Today’s AMI QT Devotional is written by Esther Chailim. Esther, a graduate of University of California, San Diego, is currently serving as the Director of Ministries at Kairos Christian Church (San Diego) and pursuing a Masters in Christian Ministry and Leadership at Talbot School of Theology.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
“It Ain’t About Us”
Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” 7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.”
Three years ago, after sending off our college pastor to serve as a missionary, my role on staff changed from Church Administrator to College Pastor/Director. On paper, this was a step forward, so naturally, I should have felt excitement for this new opportunity; instead, I couldn’t help but feel hesitant about the changes that would soon come my way. I quickly transitioned from a role that I was fairly comfortable and confident with, to one that I felt extremely ill-equipped and unprepared for. As I reluctantly took on the new role, I was quickly met with a great sense of fear, inadequacy and pride. And when I say pride, I don’t mean the boasting kind, but the kind that says, “I don’t measure up” or “I’ll look like a failure.” Like Jeremiah, I felt insecure in my capacity to lead others, let alone a college ministry, and found every excuse to convince myself and others that I was not the right person for the job. My insecurity crippled me from fully embracing my calling and stepping into the role which God had appointed to me in that season.
All of us can relate to Jeremiah when faced with an assignment that seems way over our heads. Our initial reaction is to think of all the reasons why we are unfit for the role. For some, it may be because we don’t feel like we know enough; while for others, it might be because we see someone else better fit for the task. The reasons are countless, personal and even perhaps justified. In fact, Jeremiah was young and arguably inexperienced for what God was asking of him, but to God, that was irrelevant. The Lord was quick to remind Jeremiah that it was not about his age or ability to speak well. It was not about what other people thought, or how much knowledge he had acquired over the years. God called Jeremiah way before he was born or equipped to do anything. He simply wanted Jeremiah to choose to obey His call, even assuring him that He would be with him and deliver him from his enemies.
Allowing our insecurities to control us will most certainly prevent us from doing the very thing God calls us to do. But insecurity’s most toxic symptom, however, is that it keeps the focus on ourselves and AWAY from God. The truth of the matter is that even our very best efforts could never measure up to God’s standards. The best part about this, however, is that it is not about us and how good we are. It is about God and what He can do through us if we simply say “yes.” As God calls us to minister and be a light in this world, may we fight the temptation to fall into the trappings of our insecurity, and approach each assignment knowing that God is with us and will carry out His plan through us.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You have a purpose and plan for each of us. Forgive me that I get caught up in my own plans and purpose, but help me not to stray from Your plan. I pray that I can approach each assignment with discernment, wisdom and confidence, knowing that You are with me in this process, and that in Your divine power, You have given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Hebrews 1
Lunch Break Study
Read 2 Corinthians 3:4-6: Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Questions to Consider
- In whom can we put our confidence and why?
- How does God develop Paul to be confident and competent in his ministry?
- In what ways do you find yourself to be self-sufficient?
- It is THROUGH Christ alone that we can have ALL confidence. Romans 3:12 says, “There is no one who does good, not even one.” Because of this, we all deserve death. But Jesus, who was already God, humbled Himself to become man, in order that He might save us from our sins. He died on the cross and rose again, claiming victory over death and giving eternal life to those who follow Him. Without Jesus, we are nothing and can do nothing, but because of Him, He has made us heirs to His throne and can do all things through Him.
- Prior to his conversion, Paul was a man of great power and strength. After his encounter with Jesus, he radically turned his life around and surrendered it all to the Lord. In other words, he became less and God became more. Paul’s confidence and competency in ministry thus came from his cooperation with the Holy Spirit—not from his own strength and power.
- Personal response.
Are there areas in your life where you are crippled by fear or insecurity? Reflect on the things that the Lord may be calling you to step out in faith. Spend some time with the Lord, laying those insecurities to Him and allow Him to minister to you.