QUALIFIED AND EQUIPPED

Please do not refer to me as an expert. Merriam Webster defines expert as one with a special skill or knowledge representing mastery of a particular subject. Some of you are experts in your field, and I applaud you for your diligence in study and commitment. I prefer to consider myself as qualified by experiences-those familiar and perhaps different than yours; nonetheless have been taught lessons through them. Continuing to be a student of life, I invite you to journey with me, not as an expert, but learning from the Master who reveals all truth.

You might be thinking, “So you’re not an expert. What are your qualifications?” I plan to answer that and in that answer I implore you to ponder your own qualifications. This is not an exercise in building a resume, although that could be your starting point. God is building on your past by working in your present to guide you into your future. What uniqueness qualifies you to speak into another’s heart?

Our qualifications only tell half of the story. They may incite feelings or cause further discussions and study, but then again they remain personal stories to us. To be equipped must be in tandem with being qualified. Merriam Webster’s definition of equipped in verb form is 1) to furnish for service or action by appropriate provisioning or 2) to make ready. This equipping by God Himself is what sets us apart for action and service.  One of my favorite passages in Scripture from Acts Chapter 4 tells of Peter and John before the Sanhedrin. The rulers, elders, and teachers of the law, also known to be the experts in that day, were baffled by the words coming out of Peter.  Verse 13 NIV 84 says, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Peter had not made the cut to study higher levels of education, so he fished for a living.  And yet…he was both qualified and equipped.  Peter lived life-a messy one at times, and his failures are recorded in history for all of us to see.  Peter also spent time with Jesus-three solid years, in fact fishing instead for men.  He was highly qualified in life.  It is in the beginning of verse 4 that we see how Peter was equipped and made ready for service-“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit…”

So now having spent time with Jesus I also am qualified in life to speak about:

Being raised in a Christian home and finding Jesus at age 10-Becoming a Registered Nurse with an emphasis in Pediatrics and Obstetrics-Singing and discovering my heart for worship-Married for 28 years-Raising 3 sons as a stay at home Mom-Dreams altered when my firstborn was discovered to have Down Syndrome-Navigating school systems and IEP’s, various therapies and seemingly endless medical appointments and procedures-Corporate wife-Watching alcohol and other addictions steal my marriage-Adultery-Separation-Divorce-Court dates-Despair-Prodigal son-Financial hardships-Taking care of my elderly parents-Alzheimer’s-Hospice-Loss of parent.  Yes I am qualified.

Without being sanctified, set apart, and equipped by the work of the Holy Spirit in my life, I’m just another story.  Don’t let the words I say only be a source of entertainment or even just thought provoking. Find the truth in the Word of God and let Him equip you to share your qualifications.  I assure you He is preparing you as well.  Ordinary and unschooled is not a deterrent to being used by God.  Spend time with Jesus and get filled up with the Holy Spirit.  With Him, nothing is impossible.

 

 

8 Replies to “QUALIFIED AND EQUIPPED”

  1. Great post, Linda. I’m reminded of a pastor-friend who was going through his ordination exam. The celebrated theologian, Bernard Ramm, was a member of the council. The only question Ramm asked my friend was, “How have you suffered?” I think the question was more of a statement. It’s the life-experiences God brings your way–particularly the suffering–which equip you for being used by Him.

    It’s interesting how the Apostle Paul “commended” himself to the Corinthian church. He pointed to troubles, hardships, distresses, beatings, imprisonments, riots, hard work, sleepless nights, and hunger as part of his credentials (2 Corinthians 6:4-6). Through all of it, the Holy Spirit produced in his life purity, understanding, patience, kindness, sincere love, truthful speech, and the power of God (2 Corinthians 6:7).

    I love the way that you’re able to see (like Paul) how God has used life and hardship to equip you for serving Him. That’s been my experience, too. Managing apartments in downtown Portland, OR (in my early 20s during grad school), working on a ranch in Montana, coping with a friend’s betrayal, caring for a dying parent, walking through financial hardship, bringing up four kids, conducting funerals for teens who died in auto accidents, suicide, and a shooting–all of this has prepared for me what God has called me to do. Thanks for reminding me of this in your compelling post!

    1. Steve, to get this type of comment from you is beyond amazing. You not only exemplify being a Biblical scholar, but a man who walks the walk of Christ. Thank you for your support over the years. Blessings to you and your family. May your ministry continue to flourish.

  2. Great post, Linda! Reminded me of 1 Corinthians:
    “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’ Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?”

    May God use you in great ways to challenge us all because of how you’ve humbled yourself before Him.

    1. Thank you Andy. Great Scripture reference as well. May God keep me in a place of humility so that I will continue to be equipped to do whatever He asks. Blessings to you and your family.

    1. Thank you Lori. I’ve admired your tenacity to accomplish great things. I treasure our friendship and have learned much from you.

  3. Going through such a hardship in my elder years I look for anything positive to keep me going. Sometimes, we think we are alone in the hardships and ask why me, and at times I wonder where God is and does he hear my prayers, even though I know he does. I will then question if I’m being punished.
    I know better, I look at my past and realize that God waits for the perfect time, or he wants me to learn something, who really knows the mind of God.
    I do know this Linda, your writing was such an encourager for me, we need more people like you to give us courage, strength, and perseverance. You are also right, we can use our hardships and experiences to minister to others, that we understand their fears and frustrations. Again, thank you for your honesty and truth Linda, and for sharing with us.

    1. Deanie thank you for your honesty and sharing your heart. I am honored to have my life be an encouragement to others. I was teary as I read your comment. As God permits I will write, speak, and do whatever He calls me to do. I’m praying for you today in life journey. Be blessed as you have been a blessing to me.

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