Becoming Useful to God

For more on becoming useful to God, download the first offering from Shine Bright 365 titled “Becoming Useful to God.”

“If I know my own heart to-day, I would rather die than live as I once did, a mere nominal Christian, and not used by God in building up his kingdom. It seems a poor empty life to live for the sake of self. Let us seek to be useful. Let us seek to be vessels meet for the Master’s use, that God, the Holy Spirit, may shine fully through us.“

D. L. Moody, Secret Power

We live in the midst of stories that deny or diminish God. Those stories often keep our faith in check by presenting us with options that make God less-than relevant in a variety of situations. While Christians should not ignore so-called advances in fields such as technology or healthcare, we should remember that the blessings and benefits of modern society are not the product of human ingenuity and effort apart from God. As God tells Israel, ”Beware lest you say in your heart, ’My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who give you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish” (Deut 4:17-19).

Israel was to showcase the wisdom of obedience as they walked according to God’s ways and credited God with their successes as a nation. Too often, Israel (like us!) chose to chart a course apart from God. They forgot him and, instead of seeking “to be vessels meet for the Master’s use,” sought to employ God’s gifts to their own advantage.

Christians are not called from darkness to light so that we can serve ourselves, but God. We are not in the business of being comfortable, but of learning to be content as we depend on Christ regardless of our circumstances (Phil 4:10-13). Contentment in the Christian life is correlated with a number of characteristics that help us to move beyond being ”mere nominal Christians” to being women and men prepared to be ”used by God in building up his kingdom.”


JAMES SPENCER, PHD is President the D.L. Moody Center, an independent non-profit organization based in Northfield, MA, and author of Useful to God: Eight Lessons from the Life of D. L. Moody and Thinking Christian: Essays on Testimony, Accountability, and the Christian Mind