God has never asked you to be normal. God has called you to be different.
What do I mean? Christianity is the greatest adventure you could ever take, and God is the greatest tour guide on this journey called the supernatural life for those of us who are unqualified. The unqualified of God have never been called to fit in anyway. They are the ones man overlooks but God notices and plucks from obscurity.
There is one word that best describes the unqualified, and it is the word "misfit." In fact, over and over the Bible reminds us that we are "strangers and pilgrims on the earth" (Heb. 11:13). We are even referred to as temporary residents who must watch our lives closely (1 Pet. 2:11).
Our identity must not be determined by what the world says about us but by the fact that God dwells in us. If you're not careful, the inner cry you have for God to use you can fade to a faint whisper of yesterday's promises. Instead, you must protect that cry and rise up and realize that as the unqualified, you are uniquely qualified to bring life to a lost world. God almost always chooses the one who wouldn't get picked to be on man's team to be an all-star on God's team (Prov. 15:25).
Throughout history, God has always used the least likely and the most unqualified to provoke change. The Bible is full of misfits—those who usually lost out on man's approval but always won with a God-dreamed vision.
Will They Know You've Been With Jesus?
I've found that when people don't understand the supernatural power of God, they always put God's vessels on trial to defend what they've never experienced. Peter and John found themselves in trouble for walking in the miraculous immediately after healing a man. Acts 4:13 says, "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus."
What made these unqualified servants of Jesus stand out as they went about preaching the gospel was not who they were but who they knew. The neon sign lit over their lives said these men had been with Jesus. What was it that made these men so special? They understood that without God's intervention in their lives, they were simply unqualified fools.
Do you know what made these men so feared by the religious and powerful? They never relied on themselves to do anything. Their entire reputation was one that made others sit up and say, "These guys have been with Jesus!" They continually pointed back to Him.
As the unqualified, we must desire that when people walk away from us, they never see us but Jesus. If people see Jesus instead of you, they may actually follow Him and not just you on Twitter and Instagram. The moment we spotlight ourselves, we let people down and tarnish the kingdom of God.
God Uses Quitters Too
When we look at the birth of the New Testament church, it wasn't the well-dressed, educated and proper religious leaders who led the way from the upper room to rest of the world. No, it was a bunch of fishermen. They hadn't received any formal training or taken any classes on public etiquette. Really, they were blue-collared rednecks—just a group of guys who would become fishers of men.
God even uses quitters, as the Bible shows through the life and ministry of Peter. God can use people who fail, curse and betray Him. At one point, Peter even gives up ministry and returns to his old profession (John 21:3).
This is why I like Peter so much. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to quit and walk away too. Yet the next morning I usually saw Jesus on the shore, telling me the same thing He told Peter: "Feed My sheep" (John 21:17). How can we quit on the Lamb who has called us to feed His lambs?
We cannot quit. We must hold on. Our mantra must be Galatians 6:9: "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
If circumstances, people or lack can cause us to quit so easily on a Father who promised to never leave us or forsake us, then we haven't taken the Great Commission seriously enough. Our victory is not found in what we accomplish, but rather in our ability to never stop chasing God's awesome calling.
I once heard someone say, "If the cost is too great, then the call is not enough!" I must take it one step further and say that if you're able to accomplish your dream on your own, then God never birthed the dream you're following.
God's Power, Not Ours
If God can use Simon Peter, He can use you and me. But if ever we think we can accomplish anything without God's help, then we have bought a lie that leads to destruction.
If you wonder where the power of God has gone, you need only look at the mainstream Christian messages that flood the airwaves with overinflated egos espousing self-help sermons, watered-down talks and hyper-grace theology. Eloquent speech and cool clothes have never chased a demon out of anyone. When we reduce preaching to an art that doesn't require Spirit unction and Spirit visitation, God simply becomes a late-night infomercial that lulls us to sleep.
To preach a compromising gospel that doesn't require repentance makes us no different from the religious who sell indulgences and penance. Nice messages and sweet services simply allow the demons to relax and make fodder of God's people. When we place God in a box of human rationality, we only experience human results.
This is exactly why God is awakening the misfits and the unqualified. Purity is the backbone of authority, and authority is determined by brokenness. The spiritual depth of the unqualified will not come from degrees on the wall or memberships in prestigious God clubs but from the classroom of brokenness. If you will cry out on your knees in your prayer closet, then you will stand out on the shoulders of God in the public square.
God has always confounded the wise. He doesn't look for social stature, good looks or even the most intellectual among us. He calls forth the available, no matter how misfitting they are.
Pat Schatzline is a leading international evangelist and author. He and his wife, Karen, co-founded Remnant Ministries International.
If you liked the article, you'll love the book.
Evangelist and author Pat Schatzline shows how you can be used by God no matter what your weaknesses through his most recent book, Unqualified: Where You Can Begin to Be Great (Charisma House). You can find his book at amazon.com, christianbook.com or anywhere Christian books are sold.
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