Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. – 2 Corinthians 3:4-6
This is one of my favorite verses. One of those that you put up on your bathroom mirror, commit to memory, and bring to mind often. One that you pray not only fills your mind, but makes its way to your heart and changes the way you live. Because sometimes you get to thinking ridiculous things – things the enemy would love for you to think – about who you are and what it takes to be “qualified”. And in some cases, you look around at those who minister to people, and you think “maybe someday that could be me”.
And you’ve got part of it right. Someday it could be you! And that day could be sooner than you think.
Or maybe you’re already serving, but you often feel that you don’t truly have what it takes. Someone else does it better. Someone else blesses others more. Someone else has a greater gifting. It’s someone who hears from God more, who knows their Bible better, and well, just seems so confident!
The exciting truth is that we can all experience that confidence toward God if we’ve come to Him through Christ. We’ll never know our Bible enough or hear His voice often enough to feel sufficient. Because we’re not “sufficient to consider anything as coming from ourselves”! When we minister to others – when we pray for them aloud, when we ask the Lord for an encouraging word concerning them, when we teach, when we serve, when we love – it has to come from His Spirit. Because He has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant! He wants all of us to be part of His Kingdom ministry! Not just pastors, elders, and those we think are “super spiritual”. If we’ve become part of His body, we’re called to minister in some capacity.
One of the hardest things to believe in our hearts is the idea that we are indeed under a new covenant! Under the old covenant, there were all these sacrifices, all these rituals, all these “what to do’s”, and no matter how hard you tried to follow the letter (law), you weren’t going to be sufficient. You certainly couldn’t stand in righteousness before God. You had no power to live according to God’s ways. And many of us still walk around thinking that if we just went a little deeper or did a little more, then He might see fit to include us in what He’s doing.
I know because that was me. It still is sometimes! I wanted to know my gifts, to walk in my gifts, and to do things that I’d always thought I wasn’t qualified to do. And then I realized that I needed to get out of the way and just do them, and to trust the Holy Spirit to do them through me. He brings life. He brings power to live life according to God’s ways, and to carry that life to others.
And will we make mistakes and operate out of our own flesh sometimes? Of course we will! I know I do! But there is so much grace for that. And grace to press forward to try again. To let Him father us and teach us what it means to let Him minister through us and share the beauty of the new covenant with others.
If you’re not already, it’s quite possible He wants you to step out of your comfort zone and do something you don’t feel sufficient to do. And to keep doing it, even if it seems to go poorly and awkwardly at first! Ask Him what that thing is. What has He laid on your heart?
Not only is He sufficient to give us all we need for living a godly life, He is sufficient for the I-don’t feel-equipped-but-in-Him-I-am ministry opportunities.
“Our sufficiency is of God; let us practically enjoy this truth. We are poor, leaking vessels, and the only way for us to keep full is to put our pitcher under the perpetual flow of boundless grace. Then, despite its leakage, the cup will always be full to the brim.” – Charles Spurgeon