Within the past week, I have had two friends tell me, “This whole reading the Bible, sharing Jesus with friends, and discipleship sounds great, Michelle. But I don’t feel like I know enough to be able to do that myself.”
One even said, “It honestly gives me heart palpitations just considering it!”
Both friends have been reading the Bible on their own, have been coming to our Bible discovery group, and recognize Jesus’ parting command to his disciples 1. They know Jesus is their Savior and they sense His love for them, but they don’t feel qualified to participate in His kingdom work.
I'm Not "Qualified" Either
I’m not “qualified” either, but I do have some experience. My friends are looking at my life right now, and comparing my experience level to theirs, this small slice of my life has 18 years of trusting the Lord to help me answer his command to make disciples.
In 2004, I started a journey with Jesus to discover what is means to make disciples of all nations… was I qualified as a freshman in college to lead? To disciple? To participate in kingdom work? Not even remotely! I didn’t even have all my college degree plans figured out. Not to mention I had a debilitating fear of man that caused me to question my decisions in light of what others would think of me. And, I had a church background that had taught me for years that God’s spiritual gifts were things of the past and that the Spirit is no longer supernatural.
Wow. Talk about a lack of resources and education. However, I had a dear friend in college help me to read the Bible for myself and learn to talk (and listen!) to God through his Word and prayer. Through that process I began to see that God’s plan for me did not stop at salvation. His plan was, and still is, for me to participate in his kingdom work!
Examples of other underqualified individuals in the Bible:
– A father asking for a miracle, “I believe, help me in my unbelief!” 2
-Childless Abraham becoming the father of many nations, and God’s covenant promise.
-David, shepherd boy, youngest in his family, anointed as King.
-Paul, murderer, qualified religiously, yet he says it’s all garbage to him!3
The 12 disciples were unschooled, ordinary men, but others took note that they had been with Jesus. 4
Identify Where You Are
First ask, “Where am I now?”
Go ahead, and be honest with God about where you think you are Spiritually. In what areas are you failing? What makes you underqualified? Write it down. Did you get that all off your chest? Good.
If there is sin in that list, confess it! And then show God all your other excuses of why you aren’t qualified. Don’t worry, He can handle it.
Now, then. Let’s be honest about who GOD says you are. As a child of God, what is already true of you, regardless of your qualifications? Go ahead, ask God what HE says is true of you because of what HE did. (If you struggle with God’s identity for you and need some extra verses on what God says is true, check out this list!). Seriously, take a moment and write down at least 5 things God says is true of you. Bonus, if you can match up some promises and truth against the excuses and lies you first wrote about being unqualified!
Becoming a Fruit-Bearer
My friends are already being convicted by God’s Word and his Spirit that he wants them to be players in the kingdom work, not benchers. In another sense, soldiers not civilian bystanders. They see Jesus’ call to bear fruit, multiply, make disciples, etc. Do you see it in God’s Word? Do you feel in your Spirit that Jesus made you to bear fruit, and not just a branch that sucks nutrients from the root?
“But other people do it so much better!” Great. Then ask those women (or men) to teach you, mentor you, train you. Submit yourself to other fruit-bearers, someone you want to emulate. Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.”5
Submit to the Process
Finally ask yourself what is standing in the way of you reaching your goal of being the fruit-bearer that God intended.
Are you beginning to see maybe God wants to use you? Is that based off your qualifications & experience level, or is it based on His qualifications, namely His plans, purposes, and promises?
It is our boss, King Jesus who gives the orders to make disciples, and it is also His promise to be with us to the very end of the age. He is the head 6. He is our commander.7 Did you read that passage I just referenced? Whew! That description of Jesus there just demands our service and obedience, don’t you think? So let’s submit to him! Jesus promises us the Holy Spirit – that he would dwell in us. His Spirit reminds us of everything Jesus taught while he walked the earth, and it reminds us of the words of God we have read. Instead of saying you aren’t qualified, why not say, “Jesus, I do not think I have a lot to offer, but what I do have I give to you.” Start there. What are your ‘fish and loaves’ so to speak? What is one or two things that you think you can do this week to participate in kingdom work? (Examples: Ask to pray for someone; share about what you’re learning from the Word; ask people deep questions about their lives; invite someone to your house for dinner) Take a minute and ask the Lord right now for an idea or two.
Say yes to his leading, and let one or two other friends know to hold you accountable. Now that you’ve handed over your fish and loaves, give thanks. And let the Lord work his miracles in peoples’ lives. You will be amazed at how God transforms your simple offerings in to sustenance for the nations.
“And surely I will be with you to the very end of the age!” – Jesus 8