Words of My Life 6: Unworthy


In ongoing celebration of my Jubilee year of 50 years in ministry and 70 years of life, I am sharing some of the words of my life

Last week I wrote about the word “inadequate.”

Truly I have been inadequate for the calling God has given for these 50 years I have served Him—even until today.

But I rarely mention inadequate without also acknowledging another reality:  I am unworthy for any calling/opportunity/assignment God has given me.

So you might ask, “Aren’t you being a little hard on yourself?  You are bright and capable and gifted—how can you say you are inadequate?  And unworthy—look how long you have faithfully served God.  Surely you are worthy.”

Oh, but consider these qualifications for God’s servants.  Things like:

Holy.  (1Peter 1:16)

Humble.  (Ephesians 4:20)

Contrite. (Psalm 51:17)

AndServing (Mark 10:43)

Loving (John 13:34-35)

And this is the short list.  Yes, over these many years I have seen growth—even in Christlikeness.  But I know the reality.  I know my heart.  I am aware that I fall woefully short of these requirements, and others.

Why would the holy Creator God of all that is love me, die for me, adopt me as His daughter, enjoy being with me—and be willing to make me part of His Kingdom building team!  Amazing.

I can’t help but fall on my face before my God and declare my unworthiness.

And yet, I have seen God use people—even in astounding ways—who in no way measure up to these standards.I remember observing the leaders in a ministry I was briefly acquainted with.  It was obvious that God was willing to use them to bring real change to the lives of those entrusted to them.  And yet there were character flaws that it seemed to me should have disqualified them.  They were clearly inadequate and unworthy.

Then I read these remarkable verses:  “(I) who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid….” This is what the Lord says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him… I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge me.  I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me….” (Isaiah 44:28; 45 1,4-5)

Cyrus, a pagan king, who does not acknowledge God, is called God’s shepherd and anointed, and in other translations, His servant.  He was given a holy task to subdue the surrounding nations and to rebuild the temple.

Amazing!  God must be willing to use anyone!

Oh yes.  He has even been willing to use me.  At which I marvel! I am clearly inadequate and unworthy for Kingdom work.

But that’s the wonder of it.  God doesn’t wait until we are qualified, or adequate, or worthy.  He pours His grace on us and His Holy Spirit into us—and accomplishes more than we can ask or imagine in building His Kingdom.

Through me.  Through you!

And I?  I am on my face in gratitude.

What about you?  How has He used you by His grace and His Spirit?

C2014 Judy Douglass