Have you ever had one of those moments when you long to be used by God but feel you do not quite measure up? You love the Lord, you are passionate about taking the gospel to the unsaved, but every time you think of your past, you start to doubt yourself and your “qualification” to do what you feel the Lord has placed in your heart. Maybe unresolved guilt from past actions has left you thinking, “There is no way that God could use someone like me.” And so you slink off into the shadows, yielding your ground and spiritual mission as you wait for someone you believe to be more “qualified” to do what God has ordained for you to do.
First of all, did it ever occur to you that nothing about you surprised or surprises God? When He called you, He knew who you were. Even now, He knows you far more intimately than you could ever know yourself. He knew your past and everything wrapped in it, but He still called you. You may have done unspeakable acts, but that did not stop Him from opening His arms wide and embracing you as you yielded to His wooing. In other words, He pursued you and called you – warts and all.
The Scriptures provide many examples of people we would deem unqualified. In no particular order, Abraham was too old. Noah was a drunk. Isaac was a daydreamer. Jacob was a liar. Leah was ugly. Joseph was abused. Moses stuttered. Samson had long hair and was a womanizer. Rahab was a prostitute. David had an affair and was a murderer. Elijah was suicidal. Naomi was a widow. Isaiah walked about naked while preaching (we would say he had mental issues). Jeremiah and Timothy were too young. Peter denied Christ. And there are many others we could name. Take a stroll through the Bible’s Hall of Fame (Hebrews 11) and some of these people are listed there! Despite their shortcomings and failures, God used them all.
We are not asked to clean up ourselves before the Lord can use us. We come to Him, just as we are, and allow Him to work out His purposes in our lives. Where we see failures, God sees successes; where we see obstacles, He sees opportunities. Why should God use imperfect people? Because it is through the imperfections of our lives that His light shines through to the rest of the world. When Paul asked the Lord on three occasions to remove his imperfection, the “thorn in the flesh,” Paul writes, “And He said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me'” (2 Corinthians 12:9, KJV).
We do not have to worry that we are not qualified. God qualifies those whom He calls. Our responsibility is to simply answer “Yes, Lord,” and like Isaiah and the others, make ourselves available for whatever He has commissioned us to do. “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then said I, ‘Here am I; send me'” (Isaiah 6:8). Warts and all. How will you respond to the call?