“You a jacked up hot mess dawg! How in the world do you think YOU of all people could ever do anything for God’s Kingdom, and you wanna tell people about God? PLEASE, you ain’t religious – you don’t say ‘yo prayers every night, you don’t read the bible like you should, and you definitely don’t go to church every Sunday, but most of all you don’t take crap from anybody – ain’t you s’pose to do all these things? C’mon give me a break, how is God gonna use you? You a jacked up hot mess!! You smoke, you curse, you be having mood swings, you don’t give money to yo peoples’ when you know they don’t work; and like I said, you don’t take crap from anybody. How is you gonna tell anybody about God and do anything ‘fo his Kingdom – you ain’t religious and you ‘sho ain’t perfect!"
That is the perspective of most people concerning “Christians” we have to be sunshiny perfect robots who make it rain for everybody; and if we’re not careful we can fall into a multitude of misconceptions and begin believing that we have to be perfect in order to do anything for God and his Kingdom.
The Catholic faith (religion) gave me a sense of closeness with God, but as I grew into adulthood I was kinda messed up concerning the very nature of who God was and what I had to do to have a loving rapport with him. It took me years to get over a guilt based religion with rules and regulations that ultimately made me feel unworthy of God’s love and forgiveness if I innocently made a mistake.
It took years and a lot or tears and searching to realize that God is not sitting on this huge throne tapping his foot waiting to pass judgement on me when I make an innocent mistake. Even though I still stumble and fall sometimes, I don’t feel guilty or condemned to the point where I don’t get up and keep walking: when I say “get up and keep walking” I’m talking about asking for forgiveness and asking for strength to repent. Let me repeat that, I get up and keep walking because I know he loves me and wants a close relationship with me. “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 (NLT)
Most folks (like myself at one time) think the only people who can do anything for God are perfect people. But let me pause here a minute and ask, “What is perfect?” Only Jesus is perfect, and I have not come across any scriptures in the bible where Jesus says, “You ain’t perfect like me so you can’t be part of my crew for my Father’s Kingdom” If there's a scripture that says that then please point it out to me! But here’s one for you that can change your entire perspective on ‘getting’ perfect in order to serve God’s Kingdom: “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” Ecclesiastes 11:4 (TLB)
Take a peek at these 3 fellows - the very definition of a jacked-up hot mess:
KING DAVID: This is the guy that killed that ugly giant Goliath as a young boy. He grew up to be a great King, however during his ‘kingship’ his lustful feelings for another man’s wife (Bathsheba) led him into an adulterous affair with her, and he soon had Bathsheba’s husband murdered. His behavior caused him a lot of problems, but out of that experience David wrote some of the most prolific scriptures in the bible – the Psalms-73 of them; the one we are most familiar with is Psalms 23, you know how it goes….”the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want….” And by the way his son Solomon whose mother was Bathsheba also wrote 2 chapters in the book of Psalms, and in addition to those 2 books, David’s son Solomon also wrote the book of Proverbs, Songs of Solomon, and the book I just referenced – Ecclesiastes. Yes, the Lord has the power to turn your jacked “upness” into something that will change people’s lives.
PETER: Here’s a guy that Jesus hand-picked to be one of his disciples. This guy was loud, boastful and cursed like a sailor. You know he had to be a rough one – he was a fisherman, who had no problems cutting you, look at what he did to that Roman soldier in the Garden of Gethsemane – he cut the guy’s ear off (with good human reason though – I think?) Jesus had to know this guy was a character who would later deny him, but he accepted him anyway – Peter wrote 2 books in the bible, 1st and 2nd Peter. “…this is so you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” 1st Peter 2:9 (NLT)
PAUL(formerly known as 'Saul'): O to the M to the G, lawd, lawd, lawd. This guy here! Paul, my brother Paul; for the lack of a better term Paul was a religious terrorist. He was well educated and followed all the rules and regulations of the old Jewish laws; because of those misconceptions of who God really was Paul just could not wrap his head and heart around the Gospel of Jesus, so what does this guy do – he chases, terrorizes and kills Christians. Wait a minute! He was in the company of the men who were gonna stone Peter to death.
Anyway, one day he runs into Jesus on a road (he was actually on his way to arrest Christians.) Can you guess what the Lord said to him? Certainly not anything like the opening statement of this post. Jesus simply asked “Why are you persecuting me?” Acts 9:4 (NLT.) After that question it was a wrap for Paul- that encounter with Jesus changed this man’s entire mind and heart. Paul was one of the greatest writers in the bible, he wrote 13 books in the New Testament known as the Epistles. I think it’s so cool that the Lord will meet you right where you are!
Funny how a lot of people – including those who claimed to be ‘religious’ say “Ohhh God won’t use a dirty vessel-a sinner, somebody who is doing wrong, somebody who is making mistakes – God won’t use them for his work.” Well the question is, who is he gonna use then?? We all are sinners who stumble and fall; again if God doesn’t use us who on earth is he gonna use?? Jesus died for our sins and there is no more guilt and condemnation. This is not to say we can (with a clear conscious) continue with wrong doing. However, we cannot let the adversary trick us into believing that we’re no good because of the mistakes we make.
The biggest sin is that when we stumble and fall we remain face down in the dirt refusing to get up and try again. The Lord is not keeping tabs on how many times we miss the mark – he wants you and me to get up in our mind and spirit and repent. We must keep walking out the journey with our sights on the realities of heaven; and the Lord will be right there to help us, and the falls become less and less.
The bible is filled with people who were just shady and jacked-up but God used them for greatness, for his glory. Don’t be deceived by the misconception that you’re not good enough. GET UP! Share your gift and talent – show us what you got!
“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:13-16 (NLT)
What say you? Are you still faced down in the dirt believing that you can't do anything for his Kingdom? If so, get yourself up for there and get to walking on this wonderful journey!! Share your thoughts right here - you never know it just may help someone!