The question, in my opinion, is answered in the application of the word. Only can a person who submits to the authority of God and His gifts-only they can accomplish the truly great tasks.
Let's look at the example of David as a Shepherd boy when he rose up in the name of God to slay the giant Goliath causing the Philistines run like they just saw a ghost. David was only a boy but his confidence was greater than the whole Israeli army including his brothers who branded him an egotist!
How about Samson? With his strength, he slew lions bare-handed, defeated armies single-handed and tore down buildings with a mere yank.
Consider Moses, with a speech impediment, rising up against the Pharaoh and his dynasty (who rescued and raised him) to lead the Israelite nation out of Egypt where they had been enslaved for generations.
But wait, you may object. these people all have major issues! David was a violent, adulterating savage and Samson had a weakness for women. Moses, murdered and ran away into the desert for 40 years.
There are many examples in the Bible and elsewhere of people who accomplished great things for God in spite of obvious weaknesses. What was the common thread which enabled them to do these great things? I suggest that confidence, not self-deprecation, was the key that unlocked the door to greatness.
Is it sinful to be confident? Some would say so but not me. Over-confidence that comes from puffing oneself up with shallow mantras will prove false. True and lasting confidence comes from knowing God's power and it's effect in the lives of those open to be empowered by it.
Great monuments can materialize if the tool is in the hand of the qualified artisan. Does this make the tool great? Not necessarily but you have to admit, a screw gun works faster and easier than a plain screw driver. My point? If we belittle the capabilities that our Creator placed within us, we are like the screwdriver. We are still usable, but are not the preferred tool. God is honored by that fact that He fearfully and wonderfully made us. Our gifts and talents when used give glory to the One who made them. The glimmer of flashing metal may spin and make us admire the drill but in the end, the drill is nothing without the Craftsman. As well, a drill that is not charged is worthless in the task.
How can one become a tool for greatness? Each must first recognize what kind of tool and for what purpose we are best suited. It's not wrong to examine oneself and discover the gifts and talents we have. It is actually humbling at times to think that God would trust a mere human with skills beyond our perceived capability. Once we inventory the resources inside, then we must commit those to God to use as He sees fit. In the meantime, we must sharpen, charge, and enhance the talent to the fullest potential, opening our eyes to the opportunities and evaluating like an investor the market into which to insert those gifts. Using the tools before they are ready could prove disappointing or even fatal. On the other hand, letting them collect dust will prove detrimental to the eternal cause.
I've heard it said, "Fail to plan. Plan to fail." There is truth to that. The following also rings true: "Failing does not make one a failure. Failing to rise and try again does." And old Proverb words it this way: The faithful man falls seven times and rises up again. Note there is no mention of a failure only a faithful man.
Don't be afraid of greatness. Greatness does not equal perfection. Greatness is allowing God to work through you in ways you don't think possible at first. Greatness glorifies God.
To inspire you to do great things, I leave you with these thought-provoking quotes about how to achieve greatness:
- John L. Motley: Deeds, not stones, are the true monuments of the great.
- Henry Ward Beecher: Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right use of strength.
- William Blake: Great things are done when men and mountains meet.
- Samuel Johnson: Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance.
- Vincent Van Gogh: Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.
- Fernando Flores: Great work is done by people who are not afraid to be great.