What qualifies one to be a minister of the gospel? What attributes must the believer acquire before he or she can be fit for the Master’s use?
Certainly, there are standards one must reach before being considered worthy of God’s high call. Such standards of proficiency are plainly laid out in the scripture. 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 lay out for us a general standard of leadership. But beyond those standards, we often reach or aim to reach further than we are able, further than God actually requires us to reach.
We disqualify ourselves based upon imperfections, inadequacies and past mistakes. In fact, some people have left the ministry and dread having to “regain” all that was lost. Accepting the definition their mistakes attribute, many believers, who might otherwise become a powerful tool in the hand of God, simply count themselves out.
When I first began to seek the Lord at the early age of eleven, I asked Him to use my life for whatever He saw fit. In my mind, I never considered myself to be great or ideal for God’s use. My prayers often sounded like this, “God, I don’t have much to offer, but use what you can.”
Of course, many would, at that point, interject something to the effect of, “Of course, you had much to offer!” While I appreciate the sentiment, if I am going to be real with you, in light of the endless abilities of God, it becomes quite apparent that we, in fact, have very little to offer to God.
But it’s never really been about what we can offer to Him; it’s always been about what He can do with what we offer to Him.
We may list qualifiers. Some might think, “You need to speak eloquently, live perfectly, be charismatic and carry many talents.” While there might be some small truth to that sort of thinking, I can’t help but also think of Jesus’ disciples.
“The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.” - Acts 4:13
The disciples were, by all standards, ordinary men. They lacked special training in the scriptures, and they definitely weren’t perfect. Their qualification was, I strongly believe, their relationship with the Son of God. It was their personal and close connection with Christ Himself that enabled them to be used of God.
All true Spirit-filled ministries are forged in the fires of a passionate love for Jesus. The Holy Spirit within you is your greatest qualification for ministry.
If God were to use only men of renown, our thinking would by no means be confounded. If God only used the strong, the intelligent, the charismatic and the able, then what reason would there be to marvel at the enabling of divine grace?
“Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world,h things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.” - 1 Corinthians 1:27-29
God uses the weak to demonstrate His strength, the powerless to demonstrate His power and the broken to demonstrate His restoring grace.
Though you’ve likely never heard this thought delivered in this exact way, you’ve most likely heard this thought nonetheless. This truth only has power if you come to embrace it through acts of faith. The truth, no matter what your distracting internal monologue might suggest, is that God wants to use you and can use you.
Be encouraged. Take a step of faith. It’s not a matter of how gifted you are but of how surrendered you are. The life that is most suitable for the Master’s use is the surrendered one. Ask the Lord to use you. Make yourself available. Do it now in this moment, and then take a step of faith.