Who God Uses

Over the years that I’ve been in the Land of Internet, I’ve seen several different versions of a story go around, that many of you have also probably seen. It’s the story of a man, who, during a flood, is stranded on the roof of his house. He prays for God to save him, and believes God will. After a while, a boat comes by and asks if the man needs help. He says, “No, God will save me.” And sends them on their way. After a while, a helicopter comes and tries to save the man, but he turns them down saying, “No, God will save me.” But after a while, the flood waters rose and he drowned. When he arrived in heaven, he said, “God, why didn’t you save me?” And God said, “I sent a boat and a helicopter.”

I’d like to confess right now that I’ve never been particularly good at asking for help. It’s just not one of my best things. It simply comes down to two things – pride (what will they think if they realize I need help?) and fear (will they reject me once they realize I need help?).

But I also have to confess that even when help is offered to me, I’m not good at accepting it. For the same reasons. But also, for one more – I feel I don’t deserve help.

And because asking for help and receiving help are both so difficult for me, running into the topic in this week’s chapter of our Sorge reading was not really something that I was prepared for. In fact, it made me rather angry. Especially when I read Sorge’s take on it.

“Notice that when we turn to worldly resources for help in areas in which God wants to be our provider, we don’t just miss out on the blessing of God’s provision. We also incur a curse over our lives. Hear the heart of your Father: ‘Don’t look to the world for counsel, or for help, or for resources. Look to Me! I want to be your Everything!’”

Let me start by talking about the parts of this that I agree with – God is our provider. Everything we have – from our breath to our intellect to our daily bread – come from Him. And we need to recognize that, and be grateful for it. And I’ll be the first to raise my hand and admit that much of the time, I’m far more focused on the things I lack than on the many, many things that God has blessed me with.

But now, I have to take issue with Mr. Sorge. The way I read this chapter, Mr. Sorge is saying that our gentleman on the flooded rooftop was perfectly appropriate to not accept the help from the boat or the helicopter because that would be accepting help from “the world” as opposed to waiting on God Himself. The problem is, Mr. Sorge, that God doesn’t always help us wearing a Jesus costume. If I’m bleeding to death on an operating table, should I ask the surgeon if he’s a Christian before I let him operate? If I have a flat tire on the highway and AAA comes along to give me a hand, should I turn him away because he isn’t God? Of course not!

I’m sure I’m being too hard on poor Mr. Sorge. He’s merely trying to encourage his readers to make God their sole source – which, actually, is one of the ten commandments. But honestly, I felt that he tried too hard, and put far too many constraints on God in the writing of this chapter. He tells me that if I accept help from “the world” I “incur a curse” over my life. Does that mean that I’m under a curse because I allowed an unchurched family to take me in when I was homeless? Nonsense!

I spent so many years of my life being taught and believing that only people who go to church can be used of God. And what I’ve learned over the past several years is exactly the opposite. Many of the greatest, deepest, most touching blessings I’ve received have come through the hands and hearts of people who don’t hold Jesus’ hand when they walk. But God uses them anyway. And honestly, I believe that when they allow God to use them, He blesses them. I know that He blesses me through them. And I’m sorry if that’s something that Mr. Sorge doesn’t get to experience.

This post is part of a weekly book discussion on Bob Sorge’s book, “The Fire of Delayed Answers.” You do not have to read the book to chime in! Feel free to make yourself at home in the comments section! But if you have written a response to this week’s chapter, go drop by my co-facilitator, Jason Stasyszen’s place, and link up at the handy-dandy widget. 

About Sarah Salter


  1. I completely agree with you!!! Just like the enemy can use friend or foe to come against you….God can and will use believers and nonbelievers to do His work!!

  2. Sarah Salter says:

    Mary, my friend, Barbara, went as far as to remind me that God will use an ASS if a human won’t cooperate. 🙂

  3. Yep…We can’t tell God what or who to use, Christ Follower or Heathen, we except whoever or whatever He sends to help us…And like you I have seen help on both sides of the fence too!!

  4. Good stuff – said it before, and I’ll say it again. Good stuff here. 🙂

  5. Sarah Salter says:

    Rick, you’re so subtle… but I get the feeling you agree with the thoughts I’m sharing. 😉

    Love you, Dear Geezer!

  6. I agree, God uses both Christians and non-christians.
    He loves us all. And there are examples in the Bible of Him using evil Kings to help the Children of God.

  7. Papa Bear says:

    I’m a little late getting into this discussion, but as the Food Lion lion says, “here’s just my two cents worth.” I believe God uses many people, means and methods to accomplish his purpose and meet the needs of His people. We never really know just when or how God is going to do it but God always comes through. I’m reading through the books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles in the OT and I notice that God uses the most unlikely people to accomplish His tasks and often they are not the Israelites or their families. Secondly, the NT says that through Jesus, we’re been delievered from the curse. Again, “just my two cents,” but Sarah, I think you are right on track. I’ve always had a hard time asking for help, because I am a giver. Asking is hard and receiving is often even harder, but I know there are times when I have to ask. Lastly, the Bible says, “we have not, because we ask not.” Keep the faith and the good writing coming forth.

  8. I’ve talked with you more in depth about this, but I do agree with what you’re saying even if I don’t think Mr. Sorge was saying that exactly. God does indeed use incredibly diverse resources and people and I am so thankful for it. It does take a listening ear and understanding heart to discern what He has for us. Not so easy many times when pressure’s on! Anyway, I feel your passion and so agree that asking for help is essential. Victory comes with an abundance of counselors, and first and foremost, we have the best counselor ever, the Holy Spirit. Thanks Sarah.

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