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The God of Un

Picture of Greg Stier
Greg Stier

Remember the old 7up commericals? They billed their clear soft drink in a green can as “the un-cola.” I guess the thought in the minds of the makers of Sprite’s older cousin was that if they totally took themselves out of the realm of cola they would stand alone in the marketplace. It was a brilliant marketing campaign a few decades ago. Maybe they should resurrect it again.

I love the idea of “un”. Why? Because, while we don’t serve an “un-God” (LIGHTNING BOLT ALERT!), He, at the minimum, has a penchant for the un.

He chooses the un to be a part of His family. Reflect on the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29, “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.”

He chooses the un to get the job done. He chose:

…a novice boat-builder named Noah
…an elderly patriarch named Abraham
…a studdering shepherd named Moses
…a reluctant queen named Esther
…a confident senior citizen named Caleb
…a God-fearing prostitute named Rahab
…a young dreamer named Daniel
…a fig-picking prophet named Amos
…a frisky warrior named Samson
…a prejudice preacher named Jonah
…a terrified Benjamite named Gideon
…a patient ex-con named Joseph
…a converted tax collector named Matthew
…a determined cupbearer named Nehemiah
…a cricket-eating, camel-fur wearing, water drenched mad man named

The same pattern holds true in church history!

He used:

…a quirky monk named Luther
…a cross-eyed preacher named Whitefield
…an ambitious shoe salesman named Moody
…a teenaged pulpiteer named Spurgeon
…a lanky country bumpkin named Graham

God loves to use the uncool and the unlikely because it brings unimaginable glory to His Name!

And who did Jesus choose to follow Him during His earthly ministry? Who did He choose to pour into? A ragtag group of blue-collar young people who smelled of fish and broken dreams. Most of them were probably teenagers when they began to follow Christ. Matthew 17 tells us that only Jesus and Peter paid the Temple tax although all the disciples were there. According to Exodus 30:14 this tax was only applicable to those twenty years and older. If I’m reading this right then Jesus chose the un by choosing the young to be his followers.

Many believe (including me) that these young men had been overlooked by other rabbis as unfit to follow them and that’s why they were learning their fathers’ trades. But Jesus chose the overlooked and underestimated to be those to whom he would entrust the keys to the kingdom.

To be honest, that’s why I love working with teenagers. They are un personified: twitchy, dreamy, ambitious, stupid, smart, filled with hormones and adrenalin and fueled by Mountain Dew and Red Bull (sorry 7up.)

That’s why I’m thrilled we are doing the Un.Tour next school year based on the story of David and Goliath. God used an un warrior (aka “a shepherd”) to defeat the Philistine undisputed super dooper heavyweight champion of the world…with an un weapon (aka “a sling.”)

So if you don’t believe God can use you think again. He loves to use the unusable to accomplish the unlikely. If you are interested in being used by God to accomplish an unbelievable cause (like God used David to do in the Old Testaments and the disciples to do in the New Testament watch these ten free podcasts.) God wants to use you and me, the unlikely and uncool, to do the unimaginable.

Take that 7up!

Unlikely Fighter

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The story of how a fatherless street kid overcame violence, chaos, and confusion to become a radical Christ follower.

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