Jesus demonstrated during his life on this earth the secret of being used of God. It is a complete dependence on God and a total renunciation of self-reliance. Jesus did this by maintaining a consistent prayer life with his father. He got his directions, empowerment and approval from his father. Oswald Chambers very eloquently writes about this important principle:
God can achieve his purpose either through the absence of human power and resources, or the abandonment of reliance on them. All through history God has chosen and used nobodies, because their unusual dependence on him made possible the unique display of his power and grace. He chose and used somebodies only when they renounced dependence on their natural abilities and resources."[i]
I don’t know which is a bigger miracle, a nobody who believes God can use him or a somebody who abandons self-reliance. Either way it is the way God uses people, and it all comes down to whether or not we will depend on God.
The Apostle Paul has given us nearly half of the New Testament with his epistles and outside of Christ is the most influential person in Christianity. He had an incredible grasp of this truth and made it a theme in all his writing. Paul had been arrogant and proud of his pedigree and educational credentials, but when he met Christ, he considered all that loss for the gain of knowing Christ. The proud Saul became the humble Paul.
In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians he amply covers this subject of our human frailty and weakness. Paul had learned that human weakness, when surrendered to God, becomes the arena for God to display his extraordinary power. This verse offers a beautiful picture of the concept of dependence on God.
2 Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
The metaphor clearly describes that God has given to us his power which is displayed in our frail humanity. This treasure is God’s and must be seen as God’s not ours. That’s the hard part because human beings like to be praised for their accomplishments. When God, however, uses a nobody and showcases his power, there is no mistaking who did the work. Only in dependence on God can we really see God do the impossible things we need to see. Only God knows what is ahead and how it all fits together. To live any way but in dependence of him is complete folly for the believer.