In getting things done, God sometimes seem amazingly inefficient. He chooses some people to do a job when others are far more competent—or close. Peter’s trip to Caesarea shows us why.
The Lord wanted a man named Cornelius to hear the good news about Jesus Christ—that whoever believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins. In order to share this wonderful news, God chose what seemed an inefficient way and an unqualified person.
The reason why offers insight into God’s inefficiency in our lives.
The Lord’s Inefficient Plan at Caesarea by the Sea
In order for Cornelius to hear the gospel, the angel told him to dispatch some men more than 35 miles south to Joppa. There they would find Simon Peter and bring him back to Caesarea.
But two other options would have proved far more efficient:
- The angel could have given the message to Cornelius. After all, the angel would have expressed the message perfectly—and immediately!
- Philip could have shared with Cornelius. This option makes total sense. After all, Philip was an evangelist, and he already lived right there in Caesarea (Acts 8:40; 21:8)!
God’s choice made no sense. Why make such an inefficient plan? Why chose someone four days away and far less qualified?
Because God wanted to do more than change Cornelius’ life. He wanted to change Peter’s. God wanted to do more than work through Peter. He also wanted to work in Peter.
Same true with us.
God Working In Us and Through Us
God’s working in our lives seems at odds with common sense, because we make choices based on efficiency. God makes choices from another priority.
- We see the shortest distance between two points as a straight line. The goal of any task is its completion—the sooner the better.
- God sees the two points as (1) who we are and (2) who He wants us to be. He often closes that gap with a zigzag line that focuses on growth of character as the goal of the task.
Before the Lord works through us, He wants to work in us. It’s His greatest work in our lives.
God will likely take you the long way this year—a way that seems amazingly inefficient. As He leads you along the zigzag path, remember His priority.
He first wants to work in you and then to work through you.