In his introduction to Judges in the Message, Eugene Peterson wrote :
God, it turns out, does not require good people in order to do good work. He can and does work with us in whatever moral and spiritual condition he finds us. God, we are learning, does some of his best work using the most unlikely people.This has reminded me several times about how God loves us too much to leave us the way we are. I've heard people say things like, "I've gone too far away to come back," or "When I can make myself better, I'll go to church." No matter how far away we go, all we have to do is turn around and we're back. No person can make themselves better. Look at the disciples... they were pretty much a bunch of whiners and complainers, but God used them to spread the Gospel.
I don't think God is looking for a bunch of rigid, rule following robots. He takes us where we are with our flaws and failings and then, if we put our trust in Him and decide to live for Him, He'll change us from the inside out.
In the book of Judges, the nation of Israel did okay when they had a judge to enforce the rules, but pretty much did what they wanted when they didn't have a king to rule them. What they didn't realize was that they did have a king (just not an earthly one), but refuse to be subjects to Him. I'm so thankful that God, when we chose to accept His way, uses ordinary people to do extaordinaary things. Reminds me of this quote by Mother Teresa: "I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world."