Do you sense God leading you to serve but feel frightened, overwhelmed, and unqualified? I so understand. I felt the same way, as I explain in the introduction to my book:
“My own journey to spiritual leadership was not part of a plan or an ambition. From a human perspective it seems like I fell into it, somewhat kicking and screaming. . . .
“Our new couples’ class at church featured an outstanding teacher who continued to build on the biblical foundation from my childhood. As he led us through 1 Corinthians, he talked about spiritual gifts; I had never heard of them despite my years in church. How exciting that God had gifted an ordinary woman like me! His Spirit was there to give me power and produce fruit when I served in my area of gifting. However, I was clueless about the identity of my gifts. Our teacher suggested that our desires would help us discover them, but I was only inspired by the idea of teaching knowledgeably and fervently, as our previous teacher had always done with such excellence. How could I possibly do that? That would truly involve spiritual leadership, and I didn’t feel at all qualified! I knew myself; how could God allow me to teach his Word? I was petrified of getting up in front of people and disliked sharing about myself. I was an ordinary woman who could never live up to the expectations.[i]“
Yet, God kept pushing me and calling me. Although I was reluctant, I knew in my spirit that his purpose for me meant that he was in charge of my life, even though I felt overwhelmed and unqualified to take any sort of leadership position.
God’s call to Isaiah and his answer in Isaiah 6:8 have always challenged me:
“And I heard the voice of the LORD saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here I am! Send me.’”
My preference was to stay where I was comfortable, where I was in charge of where I went and what I did. Instead of Isaiah’s surrender, I wanted God to let me serve him my way. Do you relate at all?
And yet he is the LORD God, the one who determines his plans for us by grace. He uses the obedient and the humble servant. Although he has gifted us and provides all we need, we serve humbly motivated by our love for him. Do you love and trust him enough to say, “Send me where you need me, Lord?”
My first step into leadership wasn’t the last time that God challenged me to go where I was overwhelmed and scared. Over and over I do that. Yes, I have become more competent with years of study and experience, but I have never forgotten what grace it takes for God to use me at all, and certainly as any sort of leader. I am overwhelmed by his gift of allowing me to participate in his work.
Won’t you join God in his work, no matter how small and unprepared you feel? Won’t you surrender your own feelings and let him lead you where he purposes you to serve him? Don’t let fear, the past, or your weaknesses keep you from the excitement of being exactly where God wants you.
Don’t pray, “Here am I! Send me where I am comfortable,” but say with Isaiah, “Here am I! Send me.”
[i] [i] Kay Daigle, From Ordinary Woman to Spiritual Leader: Grow your Influence (Bloomington, ID: West Bow Press, 2012), xi.