Have you ever felt not good enough? Like God is crazy for picking you to do something? There are times where I find myself laughing at God as He’s nudging me. The conversation goes something like this:
“Ohhhh, good one God. I really needed that laugh.” My laughter continues until I notice He’s not laughing with me. This creates a bit of an awkward moment as I reel my laughter back in. "Um wait, you were serious? Yeah okay, I’ll just pretend I didn’t hear you on that one.”
And I do. I turn my head, avoid His gaze and go about my day. I do, after all, have legitimate reasons for my ignoring His request. And, as He created me, He should already know them. I mean do I really need to remind him of the names on my name tag? Insignificant. Insufficient. They sit side by side. So just swing that finger around and pick someone else, because I am not your girl.
Well, as you can imagine, that excuse doesn’t work out so well. And, though that answer was never good enough for God, it has only recently become not good enough for me. My hope is that the same thing will happen for you.
Let’s go back to our manual then, shall we? Pull out God’s Word, and we’ll start there because let me tell you, it’s full of people who we would classify as insignificant. And yet, God used them. David to take down Goliath. Mary to birth a savior. Simple fishermen to preach the gospel. And many more who all answered the call. Can you imagine if they hadn’t? Surely they had to have moments of questioning and moments where fear began to overtake them. Yet, instead of stepping into their fear, they turned and stepped into the presence of the One who gives us courage. In doing so, we ceased to see their shortcomings and instead saw God. He can do the same with us.
Still not convinced? Then let’s look more closely at what the Bible says about some of these people who we’ve elevated to a state of near perfection that we like to believe we fall short of. Because when we look more closely we begin to realize that if God can use them, He can also use us.
Did you know that Moses stuttered? That he was afraid to speak in public because of it? Listen to Exodus 4:10. “But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” (Exodus 4:10) Yep, even Moses got tongue-tied, but that didn’t stop God. He simply sent Aaron with Moses to be his spokesman.
Then there was Paul. Paul was a force to be reckoned with in the Bible, spreading the message of Christ far and wide. Yet, he was not the dynamic teacher many today see him as. 2 Corinthians 10:10 tells us “for some say, ‘His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.’” Wow. Pretty harsh words. Yet, undeniably, God used him.
And for those of us who feel we’re not smart enough. Here’s a verse I love! “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:12) Yep, unschooled and ordinary, yet they had been with Jesus and He used them mightily.
See, God’s word is pretty clear. And do you know what it says about all this? If not, then listen closely. While we’re telling Him our name is rooted in insignificance or insufficiency, He’s ever so gently responding, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9) Amen!
People, we’re not perfect and we were never meant to be. He created us with weaknesses so that His strength could show through them. In this, we see our need for Him while others get to see Him at work in us. It was His perfect plan. He didn’t create us with weaknesses so we wouldn’t feel good enough, but rather so He could use us without our getting in His way. That verse in Corinthians goes on to say, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.” It’s through our limitations that He uses us, not in spite of them. (Does this mean we don’t have strengths? No, of course not, but today I’m focusing on how we handle our weaknesses.)
Listen, when all we ever do is focus on our weaknesses we are once again denying Christ’s power in our lives. And let’s think about that for a moment, because as I wrote this I became very convicted over something. Not only am I denying His power in me, but I’m making myself way too large a part of the equation. I may not be educated, eloquent, or creative, but when did this become about me? It’s about God, and I need to get out of His way and let Him work through me. That’s part of the problem though. Stick with me a moment. While there are those times that we’ve truly bought into the lie that we are not good enough, there are also the moments where we choose to believe them because it’s easier. If we believe we’re not good enough then we can use that as an excuse for not stepping out of our comfort zones. We don’t have to risk failure or people seeing us fail. Most of all, we don’t have to risk the disappointment of our failure.
So we have to make a choice. Either stay where we are, believing there is nothing about us that God can use (and who’s telling you that lie?), or step forward in faith to what God has called us to. There is no guarantee that we won’t fail, but even what may seem like a failure to us will be counted a success to God. Remember what He said. His power is made ‘perfect’ in our weakness.
So here’s what I want you to do. Where you’ve written ‘Insufficient’ on your name tag, cross out that prefix and simply write ‘Sufficient’ because His grace IS sufficient. And for where you’ve written ‘Insignificant’, cross out everything but ‘Sign’. As I studied the word ‘insignificant’ I found that it’s base is in the Latin word ‘signen’ or ‘sign’ which meant, “to mark with a sign, especially the sign of the cross.” And that’s what I want to do, don’t you? Everywhere we go let’s leave our mark. The mark of Christ.