I am thankful for God’s varied grace. I am thankful that the whole body is not a toe, or a mouth, or a finger. I am thankful that God cares about the slaughter of babies as well as the perversion of justice, the rights of the poor, and the sanctity of marriage. I am thankful He cares, because that means He will (and does) move. I am thankful He works through different Christians in different ways. Some minister in foreign countries. Some minister under bridges. Some minister in operating rooms. Some minister on the battlefield. Some minister in courtrooms. Some minister in cubicles. But how is it that one lump of clay presumes to turn to another lump of clay and say that he is more like the Potter because he is doing the most important of the Potter’s work? If it were not by the grace of that Potter who poured out His Living Water in your heart, you would be nothing more than immalleable clay.
Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” (Matthew 19:27)
When the prospect of heavenly rewards captures your heart instead of the prospect of the glory of God, your motivation to serve the Lord will be tainted. You might find yourself willing to stop at nothing to do the work you want to do and ignore the work that God wants you to do. To the other extreme, you might be so discouraged by the daunting task of earning what you think you’ll never be able to attain that you will never work at all.
Let us set our motivation right: we do not live for God to earn more favor, we live for God because He has already poured out His favor without measure. We love Him because He first loved us. We serve Him because He first served us. We seek to bring Him glory because He has already promised to glorify us regardless of our performance.
- “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all,that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)
“I was no prophet, nor a prophet’s son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs.” (Amos 7:14)
No prophet, no servant of God in any capacity, appoints himself. God does not collect resumes and choose the best candidate for a job based on prior experience. God chooses the weak, the feeble, the inexperienced, the humble.
- “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).
When we feel insufficient, insignificant, unworthy, and unable, we are in exactly the state of mind that God prefers. It’s not a formula for guaranteeing a certain ministry, but it is an indication of a heart that is ready to be used by God.
- Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:4-6).
Competence, sufficiency, adequacy–qualification for ministry is only through the Lord. Rejoice in Him, in His divine choice in you, who are completely unworthy, yet found to be useful to the master.