God does not usually choose the rich and the powerful to be His instruments in the world. He does not usually choose the strong and the influential. It’s not that He couldn’t or that He sometimes doesn’t. Sometimes I wonder ‘why not?’ but then I am called back to 1 Corinthians 1. Those on top tend to think that they got there themselves, through their own hard work, brains, … They would not necessarily boast in God. But there is another side too. For those hearing someone like this, we may also see them as part of the reason God’s work is being done, as if they were at least partly responsible. This is natural for those who are looked up to.
Yet when God chooses the weak, the ones who do not have, He chooses them so that when we see them do great things for God, we see it as all God’s work and might. We are awed that they are doing the work they are doing and we see God’s hands all over it. There is a second purpose in 1 Corinthians as well. When the low and without are able to do much for God, it shames the wise. It shames the strong. It nullifies the things that are. It makes them see God’s presence and action in the world. It draws them to it.
When an observer asks someone about what they are doing for God, a humble servant boasts in how God is present and is the driving force behind their actions. They acknowledge the fact that they could not do this on their own. The wisdom of God comes to them through Jesus and through the Holy Spirit. They find guidance, direction, and strength from the true source. He is their, and our, righteousness, holiness, and redemption. His is their all in all, so that when they boast, they boast in the Lord. Like them, may our inner light shine the focus back on the source of that light so that others may see and come to know Jesus.
PS – As I was walking this morning, I wondered how one comes to discern where God is leading or calling us to go. It is hard to not make our path seem like His path. We must seek His guidance with humility and openness and an honest eye, lest our feet may not be unpon the path that God has set before us.