"God doesn't call the qualified; He qualifies the called." Perhaps you've heard this catchy statement before. I know I have heard it several times, and I always agree with it wholeheartedly when I do. I have certainly found myself in a variety of places in life where I felt completely inept and God used those times to humble me and show me what He can do in and through me with no "help" from me at all. Those are always the sweetest times, and yet I tend to avoid them whenever possible! I don't like feeling inept. I REALLY don't. I like being able to say things like, "I've got this," "No problem," and "I'll take it from here, don't worry about a thing!" I hate having to say, "I have no idea," or "I wish I could help you, but I just don't know where to begin," or "I'm horrible at that."
What if, when the disciples had been called to follow Christ, when He told them He would make them fishers of men, what if they claimed their ignorance and ineptitude and insisted that he had the wrong guys. Think about all they would have missed out on! Equally as misguided though would have been if they said, "Sure, I'll follow you. That is exactly the kind of thing I am good at. No problem!" When Christ called them, they experienced God and were used by God uniquely and powerfully, not because of their many gifts, but because of His; not despite their lowly estate but as a result of it. Pride could have easily robbed them of the opportunity to be used by God just as easily as false humility could have. Appropriate humility is being aware of your lowly estate, but not believing that it defines what God is capable of doing through you. Appropriate pride is not being impressed with our own abilities or accomplishments, but being in awe of God's and boasting in what He is capable of in our lives and in the world.
"Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things - and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him. It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God - that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Therefore as it is written: 'Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.'" - 1 Corinthians 26-31 (NIV)
If we take these verses to heart, then when we feel lacking in wisdom, when we feel foolish, when we feel weak, when we see ourselves as lowly or despised - it is time to thank Him and look for ways He might be using us or preparing to use us in the world. These are the types of vessels He uses. When we do not see ourselves in this light; when we think we've got what it takes - it may be time to step down and ask God to humble us before we walk down a path where He is not leading.
"This is what God the Lord says - he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people and life to those who walk on it: 'I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.'" - Isaiah 42:5-8 (NIV)
Carla Ritz. Proof positive that God uses cracked pots!