When I looked up the definition of “imperfect” it simply stated “not perfect; faulty or incomplete.” When I think of it, that defines just about every human being on earth. We are just a bunch of incomplete and faulty individuals if we’re being honest here!
In reality, no one wants to be imperfect. When we hear that word as a definition of ourselves, we tend to wince a little bit. Who wouldn’t? It never relates to anything good. Imperfect vision, imperfect speech, imperfect knowledge…etc. With each individual comes faults. Some have specific faults that others do not have. Everyone has something that makes them “incomplete” in a sense. When we look at our own faults we automatically assume because of our incompleteness in a specific area we do not qualify for certain tasks.
Yet, somehow, we are given opportunities to take on these tasks anyways. Often, we refuse for the simple reason of not being “qualified”. And yet, again, we tend to miss out on incredible chances and moments because we deem ourselves not good enough to do it.
The examples I used are just physical faults. But what about spiritual faults and spiritual incompleteness? What about past sins and unpolished lifestyles? Do individuals like that qualify for any task asked of by God? First off, I asked myself this many times. But the answer comes all through out the Bible as of God uses “unqualified” individuals.
This is where I want to talk about the calling of God. The call of God on a Christian’s life can at times be mixed up with one’s personal dreams and ambitions. However, the purpose of a divine call or the call of vocational ministry is not something we create, but something God places within us.
How many times have you heard the testimony of a pastor or a minister who claimed they were always fit for the job, so-to-speak? Or how many pastor’s wives and youth pastors have you heard say that they were qualified from the very beginning to minister to these specific groups? These are people who answered the call of God whether it was something they wanted to do or saw themselves fit for.
In Matthew 22 Jesus is speaking in a parable to his disciples, telling them the story of a king who was preparing for the marriage of his son. He had prepared a grand dinner for the guests. He sent invitations to certain people to come for the celebration, but they would not come. He inquires of them why they didn’t show up, and it turns out, they just were not willing. The king was so upset and so he sends his servants to the streets and the highways to invite everyone to the wedding both good and bad. Only then, was the wedding full of guests who were able to partake in the celebration and feasts. Jesus says in this parable to his disciples, “Many are called, but few are chosen.”
I understood there’s different examples that come from this parable, but one thing thing that I gleaned from it was this very thought; God calls many to do his work, to answer his calling and to be vessels in which He can work through. Many, though, refuse. Whether they refuse because the task is simply “too much” for them, or they feel under qualified. This could mean an invitation to simply follow Him, and ultimately, an invitation to spend eternity with Him. But, God has higher callings sometimes. He calls you to do things that are scary and out of your comfort zone. Even more so, callings to complete tasks you feel you incapable of doing.
I think of Saul in the Bible. He is someone we would consider completely unqualified to be an apostle. The worst of sinners! He murdered hundreds of christians. Yet, I believe the call of God was upon his life, long before his journey on the Damascus road. But it was there that God met with him, and confronts him. I find it amazing that the first thing this murderer says is, “Lord, what do you want me to do?”. God sends him to the city where he would meet a man named Ananias. But even this Ananias questions God, pretty much saying “Why him? Do you know how much harm he has done?” and God simply answers, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel unto me.”
God called Saul to do a great task to bear His name before the gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. It was this sinner of all sinners who became Paul, and preached Christ in the synagogues. His testimony of redemption, conversion and revelation became a witness to those who heard him, saying “wasn’t this the very man who persecuted christians?” In my mind, all I can think of is “wow! That God would use a murderer to be a witness of His name.” But what greater testimony could there be? I believe he was able to reach hundreds because of the testimony of what they all knew he once was, compared to what he had become because of this Jesus.
There is also Moses. We all know this story. A man considered incapable of the job he was called to do, but yet, he was called to do it regardless. I believe most of the time, it is all about perception. You see, he tells God, “I’m not qualified to speak to Pharaoh and lead the Israelites of out bondage.” and maybe he wasn’t. Perhaps he wasn’t the best speaker. But God chose him for a purpose. God saw an individual lacking sufficient qualifications and he saw a vessel. Perhaps that very purpose could have been to be an example to generations after generations of what God can do with ‘unqualified’ people. Moses says, “Who am I that I should do these things?” and God replies, “I will be with you.”
It’s not always going to be easy, in fact, if you were to ask anyone that has a specific calling on their life, they would probably say it’s the hardest thing they have ever done. God does not always call those who are deemed perfect, spotless or qualified. He calls the sinners, the blemished and incomplete and makes them complete in Him. It makes me wonder, how many were called but ignored the voice of God and so their story could never be told because their calling fell upon someone else who would do the job? You see, God has a purpose and a plan and He will fulfill it somehow, someway. If he calls you to play a part in that plan and you refuse, He will use someone else.
It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes that says this:
“Your calling is going to crush you. If you’re called to mend the brokenhearted, you’re going to wrestle with broken-heartedness. If you’re called to prophesy, you’re going to struggle to control your mouth. If you’re called to lay hands, you will battle spiritual viruses. If you are called to preach and teach the gospel, you will be sifted for the wisdom that anoints your message. If you are called to empower, your self-esteem will be attacked, your success will be hard fought. Your calling will come with cups, thorns and sifting that are necessary for your mantle to be authentic, humble and powerful. Your crushing won’t be easy because your assignment is not easy. Your oil is not cheap.”