Have you ever felt God nudging you to do a specific work for Him and thought, I’m just not qualified! Oh girl, I’ve felt that way just about every time I’ve said “yes” when my knocking knees said “run.” And you know what what? Sometimes those feelings of being unqualified don’t go away once we start moving in the obedience direction. Let me give you an example.
My son, Steven, was in the ninth grade when I turned in the manuscript for my book, Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids. I should have waited until he was in the tenth grade.
That fateful morning, I placed my neatly printed pages in a padded enveloped, prayed a blessing over the bundle, and then dropped a year of hard work in the mail slot at the post office. When I returned home, my phone was ringing. It was Steven.
“Hey, Mom, I’m calling to let you know that I’m in the principal’s office. I got caught stealing in the lunchroom. You need to come to the school.”
I sped to the school, stomped down the hall, and opened the principal’s door. There sat this strange person wearing my son’s clothes slumped sheepishly in a chair. Steven got five days of in-school suspension, which was the least of his worries.
After I got him home, I wanted to climb back into that mailbox and GET THAT BOOK OUT OF THERE! Who did I think I was writing a book on parenting? What was I thinking? What an idiot! I am so disqualified! I called the publisher and told them the story, giving them an out. The vice president just said with a smile in his voice, “Welcome to the real world.”
The Bible tells us, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). The Greek word translated “handiwork” is poēma, which also means masterpiece, workmanship, epic poem. We need to get this. God created us for a purpose and a plan before we were born. He even marked out the times and places we would live (Acts 17:26).
How silly to think that His plans could be altered or negated because of something we’ve done, or something that has been done to us. We’ll never hear God say, “Oops, I didn’t see that coming.” God does the qualifying. Not me. Not you. Not anyone sitting in the stands.
Consider Paul’s words to the Corinthians: “It’s not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant” (2 Corinthians 3:5–6 NLT). It is all about God from start to finish. My qualifications to do what God has called me to do are really irrelevant. Click & Tweet!
I felt the incident with Steven had disqualified me. God said it didn’t. Looking back, I needed that struggle. Steven had been an easy kid. If I was going to be teaching anybody anything about raising kids, I needed to hit a wall, climb over it, and find Jesus cheering for me on the other side.
Okay, you might be thinking, So what, your kid stole from the lunchroom. I’ve stolen someone’s husband. I’ve been arrested. I’ve traded sex for money. I’ve had an abortion. We could compare mistakes and missteps all day long. But the devil taunts us with the same word: disqualified. Go ahead, say the word aloud. Can you hear the serpent’s hiss? What most of us think disqualifies us is often the wound that actually qualifies us to know what we’re talking about.
In the Bible, Paul could talk about grace because his Christian-killing past self had received so much of it. He knew what he was talking about.
The woman caught in adultery could talk about forgiveness because she had experienced it firsthand. She knew what she was talking about.
Don’t let the devil tell you that your past pain disqualifies you from your present calling. There’s nothing he would like more than for you to hold an audition in your head and stamp a big REJECTED across your own forehead. Here’s some good news: The audition has been canceled. You got the part.
By the way, Steven grew up to be a fine young man and the only thing he has stolen since the ninth grade is the heart of sweet Emily who became his wife.
Heavenly Father, thank You that I am qualified to do what You have called me to do because of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and His Spirit in me. Nothing more. Nothing less. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
What qualifies you to be a Christian and to serve Christ? Leave a comment and speak it! Is there something that has happened to you or a choice that you have made that has made you feel disqualified from serving Jesus? If so, what does today’s truth say to that?
My newest book releases January 26, 2021. Click here to learn about pre-order bonuses with free goodies!
Many of us feel broken. Our mistakes, the pain others have caused us, and circumstances outside our control taunt us every day, though we long to turn a new page. In When You Don’t Like Your Story, bestselling author Sharon Jaynes challenges us to ask: What if God doesn’t want us to rip out of difficult stories but repurpose them for good? What if your worst chapters could become your greatest victories?
What has been done to you and what has been done through you does not disqualify you from God’s best for your life. It qualifies you for an even greater purpose than you would have ever know without it. In fact, the worst parts of your story might just be what God uses the most. So sink deep into God’s life-changing truths. The next chapter is just beginning. Includes a Bible study guide.
As a mum i lived with guilt of not realising she was being abused.
Today after 7years we can both tell how we we’re able to forgive and how God restores.
Now i have a son who Is not following the Lord and instead of guilt i choose to clibg to His promise un Proverbs 22:6
Wow. My background is I lost my kids bc I was dangerous and an unfit teacher without details you can do the math. I failed. Everyday I question my calling and even if I’m qualified to be member of God’s family. Ive got some big decisions to make covid and all I want to thank you this was life changing.
Praying for you Ivy. Our Father is always faithful, even with our past!! Cling to your Abba father, he loves you so very much!!
Aré there any of tour books in spanish?
Yes most are in Spanish. I have a few on my site. Check amazon too.
Thank you for this devotional; 2 Corinthians 3:5-6 were just what I needed.
I left the previous message would you have a problem if I use poema on my new website. I am a poet and didn’t know that.
A few things have happened and I’ve happened to a few things. I want to tell my story(ies), but don’t for fear of people knowing. I know there’s nothing they can do to me and that God’s Grace is sufficient, yet I’m allowing fear to hold me back. I guess I can get started at least writing it, huh???
You can overcome fear by speaking out loud of your hurts . Choose your closest Christian friend or family member that you trust. Tell them you need to share something that the Devil has been using against you and your witness. It is hard unmasking what has kept you captive for years. And you have and are a captive of it. Christ came to set us captives free. He has cleansed you and made you a new person. Claim that victory . It is not your shame it is your life story. We all have a story to tell . No sin can keep you from God’s love and forgiveness. You are a new person in Him . And after the first unveiling and letting it out…it will get better and you will begin feeling free and clean. Now I can speak of my past to anyone ..any where…because I know “that person” is not who I am no. Past is past . I am a child and princess of the KING. It doesn’t matter what man thinks , it is what my Father thinks that matters. He will cleanse you and give you a peace that passes your understanding. Please take the step to freedom…share your story and the fear that is holding you captive will disappear. You will be victorious! my love to you sweet sister.
Thank you. Your reply to Robin was also a reply to me.
I don’t have friends but I’ll have your words of a friend. Thank you
Thank you I needed this encouragement today!
What qualifies me to be a Christian and fulfill the Purpose God Has for me and my life?
Nothing but THE BLOOD OF JESUS!!!
Thanks Sharon, your words are always given at the perfect time.
The church I grew up in would write you off upon divorce. But God was not done writing my story.
My son experienced rejection from church after a divorce but Gods love drawled him into a closer relationship with His Abba Daddy! All things work together for good Romans 8:28❤️
After our first two children were grown we felt called by God to foster and adopt. We adopted 3 children through the foster care system. The oldest was six at the time and is now 15 and has been so much trouble and has really made life hard to do. I struggle daily with not being qualified to raise her or at this point even love her. She has damaged our marriage and is so mean to our younger two who we also adopted., she has damaged my faith in God.
You are so amazing to adopt 3 kids AFTER raising your own!!! I am sorry for the incredibly challenging days you are facing and have faced. In light of our world in crisis this must seem like too much to handle. I have similar stories with my kids. Please know you are not alone in this even though it feels that way at times. My biggest struggle was ( and still is at times) is absolute surrender to HIM. I always held on to some kind of control ultimately thinking I had some when in reality… so little. GOD is in control so I encourage you to hang on to the faith,persevere and let go and let GOD. Praying for you.
I can understand such pain. Don’t give up still, help might just be around the corner.
Holly you are such a blessing to your daughter. She just doesn’t realize it yet. Keep your faith and know that she is God’s beloved child and will continue to try and reach her heart. It may not be through you but through someone else in her future. You live your Christian witness before her . I went through an extremely tough time with my daughter in her teen years also. Broke my heart and the more I tried to be a good mom the more she shunned me. She even said in front of people that she hated me. That almost destroyed me. Then in a message about “turning things over to the Lord and letting Him work” the pastor spoke of visualization. So, I visualized my picking up my daughter in my arms and carrying her to the foot of the cross and laid her before the Lord. I couldn’t change her but HE CAN. Once I surrendered her , He began to work in her life through others and that same year she rededicated her life and became my loving daughter again. She is now a mother…had a troubled teen age daughter too…and truly realized her mistakes during her teens…apologized to me profoundly. Now that teenager has grown up , married , and is now a mother of a beautiful baby boy. Another generation. Things are in His Time and He loves our children so much He went and died on a cross for them. Let go…and Let God.
It’s as if someone has written the very thoughts that have been stirring in me. I love Gods confirmation power! Thank you for allowing him to use you.
This devotional is awesome! God does qualify us to share the good news of Jesus Christ! I am often feeling disqualified trying to help others because of the lack of funds that I have, because I volunteer to help minister to others.
Again , thank you so much for sharing this , your words continue to strengthen me and help me to help others. I am soon to be 75 and have been leading women’s studies for mega years. You and other writers have encouraged and challenged me to opening myself to live God’s Word by opening my deepest hurts to help others. I was date raped while in college. For years I blamed myself and didn’t share the shame, disgrace, or to seek help. Then through another deep study , I found that instead of keeping it all in , that God wanted to use that to help others. We went on to a trip to Tanzania on a missionary trip and I was asked to lead a woman’s Sunday school class. I had worried over weeks as to what could I share with these women. At the last minute I knew that God just wanted me to tell my story. Afterwards the missionary thanked me and said that almost all those women had in some way been sexually abused. Now I think of my experience in a completely different way and thank God that He has cleansed me and made me whole and a bad experience can be a positive victory.
Good morning ☀️ thank you for this message. For the past few days the devil has been telling me I am done the I will be better in heaven then here. I am going through a divorce and I have never had a good relationship with my mom , so my son ask me what has been my best accomplishment and I told him being a mom .. because I don’t feel good about anything else because of the way my mom and ex husband make me feel .. but what a lie . Thank you so much , I open my eye this morning and god spoke to me through you 🙏🙏
I need to meditate on 2 Corinthians 3:5-6 on a regular basis. Of all the things I deal with, thinking I’m disqualified ranks right near the top. I have read this article a number of times. Thank you for being faithful to share your heart and His.
Thank you for this cause I am going through some struggles right now with myself. I worry alot about mainly our finances cause my husband is self employed and I currently sit with elderly gentleman (my calling) but bills are coming due and the money isn’t there to pay it and I start to worry and make myself miserable. I feel like I am not worthy to ask Jesus to ease my mind and broken heart but deep down I know he is always there I just want to the FAITH that my husband has cause he says Jesus hasn’t let us down yet! December is not a good month either it will be one year Christmas Day that I lost my Momma and I am really struggling and the Devil knows this so he is gnawing at me doing everything he can to keep me down. I lost my Daddy on December 12, 2010 so now you see why December is not a good month. Since losing my Mom our family has fallen apart with my siblings and their families over my Momma’s wishes and I know in my heart I did exactly what my Momma asked of me and I took care of her the best I could. But others feel that I dishonored her by standing up and not letting them run me over… I am thankful for what I have and thankful that Jesus gave me another chance he never left me but I did leave him but I am doing my best to not let the DEVIL win….
Our church is currently working on healing miracles. I can’t get past “ I don’t have enough faith, I have too much doubt.” Especially to heal myself, I’m not worthy resonates through my mind. I do hear He loves me no matter what. It’s my own unworthiness that sticks
Thank you, Sharon, for sharing on the subject of disqualification. My husband and I have had to deal with this all our lives, and we’re still at a crossroads: him, with starting his own small business, and me, with wanting to help people who want to commit suicide because they feel there’s nothing in life to live for- to help be the support they desperately need, and especially, to lead them to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, to fill that hole they have. We KNOW it’s the devil that gives us that fear, and have been fighting to overcome that falsehood. But, we have hope, and have had to go through some tough times, this year not helping with that, but we always come out stronger on the other side!! Diane, I can relate to what you’re going through!! Stay in His Word, and become part of a Bible study group, if you aren’t already because you need that support factor and human interaction, especially now, when the world is trying to pull all relationships apart! God wants us to be all one with Him!! Prayers for all🙏
Thank You Sharon, for your God-given message today! I am a very private person when it comes to my struggles. I’ve always been a caretaker and revealing that I’m not taking care of myself was unthinkable. The only person I share my struggles with is my husband and he is so supportive and loving but I know to truly feel qualified, the decision has to be between me and the Lord. Thank You for your insight….it was timely!
Wow! So needed this! I have struggled for years about my spouse and l leaving our spouses to be together and then marry. We all attended church. Both spouses were horribly verbally and emotionally abusive. My head knows God gives fresh starts but my heart doesn’t always accept it. God has blessed us thankfully.
I have written some short stories about my life in segments. I am 78 and have had many experiences in those years. One of them is “My Life is Out of Control” and my life is an example of The Dash. A poem written by Linda Ellis. Probably the best poem I have ever read. You can find it on a website “The Dash.com.
Thx for your great story. I believe it is very important for anyone to try to write about themselves. It will free up yourself and allows you to go forward in life.
Self-doubt has haunted me throughout my life growing up, getting married, having children, getting divorced, working full-time as a teacher. I always felt I wasn’t good enough at any of it until I read Scriptures that confirmed my creation as a child of our Heavenly Father. I still find myself sometimes thinking I’m not good enough or I’m not qualified to do something. But then God speaks to my heart and reminds me that I’m his daughter and His Plans are good enough. I loved this devotional and look forward to your book release!
What about a man that loves the Lord dearly-but a convicted child molester from 20 plus years ago. I got molested by a cousin, teacher and local boy older than me. all happened in the 80’s. To have a heart for God and want to be an asset to the kingdom.
I got out of prison after 5 years, married THE sweet girl in the church I attended – after my old church personally called me and told me to NOT come back-and we have been married 15 very fruitful years and have had 8 children together. (I have eleven total). I wonder how that would fit in your devotion piece. I know Hod still heals people. Most Christians believe that. But yet he cannot fix me is what most people say. He can and he did-but I have to disagree with u and assure you that we CAN actually disqualify ourselves for future works for the Lord
I have been inconsistent with my walk with God, the past with all its hurts made me bitter n vengeful in my way of thinking(sin) towards, my family, previous employers, so called friends, along with spiritual abuse. I’m nearing 53yrs single, and there is perhaps no window of time because of the hour. My life is fruitless/prayerless. Ps Todd White inspires me to share the gospel, but I’m just taking in a bit of the PDF God’s Best by the late T L Osborn, to learn about my identity. Someone’s pulling at my heart string, n most mornings I get attacked, n so I fear n then think about people n the gospel. This isn’t a game and God is done with lukewarmness