Many of us struggle with the desire to be significant in this world. We long to make an impact. We long to be someone who has influence.
This week in our Acts series we were introduced to Stephen. As we study the book of Acts in order to see how the early Church did evangelism so that we may imitate them, we run into this godly man. However, when he is first introduced at the beginning of Acts 6 he is one of seven men who have been appointed to resolve disputes over food.
From the world’s perspective he was a glorified table waiter. He was to make sure the appropriate people got their share of the food which the Church distributed weekly. It was a pretty mundane job that did not require skills that people in today’s world would pay a lot of money for.
However, Stephen does not let that define him or inhibit his confidence in God’s power. I meet a lot of people in the Church who are hesitant to step out and share the gospel because they view themselves as ignorant about the Bible or unable to talk intelligently on difficult issues. The problem with using this excuse to not share about Christ is that you have an example of someone who is just a normal guy who does not hesitate to engage in a nasty debate that ultimately gets him killed (gotta love this series on imitating the early church). Sure, it turns out the guy can speak in Chapter 7, but its not because of some innate ability he had or because he was special. Instead, he was a guy who knew the Lord and the Word because he had seen the importance of following God.
He wasn’t special because of some talent he cultivated, but because God decided to move through him. If you are wondering about your significance in the world and whether or not God can use you, I hope you see the story of Stephen and recognize that it doesn’t take some innate ability for God to use you. God uses the weak to shame the strong (1 Cor. 1:27). It takes God’s spirit moving through a heart that is fully committed to him.