And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry (1 Timothy 1:12).
If you’re going to be used by God, prepare to be stretched! God has an uncanny way of asking us to do what we think is impossible for us. His call to us is often in a realm way beyond what we think of ourselves and our own ability. Don’t forget, He’s able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we could ask or think!
When I was 25 years old, I was a janitor in a large church. I had attended two Bible Schools and knew that I was called to preach. I studied and prayed constantly. The pastor of the church saw an anointing on my life and on occasion would allow me to preach during the Wednesday night service.
I received a call one summer day that blew me away. It was the pastor of the large church. He wanted me to assume a pastoral staff position in this very large church. To say that I was overwhelmed is an understatement. I was floored! I wanted to give the classic “scaredy cat” answer, “well, let me pray about it!” But I knew intuitively that this was God’s will, so I said, “Yes, I’ll do it.” That’s when the internal fight began.
God had asked me to do something so far beyond me. I had just assumed a job where I had to oversee and train 120 people to minister at the end of the church services in that large church, and I didn’t know what I was doing myself! I made a decision to do it scared! I knew that if God called me, He would give me the ability to accomplish the overwhelming task before me.
Then one day not long after that the Lord gave me a scripture in during my personal devotions that empowered me and changed my life. It’s 1 Timothy 1:12, and it reads: And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry. I read other translations of this scripture that gripped me. Here are a few: Grateful am I to Him that empowered me (Rotherham); I give thanks to Him who puts strength in me (Henry Alford); I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, the source of all my strength (Knox). But the one that struck me the most was from the New English Bible: And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has made me equal to the task!
That went off like a bomb in me. Suddenly I was awed by God’s thoughts about me. When He calls us, He sees what we can’t see in ourselves, and He leads us in a way that will pull out of us what He has put in us when He formed us. He helped me succeed in what I thought was an impossible situation. He did make me equal to the task.
Since those early years of ministry, time and time again, God has placed me in situations that in my mind were far beyond my ability. And time and time again, He has proven that His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
God’s plans are to stretch us and help us grow into who He has made us to be in Christ. And that means placing us in situations where we feel helpless and unprepared. And then in those situations, He wants to show us how amazing He is by enabling us to do what we think is impossible!
So when an opportunity comes for you to do something that seems impossible to you, do it scared! The Father will give you the ability you need if you’ll walk by faith and believe Him. He will make you equal to the task.