2 Corinthians 3:5 (NLT) It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.
There are certain occupations that require that you be certified before you can work in that field. Once you have been trained and receive the proper certification, then you can begin to work in that occupation. You are considered qualified to do that particular job. That qualification gives you confidence to do the work and also assures the people that you are doing the job for that they are in good hands. Your certificates proving that you are trained to do the work are usually on display for all to see. Many people are proud of their accomplishments and of their ability to do a good job.
When it comes to the work of the Kingdom of God, however, it's different. While we have seminaries for those that want to go into full-time ministry and while you can work towards a diploma or even a "Master of Divinity" degree, that alone will not qualify you. The Apostle Paul was a very highly trained and learned man and was a rising star among the Pharisees. That was before his conversion. In addition to his training, His salvation experience was incredibly powerful and unique. Jesus Himself stopped him on the road to Damascus where Paul was going to persecute Christians. Jesus spoke directly to him. With all of that training and with that supernatural experience, he is the one who wrote the verse above. He didn't think that he was qualified on his own. It was God who qualified him and everyone else that was working with him.
That's encouraging news for all of us because serving the Lord Jesus in any type of ministry is intimidating because you are not working for earthly gains or glory but for the glory of God. One of the issues that sometimes arises when someone gets a ministry degree is thinking that they are now well qualified to do the work of the Lord. If anyone depends on their own abilities in doing that work, it will not go well at all for that person. Remember that Jesus did not call qualified people, but He qualified those He called. A good number of them were fishermen. He didn't call the teachers or the religious leaders to follow Him because He knew that they were full of themselves and enjoyed getting recognition for themselves. They tried to match wits with Jesus, who was God incarnate, and even accused Him of being in league with Satan. All Jesus asks of anyone is to believe in Him. Once you become one of His followers, He will equip you and qualify you for the work that He has prepared for you to do. He can and will do great things through anyone that makes themselves available to Him. We can participate in advancing the Kingdom of God as He qualifies us and we can experience drawing glory and honor to His Name, which is the highest privilege that we can have. Blessed be the Lord Jesus, who calls us and qualifies us to share in eternal things and to share in His glory (John 17:22).
Pastor Joey Vazquez