The Apostle Paul’s boldness to persevere through lots of suffering as God’s Will for his life is certainly inspiring and daunting. When we look at his life and others like him, we can put them into a different category than ourselves. We can view them as super spiritual people chosen by God to do special spiritual missions with God’s uncommon guidance. However, the Bible is full of people who were not ready and who disobeyed and were still used by God in an impactful way. In one sense, you may never be ready for what God has planned for you to do. And in another sense, God has already been preparing you (unknowingly) for what He has planned for you to do.
Feeling prepared and ready is also not a good way to discern if it is God’s Will. Moses, whom God used to rescue His people from slavery in Egypt, felt unready. He felt unequipped for the task. He listed off numerous reasons why he was not a good fit for God’s plan (Exodus 3-4).
But Moses replied to the LORD, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent– either in the past or recently or since You have been speaking to Your servant– because I am slow and hesitant in speech.” 11 Yahweh said to him, “Who made the human mouth? Who makes him mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, Yahweh? 12 Now go! I will help you speak and I will teach you what to say.” 13 Moses said, “Please, Lord, send someone else.” (Exod. 4:10-13)
We do similar things all the time. Perhaps we are asked to serve in a ministry at church and we decline because we feel unequipped. Perhaps we feel the Spirit of God telling us to go talk to someone in the grocery store, but we feel weird about that so we don’t. Whatever it may be, feeling ready and equipped is not what God is looking for. God is looking for obedience. For Moses, God wanted to use him not for his eloquent speech, but for his lack of eloquent speech. God wanted it to be clear that it was God who was speaking and God who was making this all happen. It’s also no coincidence that Moses, who was raised in a palace home, who learned the ways of the Egyptian people and the political system, was chosen by God to speak to Pharaoh of Egypt. God was preparing him for what He had already planned for him to do.
Perhaps your upbringing, your family structure, your experiences, and your inabilities are all part of God’s plan to use you to bring spiritual light into a spiritually dark place? Consider the story of Esther. Esther was a young woman who was chosen to be queen in the land of Persia during the exile of the Israelites. She was chosen to be queen because of her extreme beauty. Through some further unfortunate events, the Jews were sentenced to extermination. Mordecai, her cousin and who raised her as his adopted daughter, convinced Esther to go before the king and share that she was also a Jew. Approaching the king was not common and could result in her not being queen anymore or worse. Of course, she was hesitant. Then came these famous words from Mordecai:
“Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.” (Est. 4:14)
Esther certainly didn’t feel up to the task. A lot was riding on her shoulders and the only thing she had going for her was that her beauty pleased the king. Mordecai’s words of “perhaps you have come to this position for such a time as this” is something that should echo in our minds. Perhaps you are in a place in your career when you can take on an area of ministry that needs someone to fill in. Perhaps you are in a place where you are more passionate than others (because of your past) about seeing a justice done when the others around you are ignorant of what’s happening and ignorant of what needs to happen.
PAUSE AND PRAY
Take a few moments and think about your past. What has happened in your childhood, your family upbringing, your education, and your relationships that makes you who you are. Ask God to reveal how those experiences have been used by Him to prepare you for something He has been planning for you to do. Ask God for boldness to say yes when He calls you to the task.
This is part of a 4 week devotional plan for the series “Figuring Out God’s Will.” For complete details, see here.