Do you feel unworthy and not good enough for God to use? Are you perhaps thinking: I do not have what it takes. My past is too ugly. I do not have the talent. I have made too many mistakes. I am a failure. These are all lies from the enemy, my friend.
Remember, Christ’s death and resurrection dealt with all our iniquities, shame, guilt, and failures once and for all. You have been justified and are completely clean before God. But, what if you do not feel that way all the time, even though you know the truth?
The Holy Spirit gave me the image of an oyster and a pearl. A natural pearl forms when an irritant, such as a grain of sand, works its way into a particular species of oyster, mussel, or clam. As a defense mechanism, the soft mollusk or nacre emits a fluid of carbonate dioxide to coat the irritant. Layer upon layer of this fluid is secreted on the irritant, which hardens to form a pearl. Freshwater pearls take 1 to 6 years to form, while a seawater pearl takes between 5 to 20 years. It is a process that takes time.
We all have negative things that happen to us, no matter who we are. That is life. Call it the irritants or sand grains that creep into an oyster shell. But, oysters cannot produce pearls without that foreign object being inside them. It serves the bigger purpose of the oyster. Our Lord is the same. He uses our past, failures, and shame for His glory if we allow Him. He is in the business of restoring and making things beautiful. When we become born again, our spirits are fully renewed. Then our mind and flesh need to align with the new self in Christ. Our thinking and behavior need to change as our spirit did. That takes time. So He takes us as we are, and layer by layer, in His hands and through His Holy Spirit, makes our character beautiful, and like Himself. This process is called sanctification and will continue until we enter eternity and become our glorious new selves. You might see yourself as ugly, useless, shameful, and disgusting, but God sees your ultimate potential, which is beautiful, purposeful, honorable, and glorious in His hands.
Romans 8:28-30 AMP “And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. For those whom He foreknew [and loved and chose beforehand], He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son [and ultimately share in His complete sanctification], so that He would be the firstborn [the most beloved and honored] among many believers. And those whom He predestined, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified [declared free of the guilt of sin]; and those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity].”
The Bible is full of people with inadequate skills, opportunities, and backgrounds that did great tasks for God. They were single, or married, or widowed. They were criminals, murderers, persecutors, idolators, tax collectors, prostitutes, shepherds, and fishermen, who were all significant for God to use in His kingdom. You are too!
We were all made in the image of God, and your spirit transformed when you accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. You are beautiful, valuable, and precious in God’s eyes and fit for His crown. The Holy Spirit continues His work of sanctification by adding another layer to your pearl as you mature to become more like Christ.
Ephesians 2:10 AMP ”For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].”
Did you know that there are pearls with even greater value? A black freshwater pearl is more valuable or expensive than the white versions. It takes exceptional conditions to form dark pearls. Black pearls form in the same natural way as white pearls. The difference is that they form in a specific oyster, the Tahitian black-lipped Pinctada margaritifera. Where other oyster’s nacre is glossy white or silver in color, the Tahitian black-lipped oyster has a black colored band inside. If the pearl forms near that band, it will absorb the coloring. The pearl will be a darker color, the closer it lies to the lips. If near a lighter portion, they become a silver or gray color. Also, if oysters that usually develop white pearls have black inside the nacre, they can produce blackish pearls. This occurs in one in 10 000 pearls.
The Holy Spirit is that black band, which we should stay sensitive to, for His guidance and prompting. That is our part in the sanctification process. To further keep with the oyster and pearl analogy, the longer a pearl stays in its shell, the more layers will form. More layers mean a bigger pearl with bigger value. Thus, stay close to God, where your layers can form. Remain in the shell of an intimate relationship with Him. Read His Word, so you can know God, and learn the truth about who YOU are in Christ. Aim to become that precious and rare black pearl.
Psalms 105:4 TPT ”Seek more of his strength! Seek more of him! Let’s always be seeking the light of his face.”
Absorb all you can from the Holy Spirit, God’s Word, and especially time in His presence. Your spiritual growth is determined by how much you allow God to deposit truth in your heart, and whether you apply it. We work in partnership with God. He provides truth, and we need to respond with obedience and application through changed behavior.
Remember, you are already valuable and precious because God created you, and Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price for you. God can and will use you, growing you along the way. Read the truth of God’s Word, believe it, know it, and apply it. Seek God and remain close to Him. Let those glossy black layers form every day. Grow and mature so you can reflect more of His glory, in Jesus’ name. Amen
Stay resolute my friend.
VERSE IMAGE OF THE WEEK