#210: Are Ordinary People Made Extraordinary by Following God’s Purpose?

Is it true that ordinary people are made extraordinary by following God’s purpose? The Bible is full of examples of God calling ordinary people who accomplished great things for the Kingdom.

Gideon, Ordinary

Take Gideon for example.

Gideon, the Poor Farmer

When God called Gideon, he was threshing wheat for his father. The Lord told Gideon to conquer the Midianites, but Gideon protested saying his family was the weakest in the entire land of Manasseh and he was the youngest in his family.

In faith, Gideon sent messengers throughout the land calling all the Israelites to battle, and 32,000 men showed up to fight. God reduced the size of Gideon’s army to only 300 men. Those 300 men plus God defeated the Midianite army of 135,000 soldiers.

The Israelites enjoyed 40 years of peace during the lifetime of Gideon.

Gideon was an ordinary young man, the son of an ordinary man, with an ordinary family.

Ordinary Family

Gideon described his family as the weakest in the tribe of Manasseh. His parents had turned away from God and worshipped the idols Baal and Asherah. There were no nobles or powerful leaders in his family to show him the way.

Ordinary Trials

The first action the Lord demanded of Gideon was to tear down his parent’s altar to Baal and their Asherah pole. He was to replace them with an altar to the Lord. Gideon did exactly as the Lord commanded.

Ordinary Fears

Gideon was so afraid of what his father and the men of the city would do when they found the altar to Baal destroyed, and the Asherah pole cut down; he did it at night. Gideon was afraid to attack the Midianite army, so God arranged for Gideon to overhear a Midianite’s dream of being conquered.

Ordinary Difficulties

The Israelites had no army to wage war. Gideon sent messengers throughout the land calling Israelites from the tribes of Manasseh, Asher, Naphtali, and Zebulun, to join him in the battle.

Ordinary Doubts

To say Gideon had doubts about God’s call on his life is putting it mildly. He asked God to confirm His call to attack the Midianites not once, but twice.

Ordinary People are made Extraordinary

There is a little bit of Gideon in all of us isn’t there?

We view ourselves as ordinary. We come from quite ordinary families and are leading quite ordinary lives. Perhaps even the weakest, least qualified person we know to be called by God.

Yet God calls us to serve the Kingdom.

Perhaps the initial call on our life is a small step, like Gideon removing the altar of Baal and the Asherah pole.

Even so, we experience fear. What might happen if I step out in faith? Will I fail? Will I look foolish? What will others think of me?

Then we imagine the difficulties that may lie ahead if we follow God’s call. The task seems insurmountable to us. We cannot possibly do what God is asking us to do. We forget that one plus God is always a majority.

Even with God’s assurances, we doubt we can do what God has called us to do.

This is Why God Calls the Ordinary

It is because we are ordinary that God calls us to do the extraordinary. It is when we act in faith despite our insecurities, our fears, and our doubts that we demonstrate God’s strength and His glory.

So, the next time you feel God’s call on your life consider young Gideon, the youngest and weakest of his tribe. Who, despite his insecurities, fear, and doubts followed God’s call on his life and became an extraordinary man of God.

Our world needs ordinary men and women to say “yes” to God and become extraordinary in the process!

Join the Conversation

As always, questions and comments are welcome. Are you ready to move from ordinary to extraordinary as you heed God’s call on your life? If not, what is holding you back?

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Category: Personal Development | Obedience to God



Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Kaki Hall says:

    Thanks for this post! It was very insightful and encouraging to hear about God calling on the weak to do the greatest things. I can relate to when you mention, “Our world needs ordinary men and women to say “yes” to God and become extraordinary in the process!” I totally agree! I think that a lot of people (including me) are nervous or scared to go the distance when God calls us to something or opens up new doors in our lives. For example, I was nervous to go to Haiti on a mission trip with my church a couple years ago. But I overcame those nerves and went! It turned out to be an amazing and eye-opening experience. It is always a great feeling with you say yes to God and the opportunities He gives.

    -Kaki Hall

    • Ron says:

      Kaki, I love hearing stories like yours. You were called, you confronted your fears and obeyed. And look what happened. God used you to help others, and you had an experience that will shape you for the rest of your life. I find this is most often the case when we obey and serve, we grow is some immeasurable way!

  • Benjamin Thornton says:

    I really like the point you make towards the end where you say that it is because we are ordinary. I always try and remember this when I think that I am not good enough to be used by God, and then I remember it is because I am not good enough on my own that God chooses to work through me. That is the whole point of the redemption. There is nothing we can do that will make us inherently good enough to be used by God. God doesn’t choose us because we are whole, we are whole because God chooses us. He chose us when he sent his son to die on the cross and there is nothing that can take that away from us.

    • Ron says:

      I love this Ben, “God doesn’t choose us because we are whole, we are whole because God chooses us.” This is the crux of the issue of being available to be used by God to accomplish extraordinary things.

  • John says:

    Great reminder, Ron. We never know when we’ll be called upon. The story of Gideon is a good reminder. Seemingly ordinary people can do extraordinary things.

    • Ron says:

      Yes. It seems in God’s economy, He uses the least and most unlikely people who are willing to trust and obey Him in faith.

  • Elisa Gomez says:

    This post resonates so closely to me and my fellow classmates because we are in the process of self discovery as college students. Throughout this journey, we are trying to figure out who we want to be, what field we want to pursue, and where God is calling us. Many students do not know what their future holds, but this is a reminder that we can have hope in the designed plan God has for each of us. This reminds me of Jeremiah 29:11 which states, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Just as God blessed young Gideon, the youngest and weakest of his tribe, as a result of his faith and dedication to the Lord, how much more will the Lord bless us if we remain faithful to Him despite our insecurities, fear, and doubts? It is in taking that leap of faith and trusting the Lord that we fully experience all he has to offer to us!

    -Elisa Gomez

    • Ron says:

      Elisa well said! Jeremiah 29:11 is a great verse to bring to mind when we are wandering, lost, or doubting the path we are on!