“Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit: And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.”
When God looks for someone to use, He doesn’t have to have the best to be able to do great works. Throughout the Scriptures, you will always find that those who were the most talented and seemed to have everything going for them were the ones who ended up ruining their lives. Samson had everything a person could desire, but he allowed his talents to be a stumbling block and a tool to commit sin. Absalom had the looks and influence that everyone desired, but he became a rebel and ruined his life. It has never been the elite whom God has used to do His works, but it has always been the downcast whom God has used.
The verse above shows that Amos was not someone who was looking to be used, but he was someone God could use to prophesy of judgment to come. Amos made the statement that he was a “herdman” and a “gatherer of sycamore fruit.” He was someone whom most would not want to be the leader or tool, but God looks at people differently from how the world chooses their tools. There are several things God looks for to determine their usefulness to Him.
First, God can always use someone who works. Amos said that he was called as he “followed the flock.” This reminds me of David whom God called as he also “followed the sheep.” God called Elisha when he was “plowing with twelve yoke of oxen.” God anointed Saul when he was searching for his father’s sheep. You will notice that the common denominator in all of these is that they were already busy doing something when God called them to be His tool to do a great work.
God doesn’t need your talent; He needs your work ethic. If you have little to no work ethic, you have little to no future as a tool for God to use. You may not have the intellect that others have, the influence that some can use, the talent that astounds people, but you can work harder than all of these and do more for God than what the talented, intellectual and educated will ever do. God works through people when they are working while others or playing or sleeping. It is your work ethic for which God is looking.
Second, God is looking for availability. The reason God could use Amos was because he was available for God to use. He wasn’t demanding for God to use him in some area, he was just happy to be a tool for God to use. You must be careful about getting your life so filled up with worldly activities that you can’t be available for God when He calls. Many people will never be used by God simply because they are not available for Him to use when He has a task for them to do. Every person God has used was willing to lay aside their worldly affairs for God’s cause. Are you willing to quit anything that you currently do for God to use you?
Third, God is looking for humility. Pride will destroy any tool that God wants to use. God is looking for a humble person who is honored to be a tool in the hand of God. The reason God can use the humble over the proud is because He will get all the glory when the humble are used. If you think you are something, you will never be used by God until you realize that you are nothing without Him.