Joseph Prince - Feel Disqualified? God Can Use You!
Praise the Lord. You know, when you come to the presence of the Lord like what we do, church is not a building, but church is the gathering of God's people. "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them". And we come to celebrate the Lord Jesus Christ, because he's altogether lovely, amen? No one is like him. You know, when you go to work, you know that you're going to work in an environment where you're supposed to put out your conduct, your behavior and what you do is paramount, who you are, all right, what you are is not important.
When they interview you, they interview you based on what you can bring to the company, not what the company can do for you, amen? And the moment you lose that capacity or you're no longer profitable, then you're no longer of use in that position. They might not put you out of the company, they might relocate you, but again, it's like telling you you are no more profitable, and that's how they assess you. Unfortunately, this is the world that our children are stepping into. It's the world's system, right? But in the kingdom of God, God is telling you, "This is what I'll do for you".
Grace is not what you can do. In fact, God will tell you, "Please don't do anything, because there's nothing I want". Nothing you do can produce the result that God wants, amen? So, God says to receive "from me". It's the only kingdom that does that. Can I have a good amen? And therefore all the parables of Jesus is about the protagonist of the parables are always the prodigal or the losers or the last, the least, the lost. They are the ones that win the best. They are the ones that get the blessings. They are the ones that enjoy his favor. The lost, or the last will become the first, or the least of these seeds can move a mountain.
So, we missed it. We need to change our minds. We missed it when we think that God is after big, strong, you know, to get things done, we gotta really go out there, you know, and God really wants that kind of faith, that kind of active, when actually God is saying, "Pull back, go back". So, in this year of hesed wisdom, I believe God is gonna give us wisdom that is full of grace and gracious wisdom, amen? Now, for that, let's read this portion here, because I just want to tell you that Jesus's ministry is like that.
When Isaiah, the prophet that lived 400 over years before Jesus came to Bethlehem as a baby, Prophet Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah that is to come will have these characteristics. These will mark his ministry. What do you think it'll be? A king ruling from his throne, someone who subjugate all other nations, someone who has power riding on a horse? No, he gave us this Word of the Messiah. Matthew 12, verse 20, "A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench, Till He sends forth justice to victory".
Now, what Isaiah said of the Messiah is this, he will have a ministry where a bruised reed he will not break and a smoking flax he will not quench. Now, what is this? He's using the picture, illustrations of the day that he lived in and the day that Jesus lived in later on, all right? A bruised reed, a reed is like this, you find this is from Israel. In fact, this is one of our guys in my trip that we saw reeds growing, these are strong big reeds. There are also small reeds, of course, baby reeds and all that. Okay, and they use reeds for walking stick for elderly people. They use it for measuring rod during the time of Jesus, and children use the smaller reeds to make a pipe, okay? Here we have a child blowing on a pipe by the lake of Galilee. So, we found this reed.
One day the pastors and I were by the lake of Galilee and we saw this reed on the beach, so I told them, "Hey, let's illustrate this". This verse came to my mind about a bruised reed he will not break. So, I had Pastor Joe play on the reed, but you can see that the reed is broken. Can you see that? So, it's a bruised reed. The word bruised is actually crushed, okay? So, the reed, children will use this, make holes in them and it become a flute. It becomes a pipe, and they play beautiful music. But the moment it's cracked, just like your straw, when it's bruised you cannot drink anymore and you throw it away readily, right? Because why? Straws are plenteous just like reeds, reeds are plenteous so children will just throw it away. I mean, they're easy to find, amen?
There are lot of reeds by the river bank, the river Jordan, and by the Sea of Galilee. There are lot of reeds everywhere, you know, in the Jordan area especially, you find a lot of reeds. So, for them, they can just throw away the bruised reed, but Jesus will not throw you away. He will not chuck you aside. Even when you're bruised, amen, he will not break you. When you have lost your song, you are no more bringing forth a musical tune, you feel like your life is no more a great testimony, amen, he will not put you aside. He loves you. Now, no employer does that, amen? No one, you know, say, "Okay, you are here because, you know, we feel for you, all right, we'll give you good bonus this year, all right? Because for some reason, you've gone through a lot of depression so you get extra bonus," you know? No, no such thing, amen?
So, we need to understand, we need to repent. This is a repentance, change your mind that this is not the way the kingdom of God works. When you are discouraged, allow yourself to be loved, amen. Then a smoking flax he will not quench. What is a smoking flax? Now, in a few days time, some of you will be in Israel with me. All those who are going to Israel say, "Hallelujah". Okay, those are not are going to say, "Oh my". Okay, now, when you go to Israel, some places you go to, they give you this freely, I mean it's like a gift, a souvenir, some places you have to buy. This small earthen like Aladdin's lamp, you know, have you that kind of earthen lamp? And then at the tip, there is a small wick. A wick is like a small piece of cloth, usually it's white and in the times of Jesus, it is actually a wick that's this big. And the little cloth, the flax, is actually made of linen, okay, made of linen.
So, what they do is that they burn one corner of it and the other side goes, the other tip touches the oil, so if there's oil, the fire will burn, amen? It will burn as long as the oil lasts, but what happened when there's no oil? And not just that when it's wet, it rains or whatever? Y'all know what happened to the candle, right? When it's blown out or it's extinguished? There's smoke, and you don't like the smell of smoke. Maybe you're into aroma therapy, you know, you put all those little candlelights and you know you put them. And then when they are extinguished, there's a smoke. No more frankincense, no more lavender, no more lemon grass, all right, you smell ick.
Well, you know something? When you are burnt out, when you are charred, there's no more oil, there's no more anointing. You don't even feel like you're anointed anymore and you're giving out smoke, not a good testimony, not a nice aroma, you're giving out bad smoke, a smoking flax he will not quench. He will just let you, you know, burn and all your testimonies whatever is not good anymore, but he'll just let it. He will not quench you. He'll say that you are not good for anything because a piece of cloth can be easily cut out from somewhere. You're no good, other people just throw you out, because why? Smoking flax, I mean a flax, a flax is cheap. It's dime a dozen. Can find it anymore. Can throw it out. How much more one that's charred, burned? You throw it away, isn't it?
But he will not throw you away, amen? He will not quench you. He will love you, and he will love you to what? He will love you to victory till he sends forth justice to victory. That means he will execute justice on your behalf. If there's an enemy, the devil has come in to destroy or to kill or to steal, whatever, but he will execute justice on the enemy and give you victory. Can I have a good amen? In fact, this word victory here when Isaiah prophesied, this is from Matthew, the fulfillment of it of our Lord Jesus, but when Isaiah prophesied this, Isaiah actually said, "Justice for truth".
Notice instead of victory, he calls it truth, why? Because compare them together, truth is what gives you victory. Right now you're hearing the truth, and you know what happened when you hear the truth? You get victory. So, to understand hesed wisdom, we need to understand this that 1 Corinthians 1 tells us, "Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater, the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world"? So, the world has wisdom, but God has made foolish their wisdom. Like I told you just now, the wisdom of the world says don't employ people that are not profitable for the company. That's good wisdom for people who start their business, isn't it, right?
It's the wisdom of the world, but the wisdom of God says right, yup, use people that are loyal, people who are good to you, and they will turn out to be some of the best people you can have. "For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save," to heal, to preserve, to bless. That's all in that word saved, those who believe. "For Jews request a sign". The word sign here is also the word for miracles, all right. Jesus did many signs. This is the first sign that Jesus did, miracles, miracles, sign, the supernatural occurrence. "For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews," instead of a miracle, they see as a stumbling block.
And to the Greeks, foolishness instead of wisdom, the cross. "But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God that produces the miracles". And Christ crucified is the wisdom of God that gives you true wisdom that you are seeking for. Now, how is that so? How is that so? Well, look at the cross. Who would have thought that the answer to the world's problems is in the cross, amen? But before that, let's go on first. Drop down to the next one. "Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men," as if there's any foolishness in God. We know there's none, but it's a way of expressing that even if there's a foolishness, it's wiser than man. And the weakness of God, as if there's weakness, but even the weakness God is greater than man. "For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh".
Now, he didn't say none. He says not many, wise according to the flesh, wise in the natural, not many mighty, not many noble are called. Have you noticed that God doesn't call many, not doesn't call at all, not many achievers, movers and shakers are called, amen? "But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound, or to put to shame the things which are mighty".
Now, look at the cross. If you look at the cross you are thinking to yourself, yeah, you do not know what happened, you just see a man dead there. The Jews they looked at it and it's a stumbling block. Instead of a sign, how is that a power of God? I see a man bleeding, naked, you know, in shame, dying on that cross, and the world is mocking him. How is that, how is that a victory? The Greeks look at that, and they say, "How is that wisdom"? It looks like someone lost. He's hanging there on the cross, but for us, it's the power of God and the wisdom of God, why? The cross is where the law's demands, all of God's righteous claims, holy claims, judicial claims on you and your life, on my life, has all been satisfied, fully met in the blood of Jesus Christ. Can I have a good amen?
So, today we are not under the claims of God. We're under the provisions of God. So, God doesn't just say be holy. He provides you the gift to be holy, amen? Doesn't just say, you know, do this, amen? He loves you into doing it, amen? So, that's the Christian life right now, praise the Lord Jesus. Are you following what I'm saying so far? So, at the cross, not only the enemy is silenced, the law is magnified, God is satisfied. All of God's claims are fully met, and that's why Jesus cried, "Finished," at the cross, amen. Hallelujah, hallelujah. I said hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
So, let's continue here. Drop down to verse 28. God choose the base things of the world. So, I read that God chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, weak things of the world to confound the mighty. Now, we come to the base things of the world and things which are despised God had chosen. So, when you see your pastor, for example, why did God choose him? Well, he tells you that. All right, despise and base. So, God chose a boy who's a stammerer. In fact, I was a teenage stammerer even my teenage years. I was stammering. I cannot even stand up in my class, and today the miracle is obvious, and I say that to the glory of God. As far as God is concerned, your disqualification is actually your qualification. So, don't be ashamed of your disqualification. Can I have a good amen?
I look at Gideon, for example, he was threshing wheat. Now, his scenario is different. He was under the Midianites, and I feel like Christians nowadays in this time that we are living in, we are also under the glare of the Midianites. "Pastor Prince, you're so corny". Yeah, I know Joseph gave bread, the Bible calls it corn. Anyway, he was threshing barley and the angel of the Lord appeared, that's Jesus, appeared to him and said, "Hail you mighty man, you valiant man". And he says, Gideon did, "Where is the God of miracles? Where is the God of miracles"?
And here the Lord is calling him mighty man, valiant man. And he says, "Why call me"? He says, "I'm from the least tribe," at the time Manasseh, the least tribe. And he says, "And my family is the least of the families in Manasseh. And my family is the least of all the families within Manasseh". Say that, "Why would you call me"? And the Lord says, "Go in this your might". Now, we forget the word this right after he says, "I'm the least," God says, "Go in this your might". In other words, your might is this, you being little. Your disqualification is your might. "Go in this, your might". Jehovah Shalom, amen, the Lord is your peace. Be at peace.
So, he went to battle with 300 men, and the men says, "What are our weapons"? "Okay, stand straight. Stand in a row, here are your weapons. Wife come, bring the vessels, earthen vessel, yeah, your weapon, an earthen vessel. Now, take this pot, take this pot". They will look at one another, "What's this? He's gone into a crackpot or what"? You know, it's all earthen vessels and then not only that, he says, "Inside there's a lamp. You will light the lamp when I tell you to". "Maybe there's a real weapon coming. Wife, bring the next weapon". Here comes ram's horn. "Now, here one for you, one for you, one for you. Now you're fully armed". Next day he says, "Y'all do as you see me do".
So, they went around the tent on the hilltop, and this is what they did, they hit up the lamp inside. You can see through the earthen vessel, and there's a picture here in 2 Corinthians that tells us we have this treasure in earthen vessels, and that's why you are still nervous, that's why you still are given to bouts of depression, that's why you're still given to, sometimes you're strong in faith when you're not. But sometimes inside you is a treasure, that is a treasure. But you are an earthen vessel, but you have a treasure within.
So, there are times you feel knocked around, but you're never knocked out, the treasure. Sometimes you feel discouraged, the earthen vessel, but there's a encourage in, inside, courage lifting you up. And sometimes you really want to feel sad, your earthen vessel, but you cannot be really, really sad like the time before you received Christ because there's a joy from within. You still sense that. It lifts you up. So, you have this treasure in earthen vessel. Why didn't God just bring us home after he saves us? We are saved, bring us home. Why did God leave us here and why didn't God just change our bodies? He will one day when the Rapture happens, amen, we'll get our new bodies, but why not now? Because God wants to demonstrate that the glory is his, that we are nothing but earthen vessels.
Today, God has blessed us, you know, whether we are successful in our business, our ministry, you know, our relationships, our family life, people praise us, let's not forget where it all began. Let's give him all the praise and the glory. Can I have a good amen, amen? The wisdom of God at the cross. Let's really go after hesed wisdom, all right? It's not the form, it is what your relationship with God is. And best of all, whether in your mind you have changed, you have repented, you see God like what I shared today, amen?
So, let me finish, and then we'll close. Back to 1 Corinthians we'll finish it off. Why does God do all this? Why does he use the weakness, weak things of the world to confound the mighty and foolish things to confound the wise? And the things which are not? You know what's that, things which are not? To bring to not the things that are, to bring to not. God takes zero things to put to zero things that exist. So, let's say there's a tumor, you know how God put an end to the tumor? By using things that don't exist, whoa. Can you see your words? No, you can't, but your words that are not can put to not things that are.
So, can you see your debt? Yes. How to put to not that debt? Words cannot be seen. So, many a times we don't realize that God actually has all these things at our disposal, but we look for things that's beyond, stronger, you know, it's like, let's go. When God says pull back, and that's the way to advance. You know, and God's way, the simpler your prayer, the more powerful, amen? So here, why is God doing all these things and the things which are not to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in his presence? And the glory there is boast. That no flesh should boast in his presence.
We can never boast in the arm of flesh, our education, our smarts, our looks, our connections, and boast in one thing but of him. Of him means it is of God's doing that you are in Christ Jesus. You see, you and I are today in Christ, and yet it's not our doing. It's of him. It is of God's doing that we're in Christ Jesus. Who became for us, what? Wisdom from God. And not only that and righteousness, that's the first gift we'll receive, right? And sanctification. What is that? Holiness. People, Jesus is your holiness. You are not your own holiness. Jesus is your sanctification and redemption.
Redemption is what? You are redeemed from the curse. You are redeemed from all the sins, consequences. You are redeemed from all the penalties. You are redeemed from the curse. It is him providing, supplying. It's not us working, doing. The more we receive, the more we can do. Will you allow him to love you? And don't be afraid of your weaknesses and your circumstance, just be glad, amen? That is your disqualifications that qualify you for his greatest blessings. And all the people said? Amen, give God a praise, the glory, and the honor.