Christ in Us

When You Are Wondering, “Can God Really Use Me?”

David Robbins

David Robbins is passionate about integrating faith and family while equipping people to invest in their communities. David became the President of FamilyLife in 2017. He and his wife Meg have served in a variety of ministry roles over the years in Western Europe and as a National Director for Cru’s Campus Field Ministry. Before FamilyLife, the Robbins lived in Manhattan, where they helped launch an initiative with Cru to 20-somethings. Their desire is to leverage FamilyLife’s resources to engage new audiences and generations to come. David and Meg, married in 2001, currently live in Orlando, Florida, with their four children.


Well, hey there! It is so good to be with you and have these nine minutes together.

And I really just want you to remember seven words in this time that we have together. Seven words that are simple, powerful, life changing, and I’m convinced if we get our arms around them, and our head around them, and our heart around them, in an increasing way, it will continually revolutionize how we live out what we’re creating for 

These seven words come from Colossians 1:27, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” – “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” 

We are created – you and me – to experience Christ in us, our hope in everyday living. And as we do that we’re called to express and show and tell, of this hope that we have to the world around us. Paul talks about this in Colossians 1– let’s read 26 and 27, “The mystery hidden for ages and generations, God’s unfolding plan for the world and we know it now it’s not hidden anymore because it’s been revealed to the saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles by the riches of the glory of this mystery, this mystery which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” 

In these few minutes I just want to remind us and embrace God’s call to remember of the life altering, radical reality, for those of us who are in Christ – God Himself – in the person of Jesus comes, and is with us every day with His presence, living inside of us. It is a radical thing that changes everything. The way we experience being shaped for what we’re created for, and how we express who we are created to be, to the world around us, as we join God and what He’s inviting us into. 

There is no other source. There is no other hope. We are to experience Christ in us and we are to pass it on and show and tell of the hope we have to the world around us. Because it is a worthy hope and He is worthy of everyone’s trust. And He’s inviting you. He’s inviting your story. He’s inviting your unique narrative. At this time and in this place. God chose you for this cultural moment. He chose you, in this unique crazy season, from the beginning of time, He knew that you would be alive at this moment. He knew that you’d be around the people that you’re around. He knew that you’d be in the exact place that you are. You don’t have to wait until you get to the next place or to the next job, or around the next group of people. God has created you for what you are currently in right now as He shapes you for what is ahead soon. God chose you in this time, in this place, to give the world and give people around you, glimpses of His glory with your words and your actions, and to be a picture of the destination of the home that we have and that we will have.

Acts 17:26 says this as well, “And God made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth–” and here’s the thing – “having determined allotted periods of times–” the times that you’re living in right now, He’s determined – “and the boundaries of their dwelling place–” the people that you’re around, the spheres of influence you have, the workplaces you have, He determined the boundaries of the dwelling places and the neighbors you have – “that they should seek God, and perhaps find their way toward Him and find Him.” 

We get to continue to experience God ourselves where He’s put us in this unique time He’s put us in, and we get to help others know that beautiful, glorious reality of “Christ in us, the hope of glory.” 

I know we know this in our heads, and we desire for this to be true, but often the internal narratives that we have begin to sideline us and put us on the sidewalk, “I don’t know God could use me. I don’t know if He’s even at work around me – I don’t see it.” And we all have those backstories and there’s dignity and depravity in each of them and deep pain and some victory and we all bring those to the table. And they’re as unique as the fingerprints that we have. But it’s amazing to me as I journey with people, how our internal narratives that we carry with us end up hijacking what we are created for. 

I remember– I’ve had to learn this over and over again, but I remember moving to New York City, some seven years ago and we felt like God had called us there – and it was still one of our favorite chapters that we’ve been able to live as a family together, God did some amazing things – but on day two of living and moving to New York City, I remember being across the table from a 20-something– we ended up becoming great friends, but so many things were triggering inside my heart. I sit across the table from a guy that became a friend – his name was Trey.

Because I had all these internal dialogues happen as we moved to New York City. Ultimately, I was thinking– and lies from the enemy going, “Who do you think you are, David? Who do you think you are that you could come here and join in what God’s doing and have any sort of impact?” Or, “You’re not smart enough and you don’t even have a pedigree of a degree anywhere that can even fake it that you’re smart enough–” which is true, that’s all true – “You’re not experienced enough, you’ve only done ministry – how are you going to help people – come alongside of the redemptive edges of their faith and vocation? You’re not experienced enough.” Which is true – “You’re not cool enough, you’re not young enough.” All which was true. 

And as those memories began to play, I found myself sitting in front of Trey– and there was one other layer that got stirred in where – you know – my story– as an adolescent, I really had struggled believing in my, “How am I going to be a man? How do I feel my worth? And how am I going to measure up?” And all I knew was my dad’s example and I couldn’t be the football player like my dad but, “Okay, I could be the leader like my dad. That’s how I’ll do it.” And trying to prove myself and here’s Trey sitting across from me. And Trey was an Ivy League graduate from Yale, he was an MVP baseball player. He was a Wall Street guy, and he looked the part in every way, and I sit down and I’m looking at Trey going, “You gotta be kidding me, like, you’re throwing every wound in there that I have in my face right now.” And as I sat there, God began to do something as Trey began to share his heart, and that superseded the self-inflicted cycles that I’ve gotten myself into believing– going to this appointment – going, “Well, God – how’s He going to use me? There’s no way.” 

And as I dropped my internal narratives and got in tune to what God was doing, and became fully present and really listening to what’s happening in Trey’s life, I realized that again, God is often at work in some crazy ways around us. And Trey was there sharing his heart and he was just primed and ready – God had been doing so much in that broken place – wanting help and just pouring his heart out to me, and I almost missed it because I started believing, “There’s no way I can have impact, look at my past, there’s no way God’s working around me, who am I to sit down in front of them and I’m not enough.” And the fact is I’m not. 

Oh, but let us start with those seven words. 

We do have a way and a hope. We are created to experience ourselves in our pain, in our own wounds, as we’re in process, “Christ in us, the hope of glory,” and pass it on. 

And here’s why I tell that story and here’s a microcosm of what I want to make sure that, in these nine minutes, we understand as we seek to live for Him and have an impact for Him. 

God, one, wants to tell us kindly – often He draws me in and tells me kindly, “David, this isn’t about you. Stop depending upon yourself. Stop the self reliance, depend upon Me. It’s Christ in you–” it’s Jesus in me that gives me any hope of having an impact – “I’m already at work all around you – join Me in what I’m doing.” 

But what’s cool is that God’s at work in people around us, and even sovereignty and providence, in His love and in His omniscience. In His all knowingness, He says, “I’m gonna put you and intersect and cross your paths with people who will be impacted by the ways that I am currently working in your life. Not the chapters that are done in your life – the things I’m doing in your life right now. The ways you are experiencing Me today, as ‘Christ in you the hope of glory.’ It’ll be those places that I will use – sometimes the most – in order to impact other people around you.” 

We can trust Him, that He knows what’s going on in people’s lives around us, and He will intersect us with those people, so that we can grow. I grew because of my relationship with Trey, and Trey grew because of some parts of my own story. Because our stories bizarrely match up a lot. And God met us in that place and established a friendship that continues today with a lot of life change on both sides. 

Here’s the thing, we experience Christ in us as the hope of glory. And we’re called to express it out as we receive what He has for us. We are called to reproduce and release it out to others as these truths are embedded in us, it’s meant to be extended out to others. We are meant to be a conduit of “Christ in us, the hope of glory” – a conduit by experiencing it in ourselves and in passing it on as we look to see how God is using it in us and working around us. 

I’ll close with this. Seven words: “Christ in us, the hope of glory.” 

Make sure you’re untuned to the narratives that the enemy’s lying in your head about. God’s at work around you and He wants to use you. And go ahead and lean into the vulnerable places of how you’re experiencing “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” and experiencing the gospel in fresh ways and go pass that on, because that’s the living and active Word of God, alive in you, meant to be passed on. 

Transformed people transform people. Pray that God would open your eyes – your spiritual eyes to see, spiritual ears to hear what He’s doing around you, and enjoy getting the delight of what you’re created for.

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