The “Normal” Excuse

The “Normal” excuse is the excuse we use to justify not doing or attempting anything great for God.  “I’m just a normal person, what can I do?”  “God can’t use me, I’m not important.”  “I’m a nobody, why would God even want to use me?”

While reading through the Bible it seems to me that God enjoys using normal, everyday people.  Most are not some kind of superhero or prominent person in society, they’re just normal.  Some are what we would consider the lower end of 782150_56961772society and one’s a donkey.

Take a look.

A prostitute- Joshua 2:1-7

Who ended up saving lives.

An old, poor widow- 1 Kings 17:7-24

Who fed a prophet of God.

A donkey- Numbers 22:21-35

That saved a mans life.

A young shepherd- 1 Samuel 17

That killed a guy that looked like the Terminator with a rock and a sling-shot..

A teenage girl and a carpenter- Matthew 1:18-25

Mary, the Mom of Jesus and Joseph, His Step-Dad.

A guy that owned a donkey- Luke 19:29-34

Who gave it to Jesus without question.

A guy wearing camel’s hair clothing who ate grasshoppers and honey- Mark 1:6

That prepared the way for Jesus as well as baptized Him.

A domineering religious gangster- Acts 8:3

Who becomes one of the most influential men in church history.

And these are just a few.  The Bible is full of “normal” people doing incredible things for God.  Let’s look at one in particular.

Saul.  Saul was a Pharisee.  A religious leader.  He was also basically a hit man/enforcer for the Jewish religious group of that time.  He went around arresting and having Christ-Followers stoned to death.  He was focused on destroying the church.  The Bible goes into detail and says that “Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.”  (for context read Acts 7:54-8:3)

So here we have a guy going around trying to exterminate the church.  But something happens, he gets knocked off his high horse, literally.

Saul goes to the high priest and asks for permission to go to Damascus and look for more Christ-Followers.  The high priest agrees and Saul mounts up and rides off.  Lets pick up the story there in the Bible,

3 As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”

5 “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked.

And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! 6 Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”  Acts 9:3-5 (New Living Translation)


So Saul gets booted off his horse and Jesus talks to him.  He tells him to knock it off.  Saul is confused, he thinks he is doing the will of God.  He honestly believes he is in the right.  It must be quite a shock to have the supposedly dead leader of the people you have been killing and arresting appear and tell you you’re an idiot.

The story goes on, not only has Saul been brought down to earth but he is also blind.  He makes his way to the city and waits.

Let’s pick it back up in the same chapter,

10There was a disciple in Damascus by the name of Ananias. The Master spoke to him in a vision: “Ananias.”

“Yes, Master?” he answered.

11-12“Get up and go over to Straight Avenue. Ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus. His name is Saul. He’s there praying. He has just had a dream in which he saw a man named Ananias enter the house and lay hands on him so he could see again.”

13-14Ananias protested, “Master, you can’t be serious. Everybody’s talking about this man and the terrible things he’s been doing, his reign of terror against your people in Jerusalem! And now he’s shown up here with papers from the Chief Priest that give him license to do the same to us.”

15-16But the Master said, “Don’t argue. Go! I have picked him as my personal representative to non-Jews and kings and Jews. And now I’m about to show him what he’s in for—the hard suffering that goes with this job.” (Acts 9:10-16, The Message)

“You can’t be serious.”  Can you hear the amazement and absolute horror in Ananias’ voice?  You know he’s thinking, “Are you out of your mind God?  This is the man that has been killing people, ripping families out of their homes and putting them in prison.  Seriously?  This is what you really want me to do?”

God answers him, “Don’t argue with me, just do it.  This is the guy I want.”  Ananias goes to Saul and tells him about Jesus and Saul becomes a Christ-Follower.  Later God changes Saul’s name to Paul who then goes on to write most of the New Testament and bring the story of Jesus to the Gentiles (that’s us, non-Jewish folks).

Why?  Why would God choose Saul?  Why not Peter or Matthew?  Why not some guy named Larry?  Why Saul, someone hell-bent on destroying the church?  I have a theory.  And I have a Bible verse that I think backs it up.  God tends to choose what we would think would be the worst possible person to do His work.  Why?  Because God needs humility, not pride.  Prideful people think that they deserve to be special, to be treated better, to be respected, and they usually have a hard time following anything and anyone, even God.  But someone that doesn’t deserve it, someone that needs help, God’s help, that’s a person God can use.  That’s a person God can work through.

Check this out,

6 But God gives us even more grace, as the Scripture says,
“God is against the proud,
but he gives grace to the humble.”
Proverbs 3:34 (James 4:6, New Century Version)

God can’t work through a prideful person like He can a humble one.  Pride says “I know what I’m doing and I can do it better than you.”  Humility says, “I’m in over my head God, tell me what to do.”  God humbled Saul.  He knocked him off his high horse straight into the dirt.  God took someone that the Christ-Followers were afraid of and made him the main figure in most of the New Testament (excluding Jesus)

Kind of blows our whole “normal” excuse out of the water doesn’t it?  It’s people that don’t feel adequate to do the job that Jesus chooses to use.

So the next time you think, “I can’t do that, I’m just not smart, wise, rich, popular, good looking, or talented enough,” read and remember the verses below.

26 Brothers and sisters, look at what you were when God called you. Not many of you were wise in the way the world judges wisdom. Not many of you had great influence. Not many of you came from important families.27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and he chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.28 He chose what the world thinks is unimportant and what the world looks down on and thinks is nothing in order to destroy what the world thinks is important.29 God did this so that no one can brag in his presence. (1 Corinthians 1:26-29, New Century Version)  emphasis mine

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