That’s the kind of confidence we have towards God, through the Messiah. It isn’t as though we are qualified in ourselves to reckon that we have anything to offer on our own account. Our qualification comes from God. [2 Corinthians 3:4-5 NTE)]
The panic set in the moment I looked the calendar on our church’s website. Seeing the upcoming dates with my name beside them set my heart racing. Several weeks ago, I accepted our pastor’s request to act in his stead while he was out of town. I was to lead both Thursday night’s Bible study and the following Sunday’s worship. At the time, preparing a study and a sermon seemed far in the future, but seeing it in black and white made me question my decision. Did I actually think I was up to the task?
Is that what it felt like to Moses when, after accepting God’s assignment to free Israel from Egyptian slavery, he realized he would have to lead two million people across the Sinai Peninsula and into Canaan? When what should have been an eleven-day trip turned into a forty-year trek, did he question his ability to fulfill his role? After Gideon whittled down his 32,000 soldiers, did he question his obedience to God before leading his remaining 300 men into battle against 135,000 Midianites? After bolding saying he’d fight Goliath, did David have a moment of self-doubt when facing the giant with nothing more than a sling and five stones? What made him think he could save Israel from an army of Philistines? Think of the prophet Jeremiah who was just a youth when God called him. Not only did his family plot to kill him but, through the years, he was beaten, tossed into jail, attacked by a mob, put in stocks, accused of treason, thrown into a muddy cistern, and threatened by the king. Did any of them have a moment (or two) when they asked themselves things like, “What on earth was I thinking?” or “How did I get in this mess?” or “What made me think I could do this?”
When God called them, Jeremiah was just a youth (probably no more than twenty) and not a good speaker. Gideon was the least important in a family that was the weakest one in Manasseh. As the youngest boy in Jesse’s family, David’s father didn’t even consider the shepherd boy worthy of being invited to the sacrifice or being presented to Samuel. Moses was an old man with a speech impediment who was hiding in a foreign land when God called to him from a burning bush. None of these men were especially qualified to take on the tasks that God gave them. Nonetheless, they were the ones God called. The reason God chose them can be found in Scripture’s description of David—they all were men after God’s heart. [1 Samuel 13:14] They trusted in God!
Rather than focusing on our limitations and weaknesses by thinking we’re not smart, talented, educated, skilled, young or old enough, we should remember the old saying that, “God does not call the qualified; He qualifies the ones He calls.” We can have an outstanding resume of credentials but, without a heart for God, we have nothing! Rather than looking at our assets and abilities when calling us, God looks at our availability and willingness to serve. After saying, “Yes,” to His call, our responsibility is to do our best with what we have while trusting Him to handle the rest. Our all-powerful God is fully able to empower even the least qualified among us. It is what we do in our weakness that testifies to God’s power and strength.
Real true faith is man’s weakness leaning on God’s strength. [D.L. Moody]