The other day, I was reading in Isaiah. I’m sure I’m like most other people who try to get in some kind of daily Bible reading, hoping that God will speak to you through His word with some profound revelation that will change the world. Actually, usually I am just hoping for something to get me through the day.
So anyway, I’m reading Isaiah 8:1, it says, “The Lord said to me, ‘Take a large scroll and write on it with an ordinary pen’.” I just couldn’t get past the word ‘ordinary,’ so I looked at other translations to see if they used the same word or if I would find more clarity.
What I found, spoke to me in some pretty amazing ways. While some translations talked about an actual pen or writing instrument, others referred to the “pen” as a way of writing, like word usage. The one thing they all shared is the use of the words ordinary or common, indicating it was something that everyone would understand.
Now, to catch you up on what is going on in Isaiah at the time, the Jews, God’s chosen people, are in a mess. They are acting crazy and God is about the rain down some holy judgement. He has been speaking to Isaiah the prophet who has been giving God’s message to the people. At this particular point, God has already told Isaiah that he would father a son and also foretold of the virgin birth. What God tells Isaiah to write down, is the name that Isaiah would eventually name his son, but he doesn’t know that’s what it is when he writes it down.
I’m sure at this point you are asking what that has to do with the pen. Well, I’m going to tell you. What spoke to me is this is Isaiah the Prophet! To us, he is famous. During his time on earth, he was famous as was his wife. They were prophet rock stars. Yet, when God told him to write something down, he didn’t just say to write it down, He was specific in what Isaiah should use.
So often, we just look at ourselves as ordinary. We compare ourselves to our friends, people we don’t know but wish we did, to our church leaders and even to celebrities. We do not see any value in ourselves, because we are so busy looking at what we don’t have that someone else does. We spend so much time wishing that we could speak like Beth Moore or Lisa Bevere, or wish we could write like Mary Connealy or Tricia Goyer. We wish we could sing like Lauryn Dagle or Shara Taylor. We say things like, “if I were pretty like her, or skinny like her, then God could use me.”
The reality is that God does use you and will use you right where you are, if you will just let Him. In your circle of influence, you are probably speaking life to those around you all the time. You are making a difference in ways that Beth Moore and Lauryn Dagle can’t, because it’s your circle, not theirs. God has placed you there with purpose. He is speaking to your heart and guiding you to do what He has called you to do. You may feel ordinary, but you are far from it.
God used what seemed ordinary to Isaiah and probably those in close proximity to him, but to the world outside, it was exactly what the people needed to bring understanding. So, when you are feeling like you can never add up to the image that you have set for yourself, you’re right, you won’t. But, when you look to God to guide your steps He will do amazing things through you. The only difference between you and the Beth Moore’s of the world is the platform that God has given you to use. They are just ordinary people who let an extraordinary God direct their destiny. That, my friend, is all you have to do, be you. God designed you that way.