Spoiler alert: Your bubble could be burst because I’m pulling back the curtain to reveal that pastors have weaknesses.
If you place pastors and church leaders on pedestals, you misplace us. We are people with blind spots and vulnerabilities just like you. Most of us have learned to confess them to God and grow on.
But sometimes, I feel inadequate. Do you ever feel like that? I’ve learned that if I give into feelings of inadequacy, I’m setting myself up for discouragement and failure.
Living by feelings of inadequacy creates a resume which reads: I don’t know enough. I’m not good enough. I wasn’t raised correctly. I don’t have what it takes. I’ve made too many mistakes.
More than once, I’ve had to rebuke myself so God could use me. Feelings of inadequacy might be making you think you’re an unlikely candidate for God to use. But we serve the God of the unlikely, who tends to choose the unqualified and the inadequate. If this describes you, cheer up, my friend, because you are a candidate for God to use.
I’ve done some things I’m not proud of in my life. Maybe you’ve messed up too. But God allows U-turns, so we must repent so He can use us.
Paul terrorized Christians before he became one. Saul of Tarsus was his given name, and religious terrorism was his bane. He testified, “I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor.” BUT he obtained mercy. God’s amazing grace saved the self-described chief of sinners. Then God used him to preach the Gospel and establish the New Testament Church. Thirteen Bible letters carry his name, and scholars believe as many as twenty church plants are attributed to his ministry. The terrorist from Tarsus became a saint in God’s service.
I have a retired minister friend who messed up one night over 55 years ago. BUT my friend got saved, and the blood was applied. His adulterous one-night stand yielded a daughter that he has recently learned about. Yet, as a redeemed minister of the Gospel, the Lord has used his encouraging spirit for many decades. God is still using him too.
Both of these people messed up big. BUT God had mercy and used them tremendously. They became committed servants of God, and so can you.
Sometimes, I’m unsure of myself. I do most ministry by faith. I read about a boy scout who was quite sure of himself. Dr. Bronson Ray, a noted brain surgeon, was taking a walk when he saw a boy on a scooter crash headfirst into a tree. He quickly realized that the boy was seriously injured and ordered a bystander to call an ambulance. As started first aid, a young man not much older than the injured one pushed through the gathered crowd. The young man said to the doctor, “Sir, I’d better take over now. I’m a Boy Scout, and I know first aid.”
I’m not always that confident. Are you? Then we’re in company with the meekest man that ever lived. Moses had the education of Egypt and loads of life experience behind him, but he was still unsure of himself.
Moses told God, “I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” He was so unsure that he said, I think You’ve got the wrong man.
But I believe God says; I know who you are and what you can do. I made you. Let my presence teach you how to do what I’ve chosen you to do.
Others might judge you as someone that God couldn’t possibly use. They might not even give you a glimpse. But God sees you. While others are focused on your outward appearance, the Lord is examining your heart. Your heart determines your usefulness to God.
At the heart of being used by God is where and with Whom you’re spending your time. Regardless of what others think about you, Jesus can transform your life into beautiful usefulness for His glory.
Let others think what they want. Focus on spending time with Jesus, and He will fill your heart for His usefulness.
Vance Havner once said, “God isn’t a talent scout looking for someone who is ‘good enough’ or ‘strong enough.’ He is looking for someone with a heart set on Him, and He will do the rest.” God wants to use you.
I love what Bob Goff recently shared. “Don’t get punked by your past. It will lie to you, distract you, try to get your attention, and then laugh at you for looking.” When it comes to your past, forget it, and press on.
Christian, if we admit our inadequacy, we can have God’s adequacy. The key to sufficiency is realizing that everything comes from God, and nothing comes from me.
Without regard to experience or education, God uses people right where they are, and then He grows them into the person He called them to be.
Saved people serve people.
God has a plan to use you.