I was never consciously called into pastoral ministry. I was never consciously called into church planting. Fortunately, we have a God who works sovereignly to orchestrate His purposes. Indeed, “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand” (Eph. 2:10). Because I was too thickheaded to discern a direct call to step into ministry, the Lord arranged situations and life seasons in order to back me slowly into the center of His will.
Knowing that this is His will and my life’s calling, I still (19 years into full-time ministry) regularly do the Mosaic double-glance into the heavens, stating, “Lord, I think you’ve got the wrong guy.” I’m hyper-conscious of my weaknesses, failures, and indwelling sin, even without the aid of the occasional church member “blessed” with the ability to point them out. The weight of these, along with Satan’s wily warfare reminders, can leave me pretty certain: I’m the wrong guy for the task.
Without diving further into the health of my self-esteem, I want to drive immediately to the punchline: All of us are the wrong guy, but our God is the right God. When Moses argued he was the wrong guy (Ex. 4:1,10-16) the Lord didn’t reassure Moses about Moses’ stellar abilities. He affirmed Moses’ verbal limitations (4:11) and then lifted Moses’ gaze to His supreme ability: “Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth.” Moses was the wrong guy whose success was guaranteed by God’s strength for God’s mission.
Gideon’s story is the same. When called to action by the Lord, he was fully conscious that he was the least significant man belonging to a family in the weakest clan in Manasseh (Judg. 6:15). He absolutely was the wrong guy to lead an army. God’s response to this reality? “I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites” (6:16). Again, God didn’t seek to bolster Gideon’s self-esteem. He lifted Gideon’s gaze to His supreme ability. Gideon was His workmanship, created for good works beforehand, and those good works were not dependent on Gideon’s right-ness for the assignment, but on God’s supreme rightness to build His Kingdom through willing, obedient vessels.
I can and must continue to improve my leadership and my growth in holiness, but I’ll never be the right guy. I’ll never be able to justify, sanctify, or glorify lost souls, but I know the Right Guy who can. I’ll never be able break the chains of addiction or foolish marriage habits, but I know the Right Guy who can, and He goes with me. I’ll never be able to preach or counsel in a way that directs the Holy Spirit to revive dry souls, ut I know the Right Guy who does — and He died and rose again to ensure that His mission to reclaim His people cannot fail.
Today, find rest in admitting “God, you’ve got the wrong guy.” Find courage by lifting your gaze to the stellar abilities of Jesus Christ. And find progress by obeying the call He has set before you and will accomplish through you for His glory.
Published August 14, 2018