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God Qualifies You for What He Has Called You to Do
Throughout the Bible we see God calling unlikely people to do big things for Him. A significant reason for this is because if they could do it on their own, then there would be no need for God to help them, and instead of bringing glory to God, the credit would stay with the person who was called. God wants His people to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7); they were created to bring Him glory (1 Corinthians 10:31)!
This past weekend Pastor Fari gave a great sermon, entitled “Deliverance”, speaking about how God called Moses to the big task of bringing the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, and how Moses had several objections to this call because he did not feel qualified for the task. But at every objection, God had something to say, pointing not to Moses’ ability for the task at hand, but to Himself (God) and His ability to work through Moses. Check out the sermon here.
You might be thinking though, that’s great that God qualified and used Moses, but what about me? How does God qualify me for what He is calling me to do? In other words, how do I become fit for the task He has for me? That’s exactly what I would like to address here. God qualifies you for what He has called you to do through the power of the Holy Spirit, through the equipping of His Word, through the lessons of past experience and through supportive community.
The call of God
Firstly, before we can talk about being qualified for something, it’s important to know that you are called by God to do something. When the call of God is clear, we can begin to clarify how He qualifies us.
As an example, when I first came to Coastal Church as a young adult, I remember thinking I wanted to be involved right away. I joined the church membership course, which was called, Equipping Bases at the time, today it’s called, Connect Course. Upon completion, there were many options of places I could volunteer and serve. I thought to myself that I would want to serve in the worship music ministry, since I had some experience and interest in that, but as I went down the list, I noticed “children’s ministry.” I then recalled how someone told me a while back that I would be good with kids. Keep in mind, at this point in my life, I never had any interest working with kids. I never even baby sat anyone. For those who may not know, today I am the children’s pastor at Coastal Church – shocking, I know! Sometimes God’s call can begin with simply meeting a need that is presented to you.
So what happened? Fast forward a week or so, I’m sitting with Pastor Cheryl and a few others who expressed interest in worship music ministry. Then Pastor Cheryl turns to me and asks if I would consider volunteering in the area of kids worship music. It wasn’t what I had in mind, but I was ready to serve wherever I was needed, so I said sure! From there on began my journey to discovering that I actually really enjoyed working with kids, and that I had a passion for family ministry, as well as seeing kids grow in their relationship with Jesus. It was challenging, but amazing! I’ll never forget my first day leading kids in worship music to God. I was so nervous, but I can say with confidence looking back now, that the Holy Spirit, God’s Word, past experiences and supportive people around me helped to qualify me (i.e. make me fit) for God’s call on my life. I truly believe this is how He qualifies any one of us for whatever He calls us to do.
The power of the Holy Spirit
God qualifies us through the power of the Holy Spirit. Before Jesus was taken up into heaven after resurrecting, he spoke to his disciples saying, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NIV).
Because of what Christ has done for us on the cross, we can each know the power of the Holy Spirit collectively at any time, but in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit only came on certain people for a certain time period and for specific tasks. Jeremiah was one such person called by God for the big task of being a prophet to the southern kingdom of Israel, named Judah. The message God had for him to deliver was not a happy one, as God’s people refused to turn back to God and follow His ways. However, despite Jeremiah’s youth, which was an insecurity for him, God would assure him of His call and His power, which was ultimately His Spirit coming upon Jeremiah to do God’s big task:
God qualified Jeremiah to be His prophet through the power of His Spirit coming upon him. No amount of learning could have prepared Jeremiah to boldly speak God’s message to the people of Judah. He had to fully trust in God’s power at work in him through the Holy Spirit.
The equipping of God’s Word
God qualifies us through the equipping of His Word. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, the Apostle Paul writes, “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” (NIV).
Nearly half of the New Testament was written by the Apostle Paul, who used to be a radical pharisee, strongly against anyone who followed Jesus. All that changed when he dramatically encountered Jesus along the road to Damascus and was forever changed. God would call him to be His chosen instrument to proclaim the good news about Jesus to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. In fact, God would show the Apostle Paul how much he was to suffer for the Kingdom of God throughout his missionary journeys (Acts 9:15). As a pharisee he would have known God’s Word very well, but only after his dramatic conversion did he come to understand that all of Scripture was really pointing to Jesus Christ the Messiah. His deep value of God’s Word would equip him to share the gospel further than any other apostle in the Bible.
The book of Acts, reveals how the Apostle Paul, previously named Saul, “grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah” (9:22 NIV). He would continue to use Scripture to help people to know God and the good news of Jesus.
God qualified the Apostle Paul through the equipping of His Word. No other training could have prepared him to present the gospel of Jesus to Gentiles and Jews alike with such boldness and clarity.
Lessons from past experiences
God qualifies us through the lessons of past experience. James writes in his book to God’s people scattered among the nations, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance” (James 1:2,3 NIV).
King David was considered a man after God’s heart (1 Samuel 13:14) long before he ascended to royalty. He was an unlikely ruler as the youngest of eight sons, who’s primary responsibility was to tend to his father’s sheep. God’s call on David’s life began when the prophet Samuel anointed him to be king many years before David actually became king (1 Samuel 16). When God’s people in Judah were faced with a giant Philistine enemy, named Goliath, the Israelite camp was in fear, while David was in faith. David proceeded to have a conversation with King Saul, proposing that he fight Goliath on the Israelites’ behalf:
David recalled his past experience as a shepherd protecting his father’s sheep and how God rescued him from past danger. He knew who His God was and what He was able to do. He clearly drew not only on his past experiences of victory, but also from his intimate relationship with God over time.
God qualified David through lessons from past experiences. Being in a lowly shepherding job for his father, was actually God’s training ground for David to develop trust and confidence in who God is and all that He can do. God would use these experiences to help prepare David for his victorious battle against Goliath and the many other battles that he would face later on as King of Israel.
God qualifies us through supportive community. In the book of Psalm, we read, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17 NIV).
Timothy was the son of a Jewish mother and a Gentile Greek father. He was a disciple of Jesus Christ, who’s spiritual father in the faith was the Apostle Paul. Scripture does not outline a specific moment when God spoke to Timothy about his call, but it was clear that the believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him (Acts 16:2). The Apostle Paul wanted to bring him along on his missionary journey as well (Acts 16:3). To encourage Timothy, the Apostle Paul wrote this:
From the passage above, we see that Timothy had a God-fearing mother and grandmother. He had the Apostle Paul as a spiritual father too. All of these people helped to sharpen and encourage Timothy to do God’s work and in the course of time strengthen many churches.
God qualified Timothy through supportive family and friends who lived by example, walked by faith, and were not afraid to be honest in their encouragement. All of these things and more helped to prepare Timothy for the challenging pastoral work ahead of him.
As we have seen through various Biblical examples, God qualifies us, in other words, makes us fit for what He has called us to do through the power of the Holy Spirit, through the equipping of His Word, through the lessons of past experience and through supportive community. An amazing truth about the ways God qualifies us for His Kingdom work in the world, is that there is no limitation in terms of who God can use! No matter how young or old we are, no matter where we came from or what we have done in the past, no matter what we have or what we do not have, God can and wants to move through our lives to bring Him glory on the earth and see more people become disciples of Christ (Matthew 28:19).