“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” (I Peter 4:10, NLT)
Sometimes we disqualify ourselves from areas of service for the Lord for various reasons. “I’m too young . . . too old . . . lack the skills . . . lack the education . . . too shy . . . too nervous . . . afraid of crowds . . . physically unable.” The problem with these excuses—we like to call them reasons—is God does not see any of these things as a disqualifier for service. The verse above says that God has given each of us a gift and to use them well.
I recently read a statement that really spoke to me.
“Everyone is a candidate for greatness in the eyes of the Almighty.” (James A. Washington)
How we see ourselves and how God sees us are not always the same. We see our weaknesses. He sees our possibilities and strengths.
Second Kings 5 tells of a powerful testimony of God’s ability to heal. It was not a prophet or priest who proclaimed this. Nor was it someone well known. It was a young Israelite girl captured by the Syrian army, taken from her homeland, and serving in the home of the Syrian captain Naaman. The Bible describes her as a “little maid,” but we don’t know her age.
We do know this young girl had strong faith and a positive attitude. She could have been resentful of her circumstances—separated from family, in a foreign land, and now a slave. But instead of resentful, she was courageous, compassionate, and concerned about her master’s leprosy. Could we have held onto our faith and done the same in similar circumstances?
When we read the Bible, we find so many instances of God using people we would consider insignificant or disqualified for great things. Fortunately for all of us, God is more concerned about potential than polish. He will use anyone who makes themselves available.
Youth will not disqualify us.
- Samuel was about eleven years old when he heard the voice of the Lord.
- Jeremiah was probably in his twenties when God called him.
- Joseph, David, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were teens.
- Timothy was perhaps in his late twenties when he became pastor in Ephesus.
Old age will not prohibit us.
- Noah was 600 years old at the time of the flood.
- Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah about 90 when Isaac was born.
- Zechariah and Elizabeth were “well advanced in years” when John the Baptist was born.
- The apostle John was probably 80 to 90 years old when he wrote the Book of Revelation.
Disability will not limit us.
- Moses had a speech impediment.
- Four men with leprosy caused the Syrian army to flee.
- Samson’s final victory over the Philistines was while blind.
- Elijah suffered from depression.
Past history will not exclude us.
- Jonah deserted his calling and ran from God.
- Saul (later Paul) terrorized the early believers.
- Tamar and Rahab, both listed in the genealogy of Jesus, had moral issues.
- Peter denied the Lord.
Whenever you think it is impossible for God to use you because of your (fill in the blank), consider some of those mentioned above. Many modern-day testimonies, perhaps some sitting on the pew near you, may inspire you as well.
God has a plan for each of us. Just remember, if He calls us, He will also equip us.
What is God calling you to do today?
“For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13, NKJV)
Lord, help me to lay all my past insecurities and uncertainties before You. Give me faith to step into Your will for my life. Whatever the task You set before me, You will also equip me to fulfill it.