Being used by my Master has always been a goal of mine. But I have also run afoul of using this as a measure of my spiritual health. Being used by the Creator of the universe for His purposes isn’t a perfect metric of spiritual health. After all, if my Master can use a donkey and even speak His message through it, then how much of a “badge of honor” is simply being useful to Him? Pretty much anything is useful to Him. Such as fat king Eglon of Moab…
Now the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the Lord. And he gathered to himself the sons of Ammon and Amalek; and he went and defeated Israel, and they possessed the city of the palm trees. The sons of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years. (Judges 3:12 — 14 NASB)
Yahweh strengthened Eglon, king of Moab. Yahweh chose Eglon, and used him to correct Yahweh’s people, the sons of Israel. Sure, Eglon was a foreign king, and yes, Eglon used other foreign enemies of the sons of Israel. But it was Yahweh’s strength that enabled him to prevail over the sons of Israel. Perhaps he didn’t know. Maybe Eglon was unwitting pawn in the hand of El Shaddai. But, what if he did?
Ehud came to him while he was sitting alone in his cool roof chamber. And Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you.” And he arose from his seat. (Judges 3:20 NASB)
Why would Eglon rise from his seat when Ehud says he has a message from God? Why show respect if he had no understanding of his divine mission? Did Eglon know God as the sons of Israel? Ehud uses the term, “elohim”, which can mean “gods”, so it’s possible Eglon thought the gods sent him a message through Ehud. But whatever we surmise may have been, we know Eglon knew Ehud came from Israel and, therefore, was of this other God, Yahweh.
Eglon rises, but the message is one of his own death. This tool in the hand of Yahweh now becomes disgarded by this same God. The One having strengthened him against Israel now destroys him before them. It’s a reversal of divine proportions, and it’s a crucial lesson.
Usefulness to our Master is not a sign of acceptance by Him. Our Master uses whomever He chooses, whenever He chooses, for as long as He chooses, for whatever He chooses. Our usefulness to Him is a sign of His sovereignty, not our quality. In fact, Paul says Jesus uses the foolish things to shame the wise, and the things that are not to nullify the things that are.
The marks of our spiritual health is our love of Him, our worship of Him, our submission to Him, and our devotion to Him. When others discover the fruit of His Spirit growing on us, we are spiritually healthy. Even in this, it’s not about us.
That’s my view through the fence, what do you see through your knothole?