God Equips His People for His Work
You make a mistake when you use the world’s standard to judge the qualities of a Christian. A person’s eloquence, coolness or success in the business world means nothing to God on their own. A leading expert in a field can do nothing for God without a rock solid relationship with Jesus. The most successful CEO will be an utter failure running a church without a heart for Jesus. The sole defining quality of great workers for the Lord is being with Him. God will give you the ability to do His will if you seek to do it. God doesn’t call the qualified for His work. They are a dime a dozen. God calls the man who is devoted to God. He then equips him for the tasks ahead.
Judging for anything other than Godliness is setting up the church for disaster.
Say there is an opening on the elder board of a church. The standard operating procedure in response is to form a search committee. The committee looks at the church members to judge who in the congregation would be best suited for the role. If the job requires organization, they look to a winning coach or a leader in the professional world. If it requires handling money, they look at the successful businessman or banker. The reasoning is that they are used to handling people, leading people and raising money so they can transfer their skills into the church version. This makes sense according to man’s logic but is a terrible error in God’s eyes. God never judges a man by the world’s standards. God’s leaders are very different than man’s.
The man who has all the skills but doesn’t have God is completely unqualified.
The person who is completely overwhelmed by the idea of the position but is on fire for the Lord is God’s first choice.
Your Invitation to Dangerous Discipleship
The Apostle Paul’s Job Interview
Consider Saul of Tarsus’ qualifications when he was chosen by God. Paul is the greatest evangelist in human history. He wrote much of the New Testament. He is the example of faith millions have tried to emulate throughout history. He was a great leader and awesome Christian. Yet, when he was chosen to lead and serve, Paul was totally unqualified.
Can you imagine the search committee for the church at Antioch charged with picking the next evangelist for their church? You know what Paul the Apostle did when he was chosen by God to be His anointed vessel of the Gospel. It is easy to forget his resume. Saul’s interview before the official Antioch evangelist search committee would go something like this:
Interviewer Ananias: So you want to be hired by our church, what were you doing in your last position?
Interviewee Saul: Well Sir, I spent the last few years, up until a couple of days ago actually, doing my best to destroy other churches. I even tried to go to Damascus and destroy the new church you have there. I was really good at it too! They compared me with a wild animal tearing at its prey.
Interviewer Ananias: Ok, so I will write down that you are a real self-starter. How did you find out about our advertisement for a position?
Interviewee Saul: Well, it’s an interesting story. You see, I was holding the clothes of those who were stoning your friend Stephen to death, stoning being hard work and all and I heard him talking. Then I was helping put other church members in jail, forcing them to betray Christians and then having them killed. They were all talking about how great the pastor of your church is, how you have great benefits and how I should apply here. Then after I purposefully ignored that for a while, goads stink BTW, while I was on the way to Damascus to get more workers I mentioned killed or jailed, I met the boss. After He knocked me down and blinded me, He said I had the job!
Interviewer Ananias: What position are you applying for?
Interviewee Paul: I want to be a Chosen Vessel of God and an Apostle. I would also like to write the majority of Jesus’ New Testament and preach grace to the world.
Interviewer Ananias: Great, you are hired!
I have interviewed a lot of people in my career, but never someone as ill-suited for the position as Saul of Tarsus. He should have been thrown out of the interview and perhaps into jail, if the calling of Apostle was based on worldly wisdom. His resume proved he was totally unfit for the job. Yet, God chose him.
Paul was perhaps the last person in the world to be chosen an Apostle before meeting Jesus. It would be like asking Osama Bin Laden to fill in as Prime Minister of Israel for a while. Based on logic and history, it is just not going to end well. But God picked Paul and made him His chosen vessel to use for the remainder of his lifetime.
God’s Power Made Perfect in Weakness Not Strength
Paul was extraordinarily weak in the very areas that God needed workers. This is exactly how God wants it. It is often when a man is totally weak and completely without ability that God does his best work. God is happy to show His power in abundance when you are reliant on Him. It is only when you think you are strong that God’s stage becomes cluttered. There is only one star of the show in God’s theater and it is not you. David is also a great example of the decision makin of God. David was not qualified to fight Goliath. God chose him anyway. He wasn’t huge like Saul but Saul did not trust God like David.
God’s choice of Paul was perfect and awesome. Paul converted thousands and taught holiness to the thousands more in the early church. This was not because Paul was a diamond in the rough. This was not Paul discovering his untapped potential. It was God’s power working through a desperately unqualified but willing servant. It was God’s plan, God’s mission and God’s power lived out simply, not Paul.
Why was David Chosen to Be King?
God Equips the Called – Do We Trust Him?
Do you feel called by God to do something in God’s Kingdom but feel unqualified? Do you feel worthless in your church, like you can’t do anything and have nothing to add?
If the answer is yes, then answer this:
Have you been out trying to destroy your church? Have you been killing Christians and forcing them to renounce Jesus’ name?
No, then you are already a better candidate for Christian service than Saul of Tarsus. You are hired!
God chose you for a purpose just like He chose Paul and David. His choice alone, His plan, His purpose.
It may not seem to make sense at the time, but God does not judge like you do. He does not look at the outward appearance, but at the heart and He is never wrong. He chose you, warts and all.
Do you trust God in His choice? He will provide His power to get His results. You provide the clay pot. You are enough because God picked you. God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
It is the One who called that is important not the one who is called. Understanding and remembering this is the key to our every step in faith.
18 thoughts on “God Doesn’t Call the Qualified, He Qualifies the Called”
Yes God took a lot of shipwrecked people in the Bible and used them for His Glory !!
Yes, He did. And He is not done yet.
We serve an awesome God !!
I’m always encouraged when I read of all the unqualified people God chose to work for him. Most of them didn’t even think they could do the job. But I think that is what qualifies them, in a way. They were humble.
Me too. I saw a great quote from Hudson Taylor that addressed this – All God’s giants have been weak men, who did great things for God because they reckoned on His being with them.
There are days that I feel inadequate as a leader too but I remember that God chose because He saw something in me and that He can teach me. God bless you for this wonderful message
Thank you and God bless you too. I think it is when we stop feeling totally inadequate that the problems start. We are weak so He needs to work or we have nothing. It is both humbling and awesome.
Thank you, I am struggling with the position God has placed me in (Pastor’s Wife). I feel so not quality for this position, but the article has helped
I am glad it helped Lady D. I think part of the reason we struggle is the same reason we are usable by God – we are aware we are not equipped to do it on our own. That is ok because God knew it when He chose us and no one is equipped to do ministry but God.
My wife certainly sympathizes as well. Pastors wife is a job with no job description but a million responsibilities. It is thankless and wonderful at the same time. God bless you.
When I was just becoming older I thought of my self as so low. In simpler terms I was a sheep who followed all the popular kids, who always tried to be someone cool. Even around my church friends I would always lie and say I was extremely popular. But as I started to want and thirst for God I saw him putting me in positions I would never imagine. I’m grateful for how God used me, but there are times I doubt, but I know I shouldn’t. I overthink when I should think simply., but this message truly encourages me to keep fighting for Gods glory.
Hi Harry – I think we all overthink things when we should keep it simple. Adam and Eve should have just taken God’s word for it at the Tree. Thankfully, God is faithful. Praise God you are following Him. I am glad you were encouraged. Tom
Excellent, and important, truth. I’m glad God’s words through me blessed you. May His words through you bless many indeed, for the sake of His kingdom and for His glory.
Such an inspiring message, may God bless you!
Praise God! Thank you for the encouragement and may God bless you as well!
So did Paul’s high education, particularly in law occur before or after his salvation? These are the primary skills that were used during his fulfillment of God’s purpose. During God’s qualification of Paul’s call, his most important impact upon Christianity seems to have been the collections of letters that he wrote to the various churches. You seem to have half of the point in that God does indeed qualify the called. He also calls people with particular skillsets however. Skills that are often years in the making behind the scenes.
Hi Edward – thanks for the comment and sorry for the delay in responding. Perhaps my point in the post wasn’t as clear as I meant it, but I don’t disagree with you on Paul in general and the value of education or skills. I am lawyer and I feel that God uses the training I received in law school all the time as I serve Him. My attempted point was not to minimize skills, but to encourage people to value what God values first – a heart for Jesus – and trust that if He calls you to do something, it will be for good if you have that heart.
Or put another way, as applied to Paul, it was his damascus road moment that made him who he was, not the skills alone. So if you have had the Damascus Road moment and are unskilled or skilled, God will use you. If you have not had the Damascus Road change, then the skill level doesn’t matter.
So I was attempting to make a specific point in the post, but did not mean to imply that training – academic or life wise – was not valuable.
God bless you!