Jesus Works with the Willing
A man with only a grade school education is not qualified for much in today’s world. He is a man to be pitied and helped according to the experts. His life history one to be studied so we can better equip him for life. There are not many positions in today’s world that would suit such a man. Shoe salesman would work, possibly, if it required no special skill. Such a man would likely never make much in life. He certainly would not be the first chosen to lead most respectable churches. He would not be on a modern elder board. He would never fit in leading one of the great Christian aid organizations of the day. He would never be qualified. What could such a man do that would be helpful to the Body of Christ?
How about starting one of the greatest revivals in history?
D.L. Moody was just such a man. If his name doesn’t ring a bell, initially, look at the spine of the Christian books in your home. More than one was probably printed by Moody Publishing. Check the resume of some of the great preachers of the last 100 years. Many were trained at Moody Bible Institute. Dwight L. Moody is the Moody of those greatly impactful institutions. His legacy is still at work through those institutions.
Moody also happened to be one of the greatest evangelists of any generation. It is estimated that Moody preached to tens of millions in the 1800’s when the population of America was only twenty-five million. Up to one million people came to Christ as a direct result of his preaching. That would be the same as ten million people coming to Jesus in today’s numbers.
A Singular Focus on God
Moody was an amazing man of God…with a fifth-grade education. His father died when he was little. His death left his family to struggle with poverty and lack throughout Moody’s youth. He had no seminary training or classical education to rely upon, just Jesus. This man of God started off his career…as a shoe salesman. Yes, you are reading correctly. This is the resume of the man who started Moody Bible Institute and Moody Publishing. He had no MBA to guide him in establishing these giant businesses, just Jesus. It is surprising, isn’t it? Honestly, does anyone expect the shoe salesman with the grade school education to do anything noteworthy for Jesus? What could he bring to the table that would be useful for the church?
In one word – focus. Moody decided to everything he could to serve Jesus in any way possible. He knew His King and focused his life on serving Jesus.
“The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him.” D.L. Moody.
After becoming a Christian, Moody determined to give every bit of what he was to Jesus. That doesn’t seem like much on the surface. When you judge by external merits, you miss the things that God is actually looking for in a man. There are not many wise who come to Jesus, after all. What is Jesus really looking for in His sheep? Does Jesus need us to be smart? No, it is His plan we are following. Does Jesus need us to be eloquent? No, it is His power that changes lives. Does Jesus need us to be talented? No, it is the Spirit that powers ministry. So what is Jesus looking for?
The sheep who will follow Him. Those willing, trusting and determined to let Jesus do whatever He wished with him. It is with these people God changes the world.
Focus on Jesus
Moody was unqualified to do much of anything fancy in the Christian life. He wanted to change the world for Jesus. Yet, he knew that he could not do so based on his education or profession. He also knew Jesus can do anything. As a result, Moody tried to live his life fully dedicated to the One who could change things. He walked as a living sacrifice daily laying his life down for the Lord. In everything, Moody’s focus was on doing God’s will. The results were spectacular. Moody Bible Institute and Moody Publishing are still with us today. Some may say that Moody did great things but he would argue that it was not so. Jesus did great things through one simple man with a fifth-grade education following Him.
D.L. Moody wasn’t qualified by any worldly standard. He was perfectly suited by Jesus’. He understood that life as a Christian is not about us but the King we serve. The more we give to Jesus, the more He does with what little we give to Him.
With so many distractions coming at us in the modern world, it is easy to lose focus.
Throw off the things that try to pull us away today and seek to be fully consecrated to the Most High God? Then watch Him do great things.
For more on Moody’s amazing story, check out one of my favorite books of all time – D.L. Moody – A Life: Innovator, Evangelist, World Changer. Reading it changed my life and ministry. I gave it out to guys in my church as gifts with the hope that they are equally as inspire and highly recommend it.
Disclosure: This is an affiliate link.