Monday, May 4, 2009

The Greatest Tool of All

"God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called."

I know this.
I've said it many times.
But today I understand it at a new level.

It's easy to get hung up on being "ready" for a task before us. We delay things like having kids, going back to college, or stepping out in some form of leadership because it's just not the right time yet. (I've often heard people respond, "if you wait for the perfect time, you'll never do it.")

The truth is that sometimes it really ISN'T the right time.

But sometimes it's just an excuse we hide behind. Its counterpart of "I'm not ready" is the same kind of hideout. We tell ourselves we need to be adequately prepared so we can do whatever it is well, and there's some truth to that too. There's nothing wrong with wanting to do something with excellence.

But behind these excuses of bad timing, lack of preparation, or lack of adequate equipment lies a fundamental flaw in our thinking:

Our success is NOT based on any of that.

David did not delay fighting Goliath until he could get some properly fitted armor and a sword he could maneuver. These would have been perfectly reasonable delays in all practicality. But as I read in a my devotion today "David was not bothered because he knew the battle was God's, not his. David knew the tools were secondary to proceeding with God's presence."

It's ok to desire to be prepared with the tools to do what God has called us to. I DO need to be trained in counseling, Biblical studies, and chaplain ministry, not to mention sufficient training in the military in general. There's a reason the Army requires all of that before they release me to be a chaplain. These are important tools. I'm not suggesting all training or tools are futile. What I think God has said to me today is that the MOST IMPORTANT tool is His presence, and I had that before He even called me to do this.

My confidence cannot be in the flesh (see Philippians 3) nor even in the most spiritual of tools. My confidence must be in Christ and Christ alone.
"David was not trusting in the tools, or in his strength in using the tools, to determine his success. He was trusting in God."
I'm not sure that I will ever feel adequately equipped for the chaplaincy ... IF my focus is on the tools. But I can confidently step forward without armor or a sword, with nothing but a sling shot and five little pebbles because those are not the source of victory. David didn't even have to have those! He knew all he needed was God.


Help me to learn all I can about Your Word and about all the things that would be considered "tools of the trade" as a chaplain. But forgive me for allowing my confidence to be dependent on any of that. Give me the faith and confidence of David that I would boldly step forward knowing all that matters is that I have You.

1 comment:

  1. Mer!
    It's Emily-thank you so much for your honesty. I needed to hear both of those things. I know God has called you for mighty things. I will continue to pray and follow you in this journey!