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Monday, March 27, 2017

God Qualifies the Called

In the business world, when a manager is looking for someone to fill an open position, he will most often select the candidate with the best qualifications. He wants to be sure that this new hire will be able to fulfill the requirements of the position adequately. He will look for the best education, the best experience, the best personality, and so on. In some cases, he may even do a background check to be sure that the new hire is of sound character and has no criminal record of any kind.

But, when God calls someone to a "job" in His kingdom, He doesn't need to look at those things. He already knows them. And, rather than call the most qualified, the most well-educated, the most experienced person, God will often call the person that the world would label, "least likely to succeed." That's because God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called. God uses the weak rather than the strong. As He told Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9, God's grace is sufficient for the person He is calling. His power is made perfect in our weakness.

The Bible is full of examples of this. Take Moses. Moses did not have a degree in leadership. His only experience in leading was in leading a flock of sheep. He wasn't even an eloquent speaker (Exodus 4:10). Yet, God chose Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. And then there's Jacob. Jacob was a liar and a deceiver. He tricked his own father, Abraham, into giving him the blessing that rightfully belonged to his brother, Esau (Genesis 27:6-29). And yet, despite these character flaws, Jacob was used by God to receive the promise of a new nation given to Abraham. God blessed Jacob and allowed him to play a role in His plan to redeem the world. Jesus was a descendant of Jacob (Matthew 1:1-2).

There are examples in the New Testament, as well, such as Peter. Peter was a fisherman. He was not highly educated and was a bit rough around the edges. He was quick to speak and often put his foot in his mouth. When Jesus was arrested and standing trial, Peter basically threw his boss under the bus. He denied knowing Jesus--three times! (Luke 22:57-61) But God used Peter in a mighty way as one of the leaders of the early church. And then there's Mark. As a young man, Mark joined Paul and Barnabas on one of their missions to spread the gospel. But, Mark apparently got cold feet or was homesick, because he deserted them in Pamphylia (Acts 15:37-40). Despite Mark's bailing out on a missions trip, God still used him to help Peter and then, later on, Paul. And, of course, God used Mark to write one of the four gospels.

In the world's eyes, none of these men would be considered qualified for a position of leadership or responsibility. But, when God calls someone to do His work, He knows that, with His help, they will succeed. When God calls us, in His eyes, we are the best person for the job. His plans for each of us are perfect and they are meant to prosper us and not to harm us (Jeremiah 29:11). When the work that God is calling us to seems to be beyond our abilities, when we feel unqualified, we need to place our trust in Him and not in our own limited understanding. When we do trust in Him, He will direct our path (Proverbs 3:5-6). We must always remember that what seems impossible for us on our own is not impossible with Him. With God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).

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