God Can Use the Unqualified

When Jesus called the twelve, He did not call extraordinary men. They were simply ordinary. God does not call the mighty, wise, or noble (1 Cor. 1:26-28).  The reason is so that no flesh should glory in His presence.

We might have thought that Jesus would have wanted men of notoriety, like Nicodemus. The men He called were not famous. A few were infamous, like Matthew. Surely God would have chosen men of strength. Surely God would have chosen men of wisdom. Men who were well respected. No, God did not call the qualified. He called the unqualified.

He called the unqualified like Gideon. Gideon even says he came from the weakest clan in Manasseh. Yet, when God calls him, He calls him a man of valor (Judges 6:12). Gideon is called to fight the Midianites. But he will fight them with the slimmest of numbers compared to the thousands of the Midianites. The reason was so that Gideon and the children of Israel might know that the battle was by the strength of God, not of themselves. The 300 who fought for Israel were not militarily great men. They were unqualified, but God was not. He was greater than the enemy.

Also, think about Moses. When God called him, he was a Bedouin shepherd. God did not call Moses from the court of Pharaoh. Moses did not even regard himself as an eloquent man. He tries to excuse himself out of what God calls him to do. Unqualified, but he was also called the meekest of men.

Certainly, Paul considered himself unqualified. When God appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus, he was a fervent Pharisee. He was zealous to persecute people of The Way. Saul might have been qualified among the Pharisees. He was educated by the great Gamaliel. But when God calls him, Paul will call himself the chiefest of sinners. He will say he was as one born out of due season. In other words, he regarded himself as nothing. He viewed himself as unqualified. Yet among the apostles he is one of the most beloved. God qualified him.

Maybe we have not felt qualified. We view ourselves as having made so many mistakes. We are not proud of our past. We are not able to influence others. We view others as more qualified than we are. However, think for a minute, who has been one of the greatest influences for good in our lives? Most likely it was not a person who would have been viewed as qualified. What qualified them to be able to help?  Their mess. Their train wrecks. Their failings. They were unqualified, but God qualified them because of how He had been working in their lives. He transformed them to be the right person at the right time. The right person to understand. The right person with the right word. The right person to show God’s grace because they had received God’s grace.

So, we can’t wait until we are qualified for God to use us.  God will use that person whose wounds can be used to heal. Mistakes can be lessons to be taught. Even the worst mistakes of our lives can bring out the best in others. God can use the ordinary to do extraordinary things. He always has.

Rickie Jenkins