Sometimes I wrestle with God over some of the things He leads me to write about because I don’t feel qualified to speak on such matters. My argument is, “Who am I to point a finger? Who am I to call out sin, when I am a sinner myself?” As I was mowing the grass the other day, feeling sorry for myself and fretting and wrestling with God over some of my own spiritual shortcomings, He spoke into my spirit, “I didn’t call you because you are qualified, I called you because you are obedient.”
The Bible never tells us what we must do to be “qualified” to serve God because we are all flawed and we are all sinners, so, in essence, we are all unqualified. The Bible only tells us what makes us disqualified from serving Him in certain capacities. As I continued to mow that day, God began to bring to my mind examples of various people in the Bible who He called to serve Him. And there were two things that they all shared: they were unqualified and they were obedient. Jacob, Moses, David, Gideon, Jonah, Peter– all were unqualified, but all were obedient.
The simple fact of the matter, is that I am indeed unqualified. I disciple under my Pastor and I’ve read the Bible from cover to cover, but I have no degrees behind my name, I have no formal training. No mantle of spiritual authority has been handed down to me. The only claim I can make is Christ, and that is enough. I am not qualified, but the Holy Spirit that works within me, is. Every morning I tell God that I am His to use, for whatever purpose. I ask Him to search my heart and show me any wicked way within me. I ask Him to open my eyes to truth and to make me well-equipped for service unto Him. I ask Him to correct any wrong thinking or understanding and to help me rightly divide His word of truth. I say with my mouth, “Father I submit to You in obedience, You are Lord of my life.” I ask that my humility be genuine and my motives and intentions be pure. I ask Him to make me clean, to pluck a burning coal from His holy altar and place it upon my lips, that I may only speak His truth and nothing else. I pray all these things, and I mean them.
I am not sharing these candid, intimate details of my life to make it seem like I am some spectacularly faithful person, because I’m not. There is nothing exceptional about me, I am just like everyone else. I am simply obedient. I have counted the cost to follow Christ and I am willing to die to whatever is necessary for me to glorify God with my life and bear Him fruit (Luke 14:28). Which means that any person who is saved in Christ can be used in a mighty way and can experience the spiritual riches of an intimate relationship with God and hear His voice clearly, as long as they are obedient. It is equally available to all of us, none of us being of any greater value to God than the other.
I am sharing these personal details of my life, because I want people to know and understand that God will always answer these kinds of prayers. God answers these kinds of prayers because they are His will for us. He desires that we know Him intimately. He desires that we submit to Him so we can bear Him fruit with our lives. He desires us to understand His word and to hear His voice clearly. These are all prayers that are in line with His will.
No human being could ever possibly be “qualified” to serve God because God is perfect and we are not. However, scripture tells us that we can be well-equipped for such service through study and application of His word, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim 3:16,17).
God is without failure, without fault, and without flaw and we, in our humanity, are intimately acquainted with all three. Therefore, if it were necessary that God call only those who were qualified, zero would be a very short list to choose from. For all intents and purposes, it is only our obedience to the Holy Spirit that works within us that qualifies us for service unto a perfect and holy God and it is a thorough knowledge and application of His word that makes us well-equipped for such service.
“It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. And He has qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Cor 3:5,6)
“But thank God! … Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume….. And who is adequate for these things? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.” (2 Cor 2:14-17)
“If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.” (2 Tim 2:21)
“Now the God of peace… even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Heb 13:20,21)