Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Glory of Feeling Inadequate

Have you ever felt inadequate for a job that you have been assigned to do? Let me explain first what I do not mean. I am not wondering whether or not you are a surgeon and feel inadequate about doing surgery. Or I do not wonder whether you are a teacher and you feel inadequate to educate someone (although, even in those examples, there may be certain types of surgery or certain individuals that might make you feel inadequate). When I ask that question, I am wondering whether or not you feel inadequate for something spiritual that you feel called to be involved in. If you do feel inadequate, that is probably a good thing.

I strongly believe that the Lord does His most work in and through us when we are at our weakest. When we feel as though we cannot do it. When we are driven to our knees, knowing that unless He does His work it will fail. I came across this quote the other day in a book I am reading about John Knox.
"Who has not felt deep within him that he was too simple a man with too little to contribute to so great a cause as that of Christ and His church? What young woman, wife, mother, grandmother, or aged spinster has not wring her hands, fearful and weak against the enemies of her soul and the church? Who has not thought that his gifts were too modest, that others could serve far better, and that he was too frail and timid to help advance the gospel of our Lord Jesus? Or who has not felt that he was being unjustly maligned by critics, assaulted by the mighty, mocked and insulted by the influential? (Douglas Bond, The Mighty Weakness of John Knox, xxi)
Me! Me! (picture hand raised). Who has felt that? Me! But to be honest, I never want to get to the place that I don't think that. I never want to get to the place that I feel independent upon myself for my calling to minister to people. And probably if it is too easy for me, I am not being challenged enough or stretched enough in my faith.

One time, the Apostle Paul had some very painful things happen to him. We are not exactly sure what it was, but we are told that he had a "thorn in the flesh." I have an idea, as many other Bible teachers have an idea. But probably what's more important is not what that thing (or person) was in his life, but who it caused him to be. It caused him to become more dependent upon the Lord for the result of his ministry. The Lord said to him,
"My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9a).
Paul went on to say,
"Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9b-10)
Let this be a reminder to you that the next time you feel inadequate for whatever the Lord is calling you to do, that might just be a good thing. Allow those feelings of inadequacies to drive you to further dependence upon the Lord.

Question: What do you feel inadequate to do for the Lord?

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