In my dream, I am standing in front of a church congregation. I speak on how God calls individuals who He knows can be used to do His work and that we as humans do not always look upon them as who we would call. As I talk, one man who sits on the left side of a large assembly draws my attention. From his appearance, I know he is a mechanic and is not educated in theology. I explain how God can even use an illiterate person. The individual can be someone who lives each day as God leads, even if the person has a learning disability and struggles with reading the easiest of words. I explain that God does not just look at the outward appearance or education of a man. He does not only look at how well a man can read or recite from memory. God does not only look at the mind of a person but at the heart and the motives.
Noticing the church’s pastor sitting to the far right of the congregation, I ask him to assist me on the platform. He agrees and after we are behind the podium, I whisper to him to bear with me in an illustration. I introduce him as a credentialed and much respected pastor who has written many books. I explain that he is one of the few historic pastors that are left and that when he speaks it is truth guided by the Holy Spirit. I inquire from the congregation whether all agree that he is someone God has called to be a faithful pastor. I hear a united “amen.”
Walking down the aisle to the auto mechanic, I ask if he will return to the platform with me. He agrees to, even though he does not like being in front of people and is most happy while working with his hands. He is a man of very few words and does not speak unless he is asked to respond. On the platform I whisper to him to trust me, that I do not plan to embarrass him, and that he is to know that God’s presence is there and all is according to His plan.
I turn to the congregation and explain, “Here are two different individuals. Your pastor is a very learned man and holds several degrees. All here know of his extensive knowledge of the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy.” I ask the pastor if he has any knowledge of auto mechanics. He admits that he does not know the difference between a wrench and a screwdriver. I turn to the mechanic and whisper again for him to trust me and know that this will be to God’s glory. I introduce him as a craftsman in his own field. I ask what formal education he has had. He explains that he dropped out of high school in his second year but that he later got his General Education Diploma and is certified in gasoline and diesel engine repair as well as automatic transmissions.
Turning to the pastor, I ask if he would read the book of Titus to us. He smiles as he lifts his well-worn, heavily marked Bible and without turning a single page, he opens it right to the first chapter of Titus. Without looking down at the Bible, he begins to recite from memory every word of all three chapters. When he finishes, I turn to the mechanic and ask him to turn to Titus. I hand him a Bible and he looks at me with a worried look, yet not embarrassed, and whispers, “I don’t know where that book is.” I help him find it and he looks at the words and back at me and whispers, “I don’t read good.” I whisper to him, “Trust me. God wants all to learn from this illustration.” I look to all assembled and explain that the mechanic does not know the books of the Bible, so he cannot find the book of Titus.
I now ask the congregation to remove the Bible from the seat in front of them and stand while holding the Bible. After everyone is standing, I ask each person to find the book of Titus and keep it marked so they can quickly find it and then to sit down. Some quickly find the book and sit down. Many had to help each other find the chapter. I whisper to the mechanic that he is not the only one who does not know where Titus is and not the only one who has a reading problem. I assure him that God uses who He needs to use.
I now ask how many, without a doubt, know that their pastor is called of God to give a message. A loud “amen” is heard. I turn to the mechanic and say, “The mechanic did not know where the book of Titus is located, because he has a problem reading. So my question is whether God can use only your pastor or use the mechanic as well.” I ask the mechanic if he ever heard the book of Titus before the pastor recited it. He answers that he had not.
Turning to the congregation, I state, “Your pastor knows Titus, and I am sure he can explain these three chapters to us, but remember that God calls those who we might not think can be used of God. Sometimes He calls the less educated to teach the highly educated. He calls those who others would not think of listening to. He calls those who are teachable.” I tell the mechanic, “God has called you to serve as His teacher today. Teach us in your own words what the Holy Spirit has taught you regarding the book of Titus.”
As the pastor and I turn and sit down on the platform, the mechanic kneels, folds his hands, and bows his head. A silence comes over the sanctuary. In a very clear but subdued voice, the mechanic reverently prays aloud. “Our great and holy heavenly Father. You have called me here today to share what I know nothing about. I have just now heard the words recited. I ask you to fill me now with the words you need me to say to your people. I pray not as a man of honor but as a man that you have called. I speak not because I want to, but in faith because you have asked me to. Surround me with your angels. Forgive me of my wrongs that I may be worthy to be your spokesman. I ask these things of You and in the name of Jesus Christ, my Savior, our Savior. Amen.”
The mechanic stands up, returns to the podium, and pauses for a moment to look down at the empty podium. He then looks at the congregation and begins speaking in a clear voice. For the next thirty minutes, the mechanic teaches through the power of the Holy Spirit on something he had never heard before. He explains that Paul is writing to Titus. He talks about the importance of faith and speaks on church organization. He warns against Jewish legalism and trivia, against falsehood and laziness. He discusses character perfection, justification through God’s mercy that is a gift, and sanctification through obedience. The congregation listened intently, following along with their Bibles open while the mechanic broke the Bread of Life, speaking from his heart the words poured down from the altar of God.
Manuscript Releases, Vol. 12, p. 9
God has often used the spotless example of a poor and illiterate man as successfully promoting the great designs of the gospel as the labors of the minister who is lauded for his talents and eloquence. The Lord's wisdom and power are revealed in the humble, devoted worker who lives his religion, more than in the educated man who does not rely so fully upon God's help.
Last Day Events, p. 205
Words will come from the lips of the unlearned with such convincing power and wisdom that conversions will be made to the truth. Thousands will be converted under their testimony.
The Review and Herald, September 21, 1905
The Lord says, I will take illiterate men, obscure men, and move upon them by my Spirit to carry out my purposes in the work of saving souls. The last message of mercy will be given by a people who love and fear me. "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit." We should give willing, devoted men every possible encouragement to go forward and in their humble way reveal their loyalty to principle and their integrity to God.