Loved In The Background
“And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” (Acts 1:24-26 NIV)
Have you ever reflected on your Christian experience and wondered if it was ordinary? Did it lack pizazz or pop? If you took time to assess your walk with Christ, would you be disappointed with the unflattering reality that it would be vanilla at best?
This blog is for the one that ,after the spiritual inventory, looks at the unflattering reality that they live life in the background. Behind the scenes. Under the radar. For the one that wonders, “What’s the use serving God? I don’t preach, I cannot sing, I don’t cook, I am not celebrated for anything, I do nothing worth recognition. No one will ever know I’m here and won’t miss me when I’m gone. I’m just ordinary.”
The story of Matthias is a story of someone who lived in the background. A man that was present, but was not perceived. In the number, but never noticed. He was counted in the crowd, but not acknowledged. He was sighted, but not spotted. He blended in… doing his best got him in the door, but never got him a seat at the table of notoriety.
More people can connect with the story of Matthias than they do the lives of Matthew, Martha or Mary. Many find themselves in a position where they are not the captain of the football team, not the MVP of the basketball squad, nor do they sing on the praise and worship team. They may not be the CEO, in upper management, middle management, and for some, not even employed – they are just ordinary people.
Here’s the challenge. How do you experience the love of God when you are not extraordinary? How? In a world that celebrates talent and skill and in a culture that expects, if not demands, one to stand out to be different in order to be recognized?
Matthias was not selected to be an apostle because he preached powerful sermons. He wasn’t chosen because of his management skills or because he had potential for executive prowess. He was not recognized because he graduated at the top of his class or was on the honor roll. NOT for his praise team prowess or his ability to pray fire from heaven.
He was considered for a reason that everyone/anyone could have been selected. The net was broad. The opportunity was available to all. There was no special class to attend and no requirement to be born into a particular family. He was simply faithful in following Jesus even when no one was watching.
What made him extraordinary was not his deeds but his devotion. What set him apart wasn’t his aptitude, it was his attitude. God was looking for someone who was faithful! He was ordinary in the eyes of man, but in God’s eyes he was extraordinarily ordinary. He was a fit vessel, why? Because he was faithful.
God is looking for ordinary people that have an extraordinary heart for him. A yearning to follow Him even if they didn’t get a reward. No plaque, no problem. No trophy, that’s okay. Keep the certificate of recognition; hold on to the hurrahs or the banquets in my honor. We learn from the life of Matthias that God loves ordinary people too! He will choose people with less skill, fewer talents, people without fanfare or notoriety… He will use the ordinary shepherd and make him a giant slayer. He will use a young kid with a life sentence and make him second in command of a great nation. A farmer like Elisha and imbue him with God’s spirit to be a mighty prophet. He’ll place in the arms of a virgin girl the assignment to raise the Savior of the World. He’ll call an unknown ordinary follower to be recognized by all mankind for the rest of eternity.
Ordinary Faithfulness will make you famous. Faithfulness gets heaven’s attention. Faithfulness causes angels to cheer. Faithfulness makes unfallen worlds take notice. Maybe not in the eyes of men, but in the sight of God, you are a star.
“His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.” (Matthew 25:23 NIV)
- Why do you think it can be challenging to work without recognition?
- Describe a time in your life where you felt overlooked? What did God do to help you see your input had value?