“(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)”
The Apostle Paul made an insightful statement about God working in Peter when he said, “For he that wrought effectually in Peter…” Peter was not a self-made man, but God had to work in Peter to make him the apostle to the Jews. However, Paul continued to say, “…the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles…” In other words, the God who wrought in Peter also had to do the same type of work in Paul to make him an apostle to the Gentiles.
The key to this verse is the word, “wrought.” The word “wrought” means to shape by beating out. In other words, God had to beat Peter and Paul into the shape He wanted them to be like a metal worker beats a piece of tin or metal into the form he needs to make it useful for his job. There are several lessons for every believer that should encourage them that God can use them. This verse should give hope to every believer that they are a possibility to be used with God. Let me point out these lessons that this verse is giving.
First, God wants you in your present condition. God didn’t take the finished product of Peter and Paul, but He took them in the raw, unformed way that they were and converted them into the image that He wanted them to be. Too many believers try to change their life before giving themselves to God when God wants them just like they are. You may think you are too bad for God to use, but all you have to do is look at a cursing, backsliding Peter, and a murderous Paul and realize that God can take you in your present condition.
Second, it won’t be an easy task for God to do a work in you. Just like God had to beat out Peter and Paul through adverse circumstances and trials, God will have to beat your life into the shape that He deems usable. How does God do this? God does this by sending you through trials to let the fire soften you to make you pliable so He can form you into the image that He has planned for your life. You will never become what God wants you to become without the fire. God does His greatest works in the life of the believer when they have been made pliable in the fiery trials of life. If you want it to be said that God wrought a work in you, you are going to have to go through trials so He can beat you into the image that He has planned for your life.
Third, the same God who worked in the lives of others can also do a work in you if you will let Him. Notice that Paul said, “(For he that wrought effectually in Peter…, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)” God is not a respecter of persons. If He was willing to do a work in others, He is also willing to do a work in you. God has something planned for your life, but you must not fall for Satan’s trap that you could never be used by God. No matter how bad your life may have become because of sin, God can still do a work in your life that will only bring glory to Him.
Fourth, God never stops working on a life until He completes what He started. Paul said that God “wrought effectually.” Notice that God’s work was effective in Peter’s life, and it was also effective in Paul’s life. Once you allow God to start doing the work in your life, you will find that He won’t stop working on you until He “wrought effectually” in you. You are not a finished product; so let the LORD continue to do His work in you until you become what He wants to make out of you.