I Can’t Do This, God

God is only impressed by one human strength: strong faith.

“Oh, my Lord, please send someone else” (Exodus 4:13). Please send someone else. This is the fearful response of a person who not only feels but knows he is too weak to do what God is assigning him to do. Yes, the response lacks faith, but it is an accurate assessment: in his own strength, Moses will not be able to fulfill the assignment. Trembling is altogether appropriate.

 

Weak, low, despised and unlikely are essential qualities God looks for in his servants, and he chooses these qualities with great intentionality (1 Corinthians 1:27–29).

Don’t believe me? Look at the odd list of qualifications God gave for incredibly important positions in history:

  • The Father (and Mother) of God’s Covenant People: married couple; must be infertile and elderly (Genesis 17:6, 8, 15–16);
  • Israel’s Greatest King: must be a teenage shepherd when identified (1 Samuel 16:11–13); must be a musician and poet; must live as a fugitive under constant threat of assassination for a period of years (1 Samuel 20:3);
  • The Messiah: must have background in carpentry (Mark 6:3); must be raised in an insignificant, despised town (John 1:46); must have no formal theological education (John 7:15);
  • Lead Apostle: must have background in fishing industry; must have no formal theological education (Matthew 4:18; Acts 4:13);
  • The Apostles’ Chief Theologian, Apologist, and Missiologist: must be the most zealous persecutor of Christians (Acts 8:3).

We might know, abstractly, that God loves to use weakness and brokenness. We might find it encouraging in a Bible story or missionary biography. We might even teach or preach to others about it. But when it comes to our own qualifications, it’s almost always an unpleasant and perplexing surprise that God wants to highlight ourweaknesses. Which is why we, like Moses, sometimes wish God would just choose someone else for the assignment.

But God has a very strategic purpose for this design. One that, if we will embrace it, will make our weaknesses become a source of joy, not shame.

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