October 13, 2014 • By Ed Wrather
For with God nothing will be impossible. - Luke 1:37 NKJV.
Contemplating my life, I have decided that it does not matter what task I have done during my lifetime, I have always been inadequate. Let me list how pitifully inadequate I have been. I was inadequate when I was working as an auto parts salesman, so much so that the owner of the business sent me to a Dale Carnegie course to try to help me. Maybe it did, I’m not sure. In the oilfield, as operator of pipe inspection units supervising the crews, I was inadequate. There were always others better; more qualified than me, but the job still had to be done. As a parole officer, I was inadequate to make decisions that would alter the lives of those I supervised. I was inadequate to make the recommendations in pre-sentence investigations that judges would usually follow. But I still had to make those decisions that affected those lives. As a pastor, there are so many others that have been much better pastors of their churches. As a pastor, I have been inadequate and as a preacher I have been inadequate, and as a writer I have been what? Inadequate. Let’s see what else have I been inadequate at? I have been an inadequate father, grandfather, husband, and worst of all, an inadequate Christian.
Have you ever felt like you were inadequate? Most likely all of the saints of God who have gone before us have felt like they were inadequate at times, although there may be some exceptions. Moses had some excuses for not being the one to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt including this one: “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue (Exodus 4:10).” Gideon had a great excuse basically saying that he was the weakest and least qualified in the entire country for the job that God had for him. When God called Gideon here was his excuse: “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house (Judges 6:15).” When God called Isaiah to be His prophet, Isaiah voiced his inadequacy by saying, “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts (Isaiah 6:5).” Jeremiah had his own excuse of inadequacy saying, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth (Isaiah 1:6).”
Moses, Gideon, Isaiah and Jeremiah all believed that they were inadequate for doing what God was calling them to do. What did God do with his inadequate servants who felt so very unqualified to do what they were being called to do? God qualified His unqualified inadequate servants empowering them to become heroes of the faith. Even though the apostle Paul was known to have great learning, he did not as an apostle depend upon his education alone. It was Paul who said in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Even Paul, needed the strength that only God could provide to be the great missionary of our faith and the writer of a large portion of the New Testament.
You may feel that you are inadequate, unqualified, and incapable of doing what God has placed before you. It does not matter! Because, God is very experienced at qualifying the unqualified and making the inadequate, more than adequate. I am still inadequate in so many ways; however, I know that if God calls me to do something, His power will be upon me to make possible what seems impossible.