Nothing makes you confront your own inabilities like leading people.
If you are like me, the moment you stand in front of a room full of people that small voice picks at the back of your mind. “You have nothing to bring this group. You don’t have a strong enough grasp on theology or enough life experience to lead these people! Just give up and let someone else lead.” I think in my earlier years of walking with the Lord my counter to this would be “I will have something to bring, wait and see. I just need to buckle down and read more books and pray more, then you’ll see!” Subtuly I agreed with the lying voice in my head and believed that the ability to lead would come before the calling to lead.
As I’ve gotten further along with my walk I’ve discovered something both terrifying and liberating. Ability and preparedness rarely precede the calling of God. If you are waiting till you’re “ready” for what God is calling you you’ll be waiting a long time. Sure, studying and preparing are great things to do, but they are not the prerequisite for God using you. If God is calling you before you feel ready, join the club.
In the Bible it’s hard to find someone who came to the call of God feeling ready to go. Moses was called to speak to the people of Israel but stuttered. Gideon was called to be a warrior, but was afraid. Paul was murdering Christians before God called him to lead Christians! The call comes, then the equipping follows.
Maybe on the other side, you feel strong in your equipping. Maybe your degree and experience make you a great candidate but God’s calling is unclear. Or slow. This struggle is the other side of the same coin. Believing qualification proceeds the calling. Chances are, if you feel equipped today God will call you the minute you feel like you are getting rusty.
In my earlier years as a follower of Jesus, I wanted to speak and write a book. I felt at the time that I was equipped and ready. Then God led me on a 15 year period of serving in the local church. He gave me behind-the-scenes jobs. The kind that-if executed well-meant nobody would know I did anything at all! Support roles. And after a while I got used to playing behind the scenes. I began to prefer it. To feel comfortable with it. Then God called me to speak and write. But not on something small and easy, he gave me OUTCRY. So by the time the call came, any feeling of confidence and preparation had evaporated. I had to step out of the boat unprepared.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:6-7
In the end, God’s call is his call. It may come at a logical moment in our life but more than likely it will feel like the worst time! His call is outside of our abilities because ultimately he wants our hearts. He wants his calling to cause us to draw closer to him and realize our need for his daily presence in our lives. He wants me. He wants you.
So be confident today! Not in your own ability but in his calling.