From history immemorial, God always look for people to use to achieve His eternal purpose on earth. He is always looking for ‘a man’ (Is.6:8). Unfortunately, such a man is very scarce, despite the enormous task (Mat.9:37). As the consummation of the age approaches, He is still looking for a man He can use to achieve His eternal purpose.
What is the qualification of such a man that God will use? You will agree with me that the qualification must be towering and staggering. Let’s consider the academic qualification: if the world today requires minimum of a first degree and a certain number of years of working experience, preferably post-qualification experience, what would God require? Yet, He will not use an untrained, untried and untested vessel!
But quite ironically, God requires no qualification to be enlisted in His service, except that you come just the way you are. The more ‘qualified’ you are, the more disqualified you are.
Let’s look at two towering personalities that God used in the Bible: Moses in the Old Testament and Paul in the New Testament. Interestingly, they were both learned. Moses understood all the ancient languages. He was skilled in astrology and all other ancient knowledge by virtue of being brought up in the palace of Pharaoh as the prince preferred.
Paul, on the other hand, was a doctor of the law. A Pharisee of the Pharisee of the stock of Benjamin. As touching the law, blameless (Phil.3:5-6). Waow!
What happened to these two gentlemen? Before God could use them, he had to purge them of all these ‘noble’ attainments. God does not need our earthly knowledge to do His heavenly work (Is.55:8-9). The things of the spirit are spirits (1Cor. 2:14). The flesh can not do the work of the spirit (Gal. 5:17).
For another forty years in the wilderness, God weaned Moses of what he learned for forty years in the palace. He had to be purged of them before God could consider him. He must be humbled to qualify.
There is no better way to humble a prince than to send him to rear other person’s animals in the wilderness (Ex.3:1). Nebuchadnezzar confessed God when he came back from the wilderness for just 7 years (Dan.4:33), compared to Moses who spent forty years! Moses was used to commanding slaves but now he must command animals. The palace experience must be converted to wilderness experience. No more kings’ delicacies but sheep’s concussion. What a humbling experience!
Paul on the other hand was used to going with entourage and escort, arresting, imprisoning and killing people while he held their clothes but now he must be humbled by mob attacks and to await instructions from those he once persecuted to lay their illiterate hands on his brilliant head so that he could receive a new sight and a new heart (Acts9:6).
He was used to people paying homage to him as he moved round but now, he must look up to see a tiny rope and a basket as source of his deliverance as he was been let down to escape (Acts9:25). He suffered hunger, lack, he was beaten to coma, stoned to death, shipwrecked, robbed, etc (2Cor.11:23-27). He must be humbled.
God does not need our qualification because they are filthy rags to Him (Phil.3:7, Is. 64:6). He does not need our ability but availability. If you can do it, then God is not necessary. If you can pastor, you don’t need Him to call you. He call those who are unable, so that they wont glory in themselves but Him who is doing it in them. He giveth power to the faint (Is. 40: 29). It is only those that are sick that needs His hands of healing (Mt.9:12). Paul said I will glory in my infirmities (2Cor. 11:30), no longer in his multiple degrees.
There is a difference between knowing God and knowing about God. Academic pursuit can make you to know about God, but not knowing God. You can’t know Him through Theology or Seminary.
Moses was a stammerer (Ex.4:10); that was his qualification. With that, there would be nothing to glory on. It is God that puts His words in his mouth, his own words can make no difference. He needed to trust and depend on Him who called Him. We must glory in our weaknesses knowing that when we are weak, then He is strong.
Paul forgot all his degrees, calling them nothing but dung (Phil.3:8). From a doctor, he became a bond servant (1Cor. 9:19, Tit.1:1). Moses became a shepherd from a prince. God needs a shepherd’s heart not a professors mind! He needs head full of faith not head full of facts. He need a fool for him not a wise man for ‘God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty’ 1Cor.1:27.
Everyone God would use must begin from the manger and not from the palace! Jesus’ birth was contemptible. There was no beauty that he should be desired (Is.53:2). There was nothing to his advantage. He became an offence to the wise and the learned of His days, even the Pastors! It was the simple hearted that recognized Him. Even in His choice of disciple, he didn’t choose the lettered and the wise, but the weak, unlearned, poor, unrecognized people who could not speak correct grammar. They lacked all merits but He chose to commit into their feeble hands the eternal redemption of the whole of humanity. Those were their qualifications. No wisdom to argue, no knowledge to ponder, no thesis to consider. They had childlike spirits. They believed Him, not wrestling with his words. No dictionary or encyclopedia to refer to.
The Doctors, Priest, High Priests, Pharisees, Saduccees, Scribes, etc, all missed it. They were busy looking for signs but Peter got the revelation despite being a peasant. But he had been with Jesus! He confessed: thou art the Christ, the son of the living God (Mt.16:16). Jesus rejoiced and thanked God that God has hidden these things from the wise and the prudent but has chose to reveal it to babes such as will learn for so it pleases the father! (Lk.10:21)
He was Himself born in a manger to a carpenter in lowly Bethlehem, mothered by a teenager!
Perhaps the reason why he has not used you is because you are trying to please Him. All your efforts in trying to please Him are nothing but dead works: He doesn’t need them. Come to Him just the way you are: as simple, sinning, wretched as you are. No qualification ability but availability! That is the qualification, not that certificate in Bible College, Church membership, or doing great work for Him. We can’t do great work for Him only allow Him to do great work in us first, then, through us.
He is still looking for a man to use: will you be available? Come just the way you are: He is waiting!
Bola, we thank God that "He's no respector of a person and has no special favourites; He takes the foolish thing of this world to confound the wise!!" . My dear brother a great article written in a very simplistic way by a wise learned man who knows his subject. Ose Baba!!!
Bola Olu, I absolutely agree, and I so enjoyed reading your article. Very well written in the Spirit of understanding, which gives to us the understanding. That which we cannot obtain on our own. The Lord bless you!, littlelight