Life is full of challenges, isn’t it?
The word “challenge” is defined as “a stimulating and demanding situation; difficulty in a job or undertaking that is stimulating to one engaged in it; a call to fight, as a battle, duel, etc.”
Looking at these definitions, I am sure we can all say we have had…and continue to have challenges in our lives! Even as Christians, we are not immune to facing challenges in life. God never said that as Christians, we would never face difficult circumstances while we are living here on this earth!
What challenges are you facing right now?
When I reflect on my own life, I can recall the many challenges that I have overcome in the past…and the ones I am currently facing.
Yes, growing up and going to school had its challenges…Attending college and grad school had its challenges…Working in a male dominated field with professional athletes had its challenges…Life as a single woman going in and out of relationships with its many hurts and disappointments had its challenges…
Life as a single Christian woman for 7 years before the Lord brought me my husband had its challenges…Getting married especially when you want fine china and your soon to be husband is fine with paper plates at your wedding had its challenges!
Facing life’s difficult circumstances, for example, when my mother passed away approximately 4 years ago had its challenges…Marriage of course has its challenges…Balancing life with work and my family has its challenges…
But the greatest challenge I have personally faced and still face is being a mother to my 2 little boys! Being called to be a mother is certainly an honor and a privilege, but is full of challenges as well!
As great a reward and blessing my children certainly are…No other call on my life has shaken the core of my very being! I have wondered at times what the Lord was thinking! Does He really think I could handle this? Does He really think I am equipped to be a mother? Does He really think I could raise up, nurture, and care for 2 little boys? And not just raise them up but raise them up with Christian morals and principles and with a God fearing love that would hopefully grow as they matured into adulthood?
What is God calling you to do today? Do you feel challenged by this call? Do you feel unequipped…inadequate… just not good enough to carry out God’s call on your life?
Maybe you too are called to mother children and the Lord has given you a special needs child and the task seems so overwhelming at times that you are ready to just give up…
Maybe you are called to be a single mom in this season of life and the demands to provide and care for yourself and your children are unbearably great…
Maybe you are called to move to a new place and fear of the unknown makes you hesitant to take the necessary steps to move forward…
Maybe you are called to a new occupational field and you aren’t sure that you have the ability and skills to fulfill your new role…
Maybe you are called to weather some storms in your life and there are days that it is raining so hard you just wish you could hold up an umbrella and not have to get wet!
Maybe you are a new believer in our Lord Jesus Christ and your past mistakes and failures cast doubt that you can actually be the woman God is calling you to be.
We may feel that we aren’t good enough to accomplish what God is calling us to do….We may feel inadequate…We may feel like we don’t have the skills or ability….We may feel like we aren’t strong enough…We may feel that we are the wrong person for the job….We may feel that God made a mistake when He chose us…We may feel afraid to accomplish what God is calling us to do.
Do you ever feel this way? Do you really think that God can’t use you or accomplish His purposes through you because of your feelings of inadequacy?
Do you know that “God doesn’t call the equipped…but He equips the called?” There is so much truth to this saying.
God isn’t looking for perfect people…He is looking for people to show His perfection through.
God isn’t looking for your ability…He is looking for your availability to be used by Him.
God isn’t looking for people who have it all together…He is looking for people that He can hold together and accomplish His purposes through.
He purposefully calls you when you aren’t equipped, so you may depend upon Him, rely upon Him and trust in Him for His guidance…His strength…His power… to accomplish what He is calling you to accomplish!
He equips you in order to empower you in order to enable you to accomplish the things that He is calling you to do…for His glory!
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21
Equip, Empower, and Enable are words that can be interchangeable at times …but check out these definitions and see them through this progression…
Equip– to make ready, to prepare
Empower– to give power or authority
Enable– to make possible
When God prepares you and makes you ready (equips) to handle a call on your life, he will also give you power and authority (empowers) which in turn makes it possible (enables) to face the challenges associated with the call!
The bible is full of individuals that God called, equipped, empowered, and enabled to accomplish tasks to glorify Him…despite their inadequacies and failures!
Jeremiah is one such individual who felt inadequate to accomplish God’s call on his life. God appointed and called Jeremiah as a prophet to the nations. A prophet was a person through whom God spoke directly to His people. When God called Jeremiah to be His spokesman to the world, Jeremiah felt too young and inexperienced… He pretty much felt inadequate! Hear Jeremiah’s feelings and the Lord’s response to him in this passage…
The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
6“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
7But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
9Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. 10See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”Jeremiah 5-10 NIV
Jeremiah was equipped by God’s words of assurance and protection. (vs. 5, 8)
Jeremiah was empowered by God touching his mouth and giving him the words to speak.(vs.7,9)
Jeremiah was thus enabled by God to bring God’s message to the nations. (vs. 10) He even endured attempts on his life as his preaching was not very popular or accepted by the people.
Just like Jeremiah, God equips us by His word (the bible)…God empowers us by His power (the Holy Spirit)…and enables us by faith (in Him) to accomplish whatever He is calling us to do!
Even though I often feel inadequate with my calling as a mother, I am thankful that God has equipped, empowered, and enabled me to push through and ahead despite my challenges…to not only accomplish His plans and a purposes but to ultimately glorify His name!
My prayer to you today is…that you too realize that “God doesn’t call the equipped…but He equips the called.” …that He will give you everything you need to push through the challenges you face to do what He is calling you to do…that He didn’t make a mistake…that His call in your life goes beyond you…and that ultimately His name will be glorified!
1) What challenges are you facing today?
2) What is God calling you to do today?
3) Do you feel inadequate to accomplish what He is calling you to do?
1) If you don’t feel equipped…Pray that God will equip you to accomplish whatever He is calling you to do. He doesn’t call you to something and just abandon you to figure it out on your own!
2) God equips us by His word. We need to make sure we are reading what He says so that we will feel encouraged to face what He is calling us to do.
3) By reading God’s word, we will feel empowered by the Holy Spirit.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2Cor 12:9 NIV
4) By faith and trust in Him, we will be enabled to get through our challenges and accomplish what He is calling us to do.