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Qualified?

I have met few people who have felt qualified to be used by God in a significant way. The few I have met, who thought that God was lucky to have their incredible talents – well, let’s be glad that God is more gracious than I am, because they made me want to not be a Christian. I do know some people who are desperate to attempt something great for God, usually driven by their insecurities to prove their worth.  But, honest people are too aware of their shortcomings to imagine that God wants to use them to accomplish his good purpose.

That why I love the story in Mark 5 about the demon-possessed man, remember, the guy who had a legion of demons.  He was pretty much the Stephen King character of his town, living among the dead, constantly torturing himself.  Imagine being a kid growing up around there.  Your big brother didn’t have to make up scary stories.  If the wind was right at night you could probably hear the screams coming from the tombs.  (When I was five we lived on the side of a mountain which included a railroad track not too far behind our house.  When my big brother and wild, young uncle would babysit me, they would tell me that Hoover, the one homeless guy in our town, walked those tracks, carrying a bag to capture little boys.  When I see that uncle now, he will still say, “Hoooooooooover.”  So, I know something about scary stories.)

Well, of course, Jesus delivered the man from  all the demons, which was not so good news for a big herd of pigs nearby.  But, then Jesus did something unusual.  Up to that point In Mark’s Gospel,  usually after he healed someone he would instruct them not to tell anyone.  Not this time.  This man wanted to follow Jesus, become part of his disciple-team, but Jesus told him to go tell everyone what the Lord had done for him.  And the man did.

Interestingly, the people in that area were afraid of this man, but they became more afraid of Jesus after they saw what he did, and they begged him to leave.  Later, when Jesus returned to this area, there were large crowds waiting for him, and he had to do one of the miracle feedings.  The man had done his job.

The way that Jesus works is that the least qualified become the most qualified under Jesus’ leadership.  The key: Jesus’ leadership.

When we embrace Jesus’ leadership in all areas of our lives, then we become less aware of our shortcomings, and more aware of Jesus’ vision and power.  It’s that simple.  Our point of view shifts from ourselves to Jesus. 

For instance, as I think about my neighborhood I easily and too quickly can think of all the reasons why I shouldn’t expect much spiritual change or impact.  I come up with explanations that support the status quo, rather than expectations that could change it.  But, something begins to happen when I imagine Jesus’ love for the families on these streets.  It’s small at first because my faith is small.  But, my heart begins to expand, ever so slowly, with more love and concern for my neighbors.

What would change in your world if you began to imagine that Jesus could use you, –  use you as if he were there. 

The thing is, he is there if you are.