So many times in our Christian walk, we feel inept to do that which we believe God has called us to do. Our past, lack of ability, knowledge, courage, or even faith often cripples us rendering us ineffective (in our opinion) for the cause of Christ. That is not a good place to be. How can we (me, a lawn jockey from nowhere) be an effective tool for God when thoughts like this are so common? It is good to look at a few people in the Bible.
Moses did not believe he had the speaking capabilities to convey God’s message to Pharaoh to let the nation of Israel leave. God provided an answer. It says in Exodus 4:12-13, “‘Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.’ But he said, ‘Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.’” That was not good enough for Moses, and God gets frustrated with his lack of faith. So He gives Moses a helper in Exodus 4:15 in the form of his brother, Aaron. God speaks confidence into Moses by saying, “You shall speak to him [Aaron] and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do.” In other words, God will equip us if He is calling us.
We can make a list of some others who were not qualified:
- Gideon doubted God’s decision-making process and the ability to make an adequate army to defeat the Midianites.
- Samson thought he could withstand the temptations of Delilah and still carry out God’s will.
- David was an adulterous murderer.
- The prophet Hosea was married to a prostitute.
- The Samaritan woman at the well had such a past that she was ostracized from her community.
- Peter and Andrew were uneducated fishermen.
- Matthew was a tax collector and hated by his own people.
- Thomas doubted that Jesus was the Messiah.
- Paul murdered the believers in the early church.
- Timothy was young.
- John was old.
We need to face it; the Bible is filled with broken, inept, incapable people who, on their own, could not change a spiritual light bulb! (Definitely, put me in that category.) God does not need us to carry out His plan for humanity. However, when we submit to the super infusion of God’s will into our lives through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, He makes us capable. If we were capable on our own, we would not need God. Then who would receive the glory?
It is time to attempt to answer the question, “How do we reach the world?” In the words of a friend, “We open our mouths and trust God.” The things we identify that hold us back are the exact things that God wants to use to glorify Him. He rescued us from our past. We should be shouting it from the rooftops. Our insufficiencies in faith, knowledge, and courage are all changed as a result of Him being all-sufficient. It is only by taking the focus off of ourselves being incapable, and place unwavering faith in the fact that God is completely capable, that we become enabled to do what we are called to do!
In Matthew 28:19-20, we find what we call “The Great Commission.” It is a short synopsis of how we are to reach the world. In my mind, I can condense it down to the first word of verse 19, “go,” and the last sentence of verse 20, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” He does not tell us to go do it on our own abilities, but that He will be with us to do what He has commanded us to do: Reach the world!