When God calls us, we tend to examine our abilities first, thinking, ‘Am I qualified?’ ‘Do I have the ability to do it?’ If we think about whether or not we will be able to do what God has called us to do with our own abilities, we will all end up saying that we can’t do it.
When God calls us, all we have to do is follow God’s calling, saying, “Amen!” Then the work of salvation will steadily proceed through the power of God. God’s calling us doesn’t mean that God will fulfill His work by using our abilities, but it shows His intention to help and guide us with His power to carry out His work, based on our faith.
When the Israelites were salves in Egypt for 400 years, God appointed Moses to be their leader and to save them. It was not by his own knowledge or power that Moses saved the people of Israel. All he did was follow God’s call to be His instrument.
Moses didn’t realize this fact when he was first called by God.
“So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” Ex 3:10–12
The above verses depict a scene where God called Moses and entrusted him with a mission when He appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. “I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” This was what God called Moses to do.
Moses was very surprised and hesitated in fear after thinking about if he was a truly competent person to carry out the mission. “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh?” “I have never been eloquent. I am slow of speech and tongue.” “Please send someone else to do it.” God rebuked him for his weak faith and promised to be with him. Having received the mission from God, Moses finally rescued the Israelites from the yoke of slavery in Egypt, the land of sin, with the help of God.
Today we are in the same situation as Moses when we are called by God; we feel the same way Moses felt when he was called by God. When God calls us to go somewhere or do something, we sometimes worry about it, thinking that we are too young or too old to do it and we are lacking in experience, ability or knowledge. When God tells us to go and spread the gospel to Samaria and the ends of the earth, we just need to go and preach. However, sometimes we feel afraid with the thought, ‘How can I preach the gospel?’ without even giving it a try. That’s why many of us hesitate to accept God’s call and fail to receive God’s blessings.
God doesn’t call the qualified. The fact itself that we are chosen by God is important. When God divided the Red Sea, He just told Moses to lift up his staff and stretch out his hand over the sea. Do you think that his staff had any power to divide the Red Sea and make it dry land? When Moses believed and obeyed God, however, something unimaginable happened; a path was made in the sea. The staff was merely an instrument. It seemed that such a wondrous work was accomplished by the staff itself, but it was God who actually worked behind the scenes.
It is the same with us. We are merely God’s instruments, and it is God who accomplishes the gospel work. All we have to do is believe that everything God does will be fulfilled without fail and go when God tells us to go and preach when God tells us to preach.
Gideon made the same mistake as Moses when he was called by God. He felt that he was too small and weak for the great task God gave him.
When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” . . . “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” “But Lord ,” Gideon asked, “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” The LORD answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.” . . . Jdg 6:12–18
Gideon said the same thing Moses did. “How can I save Israel?” He misunderstood that he was to save Israel by his own ability, and asked God how he could save Israel, saying he was lacking in so many ways.
Then God said, “I will be with you.” He gave Gideon the same answer He gave Moses. Afterwards, Gideon was convinced that God was really with him through some miraculous signs. Then he took courage and delivered the Israelites from the oppression of Median.
If we focus on our own abilities, circumstances and backgrounds, we can do nothing. It is also meaningless to try to carry out the gospel mission by excluding God and depending on our own abilities, thinking that we have much knowledge and strength. It is God who accomplishes the work of salvation.
“I will be with you.” This single promise of God solves everything. If God is with us, do we need a large army or military knowledge or a war chest? No, we don’t need anything. Through the single fact that God is with us, we need to know that we have the strongest power in the whole universe.
Everything written in the Bible was written to teach us (Ro 15:4). We must not just take it literally but engrave it in our hearts, so that we can joyfully follow the path Father and Mother lead us on.
When there is something that needs to be done, most people think that it is necessary to have someone who possesses qualifications required for it. However, God often chooses unexpected people and accomplishes His great work through them. God did so when He chose David.
The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” . . . Samuel did what the LORD said. When he arrived at Bethlehem . . . When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the L ORD ’s anointed stands here before the L ORD .” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” . . . Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The LORD has not chosen these.” So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered, “but he is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.” So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power . . . 1 Sa 16:1–13
Samuel thought that the one qualified to be king should be a man who had great stature and was handsome enough to overwhelm others and that he shouldn’t be the one who was too young. However, he was totally mistaken. God saw what was in man’s heart first—how sincere he was before God and how upright his faith was toward God. So, David the youngest son of Jesse was chosen to be king. As God saw what was in his heart—his beautiful faith—rather than his appearance, He chose him to be the second king of Israel.
God always chose someone by those standards. People judge others by their age, career, ability, knowledge, wealth, environment or background. However, God regards them as nothing and only looks at what is in their hearts—how completely their hearts are toward Him.
When Jesus called His disciples, He also saw their sincere hearts and their genuine faith toward God, instead of seeing whether or not each of them was qualified to become a disciple. If one’s knowledge, ability, wealth and background had been absolute requirements for becoming a disciple, Jesus would have called only the rich people, including the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who were well educated.
The disciples, when they were called by Jesus, did not think about their own abilities, and they responded to the call of Jesus right away.
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. Mt 4:18–22
The disciples immediately left their nets and followed Jesus. They accompanied Jesus for three years, listening to His teachings and experiencing all kinds of spiritual situations, so that they could become fully qualified as fishers of men.
Do you think Peter, who was a fisherman, had the ability to eloquently preach a sermon in front of many people? When he preached, however, something amazing happened; 3,000 people repented and were saved in one day (Ac 2:38–41). It was possible with God’s help, not by his own ability.
When Moses held up the staff in his hand, it didn’t matter what the staff was made of—whether it was made of iron, wood or any other material. No matter what material it was made of, if it could be used by God in Moses’ hand, that was enough. When Samson defeated the enemies, the jawbone of a donkey was enough for him, while the enemies had swords and spears. Since he was clothed with God’s power to defeat the enemies regardless of their number—100, 1,000 or more enemies, it didn’t matter what he used as a weapon; anything could be a weapon for him.
Likewise, when God calls someone to be an instrument for His work, He doesn’t care what kind of person he or she is. Did God call Peter, James and John because they had much knowledge or wealth? Not at all. Those whom God has called and chosen from among all people are the ones who are really blessed. So, we should respond in faith immediately to God’s call, like Peter, John and James.
When I see how readily they responded to God’s call, I think they were the truly blessed people. They probably felt afraid because they were also human beings like us. However, since God Himself called them and gave them the mission, they did not worry about it at all. Those who followed God, saying, “Amen,” when He called them—through those people God has been accomplishing the work of salvation.
We have been called by God to preach the gospel in this age. As God called His disciples at the Sea of Galilee, so He has called us to save the world by spreading the gospel to Samaria and the ends of the earth.
If we hesitate to accept God’s call and fail to carry out the task God has given us, we are no different than those who are not called. ‘Am I the right person for the task?’ ‘Can I do it?’ Thinking this way is not being humble at all. Humility is totally different from fear. Being humble means lowering yourself even though you can do it, and having fear means being afraid of something without even giving it a try. God said, “Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back” (Jdg 7:2–3). By this God meant that those who felt afraid were not qualified to do His work.
God knows our weaknesses. Whenever we face a problem or difficulty, let us ask God for help. When God calls us, He is with us and gives us the ability to do His work. So, we should first have confidence in God’s call and do what God has told us to do. Everything is possible for those who believe. God has promised that He will give the glory of victory to His called, chosen and faithful followers (Rev 17:14). Believing this promise of God, let us go forward without hesitation and do what God has commanded us to do with joy, as people of Zion.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mt 28:18–20
Do you think that God has told us to make disciples of all nations because we surpass them? Not at all. We should try to accomplish this great work with God’s help, instead of trying to do it with our own ability. With this attitude of faith, we need to follow the will of God. Since God has told us to go and make disciples of all nations, shouldn’t we just go to all the nations of the world and preach the gospel diligently? God, who was with Moses and Gideon, has promised to be with us always, to the very end of the age.
If you are called by God, you should not keep silent like those who are not called. Pray to God diligently and preach the gospel to all people around you—workers in their workplaces, students at school, and housewives in their neighborhood. Then God will work through your beautiful heart that trusts in God, with His power and not with human strength or wisdom.
When we are called by God, let us not think, ‘How can I do such a great task?’ Keeping in mind that God surely walks with us when He calls us and believing that He will open wide the doors for the gospel, let us diligently preach the gospel. God has promised to be with us always, to the very end of the age. Let us always keep this promise of God in mind and preach the good news of the kingdom of heaven to whomever we meet, so that we will all receive heavenly blessings and rewards in abundance, as God’s called and chosen ones in Zion.