Jeremiah 1:8, “Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you”
Have you ever felt inadequate, unworthy, or unqualified for the task that God has called you to do? You are not alone. Nearly every Christian pastor and believer alike has felt that way at one time or another. Many of the Old Testament Patriarchs and Prophets also felt inadequate, unworthy, and unqualified when they were first called to their ministry. Take as an example Jeremiah. As a young man, he was called by God to carry a message of judgment to the people of Judah. He declined at first because of his inexperience and youth, yet the Lord assured him that He would supply the power to do the task. I’m also mindful of Moses. When God approached Him from the fiery bush, Moses was eighty years old and felt very unqualified and inadequate.
In Exodus 3, after God appeared to Moses in the burning bush, He told him He wanted him to go to Pharaoh to bring the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt. It was a monumental task, as later the nation was numbered at over two million people. Even though he had been raised in Pharaoh’s court and had been groomed by the Lord for the position, after being a shepherd for the past forty years, Moses repeatedly argued with God and gave many excuses. He said, “Who am I that I should go?” (Exodus 3:11). After God dealt with that excuse, Moses said, “But they won’t listen to me” and “they won’t believe me.” (Exodus 4:1). Once again, the Lord spends a few verses telling Moses what to do to persuade the people. But Moses’ next excuse was: “But I don’t speak good” (Exodus 4:10). By this time, God was getting angry with Moses. He told Moses to take Aaron with him to speak for him. Now think about how unqualified and inadequate Moses felt. Yet in the end, God used him very mightily. Through his obedience to the call upon his life, he became one of the greatest heroes of the Old Testament.
Maybe you have been called by God to a specific field or service or spiritual endeavor? Are you facing a monumental challenge? Can you relate to Jeremiah’s and Moses’ response? Have you too made excuses? Have insecurity and inadequacy clouded your call? If so, take courage, it doesn’t matter how shy you are, how unqualified you may feel, or how unworthy you think you are because God has an answer for each of your excuses.
If God has called you to do something, He will overcome your shortcomings. Just yield to His calling and allow Him to use you according to His will. The question you should ask yourself is not, “am I called into ministry?”, but “what is my calling”, and “where does God want me to serve”. Then apply yourself to the tasks that He sets before you in service unto Him. Above all, don’t forsake your calling because the Lord has a plan for every believer. To ensure that we can meet the Lord’s expectations, He first builds natural talents into us. At salvation, He adds a spiritual gift. Then God opens doors of opportunity and the Holy Spirit manifests His power so that we can carry out the work He has set before us.
We can rejoice in our weakness when we’re trusting in Christ’s power.