But there's a new question I've been facing in the past couple months: How am I qualified? Really... how am I qualified to do anything, to take a job, to shepherd a group of students? That's what college is designed for, right? To qualify people for jobs. Apparently, the letters B.A. mean PAY DAY... But this seems so superficial to me, and I don't think I'm alone here.
It doesn't seem right that because I major in Christian Educational Ministries and take a bunch of Bible and youth ministry classes that I'm suddenly qualified to shepherd/pastor in a church. If that was the case, then any ill-intentioned guy could come off the street and severely damage the people of God because he had the right letters behind his name. There has to be more!
I've been soaking up scripture lately, and I've kept a keen eye out for anything that will teach me about the character of God as I interview for jobs. I've been learning that the Old Testament stories have a lot to teach on this subject. Here are a couple things I've learned:
- God's presence qualifies you.
In Exodus 3:11, Moses says to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" God's response? "I will be with you." Think about that for a second... Moses asks Who am I? and God seemingly ignores his question completely. Instead he directs Moses' attention to the more important fact: God is with him. That's it. God doesn't say, "Oh, well you are Moses the educated, the strong man who killed the Egyptian!" He says nothing about Moses himself, except for the fact that Moses will be walking in the presence of the I AM, God Himself. How awesome is that?!
- The indwelling of the Holy Spirit qualifies you.
In Genesis 41, Joseph, a prisoner in Egypt who fell upon some unfortunate events and had no guilt in the matters, gets the chance to explain Pharaoh's dreams to him. No one in Egypt could explain the dreams, but Joseph was able to explain them because the Spirit enlightened him. In verse 37, it says, "The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. So Pharaoh asked them, "Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?" Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you."
Joseph, a Hebrew prisoner, was put 2nd-in-command over all of Egypt. I don't know about you, but that makes me go, "Say WHAT?" Again, he didn't have some education that made Pharaoh give him the job. It was the Spirit of God inside Joseph that qualified him for the job! Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with education; in fact, I think it is absolutely important. However, when we put our hope in education to qualify us for a position, we have gone astray and forgotten the One who gives us a mind for education.
Thank God we don't have to depend on ourselves and our actions to qualify us for anything in life. Don't give into the secular pressures of the world. Remember where your worth comes from! The only letters that qualify you are YHWH - God's holy and precious name.
I want to commit my life to spending time in God's presence and asking for more of the Spirit's indwelling presence. He will draw near to us if we draw near to him. That's a promise!
(As a final note, I've been listening to this song called "Burn Us Up" by Shane & Shane, and it is truly inspiring. It is a unique rendition of the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the book of Daniel. Please listen to it, download it, watch it, love it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70PDuymQ_h0)