Do you feel unqualified– or disqualified– for God to use you? Good news today: God can use anyone who just says yes to Him. God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called. We know God has called you, and He has great things in His plans for you. Now let Him qualify you.
Before you say it’s impossible, think about how God chooses Moses, the fugitive. He chooses David, the ruddy shepherd boy, not the firstborn- and continues his reign even after David repents of murder and adultery. He chooses Mary, the unmarried teenager, not royalty. He chooses Peter, the hot-headed fisherman, not the educated religious elite of the day. Paul says God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. The list is still growing today, so why not you?
These heroes may not be perfect, but they have this in common: they were available. They keep saying yes to God and his process of preparation.
Preparation really matters to God. Look at the parable of the king’s wedding feast for his son in Matthew 22. The first round of invitees don’t care to come, so the king opens his doors to the general public. Everyone is welcomed to come and celebrate. Yet, when the king finds a person among his guests who haven’t bothered to put on their wedding garments, the king grows angry and sentences the man to exile. Though the king had called all of his subjects to come to the feast, only those who took time to prepare got to stay and enjoy it. Many are called, yet few are chosen, Jesus said.
Why was God so harsh with that man? Maybe he couldn’t afford all the fancy clothes. No! God provided it. I know, because He has already provided everything we need. Jesus’s blood makes us worthy. Jesus is our garment of salvation and a robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10). But it’s up to us to put Him on (Galatians 3:27). Lack of preparation, lack of full identification with Jesus, exposes apathy, or worse, spiritual pride. As if we’re good enough all on our own, gifted enough, holy enough for God’s highest use. Clearly, we’re not. But the humble person is grateful to God who has qualified us to be partakers of His inheritance (Colossians 1:13). Jesus qualifies us. Now what?
Preparation and faithfulness go hand in hand. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 gives us the qualifications for a church leader and lists four areas of faithfulness we can use to measure ourselves and check where we may be in the preparation process:
Faithfulness in Relationships
Are you faithful in your responsibilities at home? Your first calling as a spouse, parent, or as a son or daughter is your highest calling. Do you make it a priority? Do your children respect you? Is your house a place of peace? These can be hard questions. First, honor your family at home. Lead by example with a consistent relationship with the Lord around them. Keep your word to them. Show love, not dead religion. Shore up your home front, and you’ll find it’s easier to begin perfecting other areas.
Faithfulness in the Community and in Business
Do you have a good report among those you know in the community? Are people glad to do business with you, not because of your resources, but simply because of your integrity? Do you build others in the community up or do you use your position and influence to tear others down? Are you faithful in the position you’re in or do you try to jockey for advancement? Do you badmouth your boss and indulge in gossip, or do you remain faithful? Remember, God will vindicate you when they cross the line, so don’t be vindictive, always looking to payback for grievances.
Faithfulness in the Church
Do you serve faithfully in the ministry God’s called you to? Do you serve out of an overflow of gratitude towards God, or do you serve out of compulsion? Do you seek to be seen as important, or do you serve out of genuine affections for God and others? Do you want to serve in ministry to receive praise from people, or so that people might praise God? Has God called you to a specific area, or have you simply placed yourself there?
Are you someone who remains true to the leaders God has called you to? Do you stand beside and show your full support of their leadership or are you quick to choose division? Do you serve those that God’s called you to out of the overflow of your heart or some ulterior motive? Jesus says in Luke 16:12, “… if you have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?”
Our faithfulness in these areas serves as an indicator of whether or not we’re ready to be used by God in higher levels of service. Let’s allow God to fully prepare us, so we’ll be fully ready for His promotion.