A few weeks ago, I was contacted about a couple of speaking engagements for local women’s events. Talk about excited! To me it was confirmation that God really is leading me into this area of ministry and not just me wanting it to happen. Though I wanted to move forward without pride, I must confess it entered in. Looking back at when I told a few friends, I can so clearly see it. The problem is that pride has no place in ministry.
God brought this lesson home this week as I sat down to begin writing and editing my talk for the first event- a ladies Christmas dinner. Let’s just say I still have a long way to go. Then on my way home last night from a planning session for the second event, my inadequacy really washed over me. Who am I to speak there? What can I possibly add? Surely God has more qualified people in mind. Then God gently reminded me that this place of feeling inadequate is exactly where he wants me to be. When I’m filled with pride, I believe I can do it more on my own because I’m just that good. When in a place of humility, God can do his thing!
As I read Luke 7, this lesson started taking shape in my heart by the Spirit’s hand. In John the Baptist, Israel saw the fulfillment of prophecies by Isaiah and Malachi. In him, we see a man whose ministry was foretold hundreds of years before. His own birth announcement was made to his father by the angel Gabriel! If anyone had reason and justification for being filled with pride in their ministry, it was John. Yet John in Luke 3 told the crowds that he was unworthy to even untie the sandals of the coming Messiah. John stayed focused on his purpose, calling, and relation to the Savior and the results were a ministry that prepared the way and hearts of many in Israel for Jesus. Check out Jesus’ words about John-
“I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John.” Luke 7:28
Because John ministered from a humble heart, he touched many with God’s message. My desire is to see people drawn to God for the first time, to see God glorified, and to see people walk bolder in faith. For me to make a difference, I need to walk in humility. Yet I must confess that feeling inadequate for the task is uncomfortable… even scary. Yet, Lord, if this is where I need to stay in order to depend on you more fully, then keep me here.
God calls each of us as his children to minister to others. Yes, the forms vary- Sunday School teacher, nursery worker, prayer warrior, encourager, helping hands, soup kitchen volunteer, etc. If we feel called to an area where we feel inadequate, maybe we heard correctly! For it is through our inadequacies that God can be glorified most greatly in us. Help us, Lord. Amen!