Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Flawed Vessel

My mom is authentically sad about Oral Roberts’ passing. She was healed of polio at one of his crusades in the 1950s, which is also when she was saved. Between her reaction and that of Billy Graham (who called him a friend), I have been humbly reminded that God uses even very flawed vessels. My mom held to her belief that Oral Roberts was an instrument of God, even though with his prosperity teaching and the whole “give me money or I’ll die” fiasco, she would later say, “He was so good back then, before he got messed up.”

My life verse is 2 Cor. 4:7 - "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us." Am I glad God uses flawed vessels? Absolutely! I AM a flawed vessel. It's easy to compare minister to minister or Christian to Christian, etc., and have reason to boast. Not so if we compare to THE standard - our Lord Himself. We are all flawed; we all have imperfect theology; we all miss the mark; apart from His divine touch, we cannot minister to anyone.

The depth of Oral Roberts' flaws reveals the depth of God’s ability even more, as we are surprised God could use yes, even him. He used Oral Roberts in the life of a scared young girl from Texas who insisted that God wanted her to go to his tent revival one Sunday night, and whose life was changed forever. Was his theology wrong? Yes, in many ways. He got some things right, and a lot wrong. But God used Him, just as He has used some more theologically sound ministers who fell into moral compromise.

Should we strive for better? Of course. We want doctrinal soundness and moral purity, combined. But let’s not have the pride to think that if we have those two, we will necessarily be “better” or even more effective. We are still earthen vessels, and anything that gets done through us is of Him and not ourselves. He’ll make sure that someway, somehow, we know that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Was never an Oral Roberts fan so your points are well taken & valid. How presumptuous of "us" to
think that we are 'doing it better'! A little of that "judging
ourselves by others and not being wise" I needed that. So happy to hear about your mom's salvation &
healing. I was even very skeptical
about that. Well, thanks again.