We’ve all heard the saintly saying, “God rarely calls the equipped, he equips the called…” (or something similar). I recently came across an encouraging passage that reminded me that God can use ordinary, untrained people to be the hands, feet, and voice of the Lord.
Amos 7:14-15 “… I was neither a prophet nor a prophet’s son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.'”
Like many, I’ve questioned God’s leading to ‘use someone like me.’ “There are certainly more qualified people, Lord,” I tell myself. “I’m not the best, I’m not the most talented. Heck, I didn’t even go to school to do this. Why would you want me?” I regularly enter seasons where this comes to the forefront of my thoughts. My inward struggle is not solely my own, but certainly, many who have been called to step beyond what is comfortable have found themselves asking the same question.
I easily become enamored by the righteous stories of people from years gone by whose names are etched in scripture forgetting that they, like me, are just regular people God chose to use. They gave themselves to a greater cause, beyond what they thought could be attained, and found extraordinary calling, passion, power and position.
Shortly after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, we find Peter and John standing in unashamed boldness and power before the Sanhedrin. (The same people who just killed their master, mind you.) Acts 4:13 is another shot of confidence-juice in the arm of the ordinary, and average-Joe follower of Jesus.
“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
This pretty much sums up what will hopefully, one day, be my epitaph.
While I could write pages on the significance of the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, and the significance of what it means to be with Jesus, or the importance of maturing your gifting/education, I just want to look at the fact that they were “ordinary”. Both had humble, what we would call, blue-collar jobs. They were fishermen. They probably earned enough to keep themselves fed and clothed. No shame in that! But when they encountered a man named Jesus, everything changed. When the Holy Spirit showed up, all nets were off! (pun intended)
Let me say to all the men and women who have bravely begun a journey with Jesus, God wants your heart, not just your ability. He has chosen you for a great purpose. Jesus doesn’t see you through the filter of your brokenness and inadequacies. He makes you qualified to lead. He makes you eligible to serve. Through Him, you are worthy. When the power of God shows up, we are qualified!
So, the next time you doubt God’s ability to use someone like you, remember a nobody named Amos, or a couple of fishermen named Peter and John. Or even me, I’m just a shepherd and sycamore-fig tree farmer, (actually, I train horses.) and remember that God has a message that He longs to be shared through us – our broken, un-qualified, ordinary selves.
He certainly equips those he calls.