Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Does Your Skill Set Need To Be Suitable To Your Calling?

What is your worth? When I had the responsibility for educating a good number of students I was constantly battling against their apathy. There was no vision, no understanding of the importance of education. We know that when a person is involved in something that they have not grasped the importance of, there is a lack of interest and energy put into the activity. I figured if I could not inspire them with the joy of learning I could at least help them grasp the value of it.

I told them that they needed to see themselves as a commodity. In their future, when they would approach a potential employee, that person, representing the company, was going to size up their potential value to the company. If they had the correct skills to fit in with their company they would be hired; if they are missing skills, they would be overlooked. Their responsibility, as a commodity, was to add value to themselves. Finishing High School would add value to them and would make them eligible to apply for basic jobs. If they knew which companies they were interested in working for then they could discover what skills they needed to add to themselves, to gain value. Of course this did not just include education so they needed to understand which direction to go in and what steps they had to take to increase their value. However, sometimes Christians make the mistake of applying this principle to the Kingdom of Jesus.

The Kingdom of Jesus works on difference principles. First, the greatest value that you have is that Yahweh loves you. It is opposite to the principles of the world. What skills and knowledge you have do not play into the relationship we have with Jesus. Yahweh made the decision to love us, with all the cost that comes with loving us, and that gives us value beyond our imagining. Of course there is more to us than just being the object of Father's affection. He has also left us here with purpose. We are his workers, warriors, servants and our great desire is to live each day in his will. But his will for us is not limited to our skills and abilities. Remember, our value is not what we have gained from knowledge but is found in relationship. In this relationship we desire his will and his will is obedience in what he instructs and the direction he sends. The clear fact is, Jesus equips us for that which he calls us.

Let's look at the simple example of Daniel. We could chose any example. We could look at Peter, Paul, John but I like using Daniel. He and his friends were in captivity but the ruling king liked to take the best educated of each conquered land, train them in his society and surround himself with their knowledge and wisdom. Yahweh wanted to take advantage of this so he could influence the king and protect his people so he needed to equip these four men to be the best, to have the greatest influence.

Now people consider Daniel and his friends and figure that they were simply men of knowledge who Yahweh moved into place but that is not what scripture says. It says that Yahweh took these four and he gave them the skills he needed them to have in this place in which they found themselves:

To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds. (Daniel 1:17)

Too often we dismiss Yahweh's will and calling for us because we measure ourselves against our past abilities and skills, but it doesn't work that way. We are not a set of tools that are designed for one purpose. We are a lump of clay that Yahweh fashions with his will for his purpose. We may be in that purpose for a life time or he may change our purpose from time to time, according to what he needs. We can never limit Jesus to our inabilities or lack of skills. We can never say no to the vision he gives us. We cannot shut the door on his purpose and calling because we think we are not qualified. Jesus qualifies and equips us.

When Jesus calls us he does not do it according to some aptitude test he gives us. He doesn't do a skills survey. He doesn't do it according to our intelligence or temperament. According to this world our temperament makes us better suitable to some things than to others. The Kingdom does not work this way. The only things Jesus is looking for is willingness, availability and obedience. He chooses who he wants for what he wants and we have no right to limit his choices by our limitations. He chooses. He qualifies. He equips. So think on that for a little bit before saying no to Jesus.

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