Equip…this has been a word of great importance to me since moving from North Carolina to Mississippi almost two years ago. I originally came here to train with Ballet Magnificat! a Christian ballet company in the Jackson area. When I felt the Lord leading me to pursue further training in ballet I thought, “Lord, are you sure? Am I truly hearing you right? Because I am so not equipped for this!” This was just the beginning of a journey that God has been faithfully leading me on.
I confess that though I have seen God’s hand equipping me in His time, this has also been an area of struggle for me recently. I know that the Lord has called me to the mission field, and as I pray towards that end, I have often found myself discouraged. Thoughts from my flesh start to flood my mind, “Lord, I am not equipped with enough knowledge.” or “I have had no formal training.” Lies from the enemy tell me that my faith is not strong enough to withstand the suffering I will face, that I do not love God enough, or that I am not worthy to proclaim this message.
It is a daily battle to fight these lies and fleshly thoughts, but I tell you that my God is good! There is power in preaching the gospel to yourself everyday. Through God’s Word, He has confirmed to me again and again that it is not about being equipped in eloquent words of wisdom or knowledge from this world, but it is about knowing the simplicity of Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
In 1 Corinthians 2:1-2 Paul tells us that he did not come proclaiming the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. He tells us that he chose to know nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. He did this so that our faith would not rest in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God!
In Acts 4:13 we see that Peter and John (Jesus’ disciples) were uneducated, common men. However, people recognized that they had been with Jesus, and God used them mightily to make His Name known. Peter and John were not hindered by their lack of knowledge.
After reading these truths in God’s Word, I am propelled to ask myself these questions, “Why do I have a fear of being unequipped and put my trust in the wisdom and knowledge of man? What grip does that have on God? Is God limited by my incapabilities?” No! God is far beyond my incapabilities! In fact, God doesn’t even need to use me for the spread of His gospel. He is capable of doing that Himself, but He chooses and delights in using all of His children to make His Name known!
What peace it brings to us knowing that God delights in using those who are unequipped. How patient He is to teach us along the way. He does not expect us to have it all together to begin with. What a joy it is knowing that because we are incapable on our own, God will receive all the more glory because in Christ, He has made us capable.
Lesson being learned: God WILL equip me for every good work in His timing and His way, not my own. In that, there is rest.