You and I live at an unparalleled time in history. Today's technological advances afford us opportunities other generations couldn't fathom. Our computers, phones, homes, cars and more are all connected to a worldwide digital superhighway, giving us access to virtually anything from anywhere.
It's no surprise that all of this connectedness has had some major effects upon this generation. It's made our worlds smaller and our voices bigger. It's reshaped our thinking, behaviors and especially the expectations we have for our lives. But possibly most fascinating is that this connectedness has changed our fears.
The Greatest Fear of People Today
It's been famously reported that the greatest fear of those in previous decades was public speaking. Many of us have known this fear at one time or another. Some still do. But even more so just decades ago—ahead of death, loneliness or poverty—people grew dizzy at the idea of addressing a crowd.
But in our media-driven, always-connected culture, people are no longer as apprehensive about being in front of others. In fact, many actually seek out opportunities to get their voices heard above the crowds.
So what is it? What is the greatest fear of those living today? It's living a life that doesn't make a difference.
Think about that. Isn't it one of your greatest desires to make a difference in this world? I know it is mine. Perhaps nothing motivates me more than the opportunity to have an impact. I've moved 1000 miles, taken pay cuts and teetered along the edge of the risk of failure, all for the chance to change lives. And so have many of you.
An Opening for the Devil
We must be warned that for those who identify as Christians, this fear of living a purposeless life creates an opening that the devil attempts to exploit.
Ever heard any of these nagging voices?
- "You're too messed-up."
- "You're too dirty."
- "You're too far gone."
- "You're not good enough."
These are only some of the phrases Satan sends spinning through each of our heads daily to bolster his grand lie: "God can't use you." What a plot. He knows for a generation bent on making a difference, nothing is more discouraging or depressing as believing God can't use you. Nothing.
The great news is your ability to be used by God has nothing to do with your past, talents, opportunities or finances. No, the only hindrance to being used by God is to believe Satan's lie that God can't use you. That's it. As I expose throughout my book, Silence Satan, nothing will silence and stifle you more than the belief that you're too far gone, not good enough or are useless to God.
God Uses Messed-Up People
A truth revealed throughout Scripture is that God uses formerly messed-up people in big ways. Consider some of the men and women of God in Scripture. Noah got drunk. Jacob was a deceiver. Moses has a stutter. Rahab was a prostitute. Jonah ran from God. Mary Magdalene was demon-possessed. Peter denied Jesus three times. I could go on and on. The Bible is littered with heroes who, despite their pasts or shortcomings, were mightily used by God simply because they allowed Him to display His strength through their weaknesses.
And God will do the same with you.
If you've repented of your past, those old things from years ago are gone. Certainly, God isn't holding on to that old record of your wrongs, weighing them against your potential. He's not saying, "Oh, I'd like to use you in this way, but I'm not sure, because look what you did back then." No! Instead, He is more likely saying, "Oh, because of what you did back then, I can really use you to help people who need to get out of that now." And that's exactly what the devil doesn't want, which is why he desperately tries to play on your fear.
Hear the Voice of Truth
Yes, Satan loves to point out your weaknesses in order to convince you it's simply not possible for God to use you. But don't let the voice of "Look what you've done," "You're too this" or "You're not enough of that" disqualify you. Know that your wounds, your past, and your weaknesses, when surrendered to God, are actually the things that are used powerfully in God's service. Hear the voice of truth and make this declaration today: "God chose me, He loves me, and He has a plan to use me."
Kyle Winkler equips people to live in victory. His mobile app, Shut Up, Devil!, is the #1 spiritual warfare app; and his recent book, Silence Satan, has helped thousands shut down the enemy's attacks, threats, lies and accusations. Kyle holds a Master of Divinity in biblical studies from Regent University. Get daily encouragement from Kyle on Facebook and Twitter.
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