Beal: Nothing defective about how God uses you
By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
Question: When is defective effective?
In an appropriately unique 30 minutes Monday morning in GCU Arena, Beal entertained students and staff with the story of his walk with Jesus, interspersed with one-liners that drew one roar after another. Beal looks different from your average Chapel speaker — bushy beard, T-shirt, jeans, arm sleeve of tattoos — and certainly talks different, and not just because he’s from west Texas:
“I don’t know about you, man, but I look at my life on a daily basis and I — seriously, this is a prayer of mine — ‘God, what are You doing? Am I a weird joke between You and Moses where y’all get together and, I know You don’t have cable in heaven, so You’re talking and You say, ‘Hey, check this out.’ And You made me.’”
Beal said he tried the khaki look that most religious leaders prefer and was “miserable.” So he decided to just be himself in every way, including where his church actually was.
In hilarious detail, Beal told the story of starting a Lubbock, Texas, church in a roller rink “for people who hated church.” It thrived even though Beal often thought of himself and the other people running it, “We’re all morons. We have no clue what we’re doing, and God keeps bringing people in.”
Like so many people called to serve God, Beal long has wondered why God tapped him on the shoulder. “You want me to tell them about Christ? Really?” he said of his reaction to what God placed on his heart.
To underscore the point, Beal referenced a Biblical story seldom heard, from Judges, 3:12-30. It’s the story of Ehud, described in the Bible as “a left-handed man” who lived at a time when lefties were thought to be, in a word, defective.
For 18 years, the Israelites had been under the harsh rule of Eglon, king of Moab, and Ehud was sent by God to deliver them. Beal described how Ehud showed what all lefties know — that they’re what’s right with the world — by slaying Eglon and 10,000 Moabites to give the Israelites 80 years of peace.
Beal’s point was that Ehud, in that culture, did not look like a savior, just as God uses many people who look different and sound different and act different to spread His word.
“There was a point when Ehud wasn’t defective, he was unique,” he said. “… What if we stopped giving God excuses and just started giving God obedience? We’ve got to stop looking at how we’re defective and start looking at how God has made us unique.”
Despite his self-doubts, Beal has been in ministry for 18 years and has worked with students the entire time, for a simple reason.
“I have no desire to do anything other than students because I honestly believe this with all my heart that your generation is going to be the one that changes the world,” he said.
And make no mistake — despite all his self-deprecating humor, Beal knows how to get his message across to that generation. In fact, humor made his message that much more penetrating.
“Why would God make you like anyone else?” Beal asked his audience.
Simple and effective. Anything but defective.
● For a replay of Beal’s talk, click here.
● Next week’s Chapel speaker: Dr. Deb Wade, GCU vice president of counseling and psychological services
Contact Rick Vacek at 602-639-8203 or [email protected]