I don’t / didn’t have the technique, training, education, or background.
Yet God still called me to serve as a worship leader, as the youth worship director at my church, and has given me the heart to write songs. Why? Because it’s about doing things in His power to bring Him glory, and not what I can do in my own strength or abilities.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor. 12:9-10
It was my turn to lead worship in our main services this past Sunday. Ever since I started serving in this capacity, I’ve been very self-conscious about my lack of ability in both singing and playing instruments. There are easily dozens and dozens of people at our church that are more gifted in music than I am. I look up to the other worship leaders at my church, as they are all extremely talented, amazing vocalists, and are very gifted at their instruments. Even the students in my youth praise team (6th-12th grade) can run circles around me vocally and musically (which I love and wouldn’t have it any other way BTW). I used to ask God all of the time… “Lord, if you want me to lead worship and write songs, why didn’t you give me a better singing voice? Why didn’t you make me like some of my friends who can seemingly pick up any instrument and play it as if they’ve been playing for 30 years?”
When comparing myself to others, I’ve never felt qualified or good enough to be in the position of ministry I’m in… but I’m learning now that this is exactly why God called me there.
“God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.”
I like that phrase a lot. It’s really become a banner of my on-going testimony regarding music ministry, as I continue to serve and live out God’s role in the kingdom for me. There are many great stories in the Bible that show how God equips the most unlikely characters to carry out His purpose and bring Him glory. God uses the unqualified, the disabled, the inadequate, and the ordinary to do His will, because in their weaknesses, they are forced to be dependent on His strength, thus glorifying God and not man. It forces the weak to step out completely in faith, die to themselves, and rely only on God; for only God can make the impossible, possible.
I could go on and on about this because this is a topic near and dear to my heart, but I’ll try to keep this short. At one point maybe I’ll share my testimony of how God called me into the music ministry at my church, because I actually turned down the role several times due to my lack of ability, before finally stepping out in faith and saying yes.
What is God calling you to do? What are the areas of kingdom work you have a natural desire for, but feel unqualified for? Where are the places He continually calls you to go, or the things He continually calls you to do, but you think you aren’t ready for them?
This doesn’t even have to be ministry-related. This can be something routine like calling you to attend a weekly men’s or women’s discipleship group, or even talking about the Bible with your children. Do you feel the Spirit’s tug on your heart, but you feel like you don’t have the time, don’t have the energy, or don’t have the proper “qualifications” (Bible knowledge, Christ-centered lifestyle, enough desire, etc.)? Because all of those things are lies from the enemy. Satan wants you to focus on your weaknesses and shortcomings, leading you to indecision and inactivity when it comes to God’s calling. Satan wants you to avoid doing the things that draw us closer to Christ, by making you think it’s not possible at this time, or ever. But get this- if you feel God tugging at you, but those lies are your immediate reaction to His prompting… in my experience, that’s even more of a sign that God’s calling you to do it! He wants us to step out in faith when it looks like there’s no way.
What God is calling you to do, is the opposite of what Satan wants you to do. Satan wants you to focus on your weakness, making them your downfall and roadblock. God wants you to see your weaknesses in a different light, knowing that they are amazing opportunities to display HIS divine strength and HIS divine ability and HIS divine power!
With God’s promise, we can step out in complete faith. He will equip us sufficiently in our shortcomings and weaknesses, that we may do His will (Hebr. 13:20, 2 Tim. 3:17, Eph. 4:11-12). That is why the Apostle Paul said that he boasts in his weaknesses, because he knows those weaknesses will result in Christ’s power taking their place. When we are weak (in our natural abilities), we are then strong (in God’s divine strength). His grace is enough, and His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9).
I’d like to encourage you today, that if you’re struggling with “weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, or calamities”, that you have a reason to rejoice. Those exact things are opportunities for you to draw closer to God and rely on Him alone. God will use these challenges to glorify Himself and show His power in your life! How amazing is that?!
But we have to take that offer. We must step out in faith. We must die to ourselves- trying to do things in our own strength, and instead pick up our cross daily and look to Christ alone. If we do so, He will build a powerful testimony in each of us. He will enable us by His Spirit. He will equip us with what we need. And He will be glorified!
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
[From November 10, 2015]