I am unqualified!
How often have you said this when you are asked to do something for your church like lead a Bible Study, or small group? What about leading a fundraising effort or teaching a Sunday School class? We often say I’m not qualified even if what we’re asked to do is what we do everyday at work. There’s something about doing something that we think is spiritual that frightens us and we feel unqualified. I think it’s more that we feel unworthy rather than unqualified. I just wrote a post about failure (No Failure Is Fatal). In it I said that God doesn’t care what you’ve done in your past. Through Jesus, He’s forgiven you for any failures that resulted from your actions and He doesn’t hold you responsible for those failures that were not your fault. He even uses your failures to strengthen you. Read my post and you will see how he used Abraham, Moses, David, Peter and me. We all fail at some point in our lives and until we go the be with the Lord, in death, or Jesus returns we will probably fail at something again.
The List Of The Unqualified Is Long
How tragic it would be if we still thought, felt, and acted the same way we did before we received the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:38 (NLT)38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins, turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ to show that you have received forgiveness for your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit enables us to live as God directs and equips us. We don’t always live that way but we can because the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to do it.
God is determined to accomplish His goals here on earth through unqualified people like us.
Isaiah, the great prayer warrior, was a man of like passions meaning, and just like the rest of us weak and wounded.
Isaiah 6:5-7 (NLT)5 Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.”6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs.7 He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”
David, the man after God's own heart, was a murdering adulterer who had no moral right to any of God's blessings.
2 Samuel 12:13 (NLT) Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “Yes, but the LORD has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin.
Acts 13:22 (NLT)22 But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.’
Peter denied Jesus.
Matthew 26:73-74 (NLT)73 A little later some of the other bystanders came over to Peter and said, “You must be one of them; we can tell by your Galilean accent.”
74 Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know the man!” And immediately the rooster crowed.
John 21:17 (NLT)17 A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.
Paul persecuted the church.
1 Corinthians 15:9 (NLT) For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church.
The list goes on and on of people who loved God, people who were greatly used by God who felt themselves undeserving and unqualified.
2 Corinthians 4:7-13 (NLT)7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.11 Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies.12 So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.13 But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.”
Maybe there's a flaw in your character you try to hide. Even if it's in the past, you may live in secret fear that one day it will come back, so you deem yourself unqualified.
Maybe you feel called to be a leader, a decision maker, a risk-taker. But your track record is far from spotless. And the thought of putting yourself out there is paralyzing,
Many of us fight these feelings. We consistently hear the voices telling us that we don't qualify, that they will never qualify, that we are totally disqualified. But God has a habit of picking people who have been passed over. If you look at the great men and women of Scripture, you will see that they have one thing in common: They were all unqualified.
God Is Not Looking For The Qualified
God is looking for people who will allow themselves to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. When Jesus called His disciples He called and selected 12 men most of them not even educated.
Acts 4:13 (NLT)13 The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.
The Bible does not describe the backgrounds of all of Jesus’ disciples. It only reveals the vocations of Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Matthew. Peter, Andrew, James, and John were fishermen.
Matthew 4:18-22 (NLT)18 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living.19 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”20 And they left their nets at once and followed him.21 A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too.22 They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind.
Matthew was a tax-collector
Matthew 10:3 (NLT) Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew (the tax collector), James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus,
We don’t really know the vocations of the rest are unknown. The names of all twelve are as follows: Yet they turned the world upside down.
Here’s what Paul told the Corinthians;
1 Corinthians 1:26-29 (NLT)26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you.27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.
Don’t use your weaknesses and insecurity as an excuse of being unqualified. It’s not your qualifications that matter anyway. It’s God’s qualifications. Remember Moses’ excuse and God’s response.
Exodus 4:10-12 (NLT)10 But Moses pleaded with the LORD, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”11 Then the LORD asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the LORD?12 Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”
Remember what God told Paul.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NLT)9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
God Equips Those He Calls
Hebrews 13:20-21 (NLT)20 Now may the God of peace— who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood--21 may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 2:8-10 (NLT)8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
If He called you, you’re qualified!
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.