim. 1:15) Study Paul’s life in Acts and the letters to the churches. See what conflicts and discouragements he had and take courage! You may think you’re useless, but you’re not. Trust God! Jesus is waiting to use you - but first ask Him to make you usable. Make sure you’re right with God and filled with His Spirit - and Jesus will make sure rivers of living water will flow from your innermost being to bless the world And you too, will be surprised on Judgment Day to see how great your reward is, compared to the small amount of your sacrifices and work.
Samuel Logan Brengle served more than forty years in The Salvation Army. As a young man with a heart for evangelism and ministry, he turned a tempting offer to pastor a very renowned church, and instead applied for service in The Salvation Army.
William Booth, founder of the Army, admonished him, "Brengle, you belong to the dangerous classes. You have been your own boss for so long that I don’t think you will want to submit to Salvation Army discipline. We are an army and we demand obedience." Undaunted, Brengle joined the Army in 1887, and was promptly sent to work cleaning boots in a dingy cellar.
After a while he wondered about this apparent waste of his time and talent. Tempted in his heart to seek rapid promotion, he prayed "Lord God, am I burying my talents? Is this the best they can do for me in The Salvation Army? Am I a fool?" As quick as he asked, the answer came, as he saw in his mind Jesus kneeling and washing the disciples’ feet - His own Lord performing such an "unimportant" task.
Years later Brengle wrote about that time of shining boots: "It was the best training I could have had. I was practicing humility. That experience put a key in my hand to unlock the hearts of lowly people all round the. world for the next forty years!"
Brengle learned firsthand the true requirements for a person to be used by God. And as he walked in those things, he came to be remembered by those who knew him as a powerful evangelist who deeply loved and served the common man. This article was taken from one of his books, Helps to Holiness, originally published in 1896.