God has a way of picking outsiders to execute His plans, and that causes all kinds of emotions in everybody else. Every society, whether cultural, economic, political or religious, has its establishment that determines how things are done and how to solve its issues. We always seem to look for leaders or problem solvers in our own communities, because we have greater trust in people who think like us.
Outsiders are not warmly welcomed, but, as Isaiah said, God’s ways are not our ways because His thoughts are not our thoughts. He sees things very differently, and we would do well to learn from Him. While nobody likes an odd person, or to be one, God amazing value in them.
One of the earliest misfits was Noah; a strange man with a strange message who built a huge ship on dry land far from the ocean. Not surprisingly, nobody paid any attention to him. Yet he was God’s choice to deliver a message of the greatest importance to the people of his day. He may have been crazy in the eyes of his community, but he spoke the truth that could have saved them all. An early lesson is that the opinion of the majority is not necessarily right, as democracy teaches us.
Moses is another character that would not have won a single vote for a leadership role in Israel; he had too many black marks against him. He lived as an Egyptian prince, was seen as one of their oppressors and he did not share the culture – he was a total outsider. Yet Moses was God’s man to lead Israel out of bondage and on their way to a land flowing with milk and honey. The miracles that accompanied his leadership confirmed him as God’s choice, even though the people often rebelled against him and even tried to kill him.
Another name that comes to mind is that of Gideon, a fearful man with a low self-esteem. When the Angel of the Lord came to tell him that he was the man that would deliver his nation form the Midianites, he couldn’t believe it, and asked for signs to confirm to him that it was indeed the Lord that spoke with him. Gideon went out and became a national hero, although he was unknown and would never have been chosen by anybody to deliver them. God used him in strange ways that would never be approved by a board of elders, or any leadership team for that matter. Nothing that he did to gain that victory made any sense, yet he was God’s man who followed God’s ways, and he brought a mighty victory for the nation.
Think of people like Jospeh, Samson, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, etc. All of these, and more, came from the outside to fulfill God’s plan for their time. They were resisted, persecuted and humiliated, but they persisted and accomplished their calling.
“Everybody does it” doesn’t cut it with God; He is looking for the one who would dare to be himself, and be bold about it. Every person on the planet has something unique about him/her, but they are often embarrassed by it, disqualifying themselves for a role in God’s great plan. Each piece of the puzzle is different from the other, but together they complete the picture. Your uniqueness is what sets you apart for a special assignment.
The greatest all-time outsider was Jesus. Recognized as a teacher by the establishment because “He taught as one with authority,” they also rejected Him because He was not one of them. It was just too hard for them to accept a Messiah who was not raised in their elite community. Although the prophets gave such detailed information about His coming – something they were supposed to know as teachers – they did not receive Him for who He was. Instead they always set traps for Him, resisted Him, and eventually killed Him. He came from outside their familiar circle to bring the good news of God’s salvation.
And as He said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to assail Him vehemently, and to cross-examine Him about many things… Luke 11:53
You are no different. God placed something unique inside of you that separates you from everybody else. There is nothing wrong with you; you were specifically crafted for your life’s assignment. Your equipment points to your purpose. When you blend with everybody else to disappear in the masses, you devalue yourself and become a man-pleaser instead of a God-pleaser. See yourself as a valuable limited edition, so rise up and be bold; dare to be different, recognize your gifting and develop it – the world needs you.
There is a hero, a deliverer, a helper, a giant slayer hidden inside of you. Instead of looking around for someone to show the way, look inside of yourself and step out in faith by acting on that strange idea that echoes in your heart. You are not a mistake; you are the answer someone else is looking for.
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 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 put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. 1 Corinthians 1:26-29