No Class Required

April 6, 2018

“Where is my faith? –even deep down, right in, there is nothing but emptiness and darkness – My God – how painful is this unknown pain. It pains without ceasing – I have no faith. I dare not utter the words and thoughts that crowd in my heart and make me suffer untold agony. So many unanswered questions live within me – I am afraid to uncover them – because of the blasphemy – if there be God, please forgive me.” –Mother Theresa, The Doubts of a Saint

At times, even Mother Theresa felt far from God.

The one who kissed hollow, sunken faces and cared for lepers had doubts.

She experienced silence and distance.

She questioned His existence.

The denial of it isolates.

I can’t admit I have sin and doubt, feel far from God without others questioning my heart.

I must have hidden sin.

Maybe I’m not in relationship at all.

After all, real Christians consider it all joy.

Praise Him in the storm.

Mother Theresa’s journals reveal doubt but her life demonstrates her faith.

Her belief God is love and loving God manifested means serving and loving His people.

Love that touches untouchables and the forgotten.

The Bible reveals God loves and uses imperfect, sinful people to accomplish His will. Click To Tweet

People who question.

People who doubt.

People who fail.

God called David, “a man after God’s own heart” and used him to conquer the city of Jerusalem, destroy “high places”, bring the ark to Jerusalem, set up a dynasty through covenant and unswerving loyalty, eliminate the surrounding enemies of God – including the Amalekites, Philistines, Moabites, Syrians and Ammonites and united the north and south into a single kingdom – Israel.

David’s back story included multiple wives, concubines, murder and adultery.

He was someone today’s church wouldn’t allow on the hospitality team.

Some churches might refuse to baptize him.

My point isn’t church is bad and we shouldn’t have standards.

My point is only God knows a man’s heart.

My relationship with God is unique to me and how He wired me for His purposes and kingdom.

Throughout the Bible, God used imperfect people who sinned.

We are the body – a toe looks and functions differently than a hand or an ear.

We are dusty because we are dust.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

I look and see things that don’t line up with God’s Word.

I see it in your life but not in mine.

Unless your life looks like I think it should, you can’t serve or lead or join ministry.

Maybe that’s why Mother Theresa struggled privately and alone.

Planks and specks.

Rocks and stones.

And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” Luke 15:16

I justify and turn a blind eye to my sin while I highlight yours.

I disqualify those God loves based on judgment of men – my judgment.

People God wants to use.

People Jesus died for.

God’s ways aren’t mine.

• Seek

• Trust

• Love

The economy of God is counterintuitive, upside down.

Jesus didn’t come to be CEO.

He didn’t come to overthrow government, the ruthless Roman rule, as people of His day thought He should.

He came as a baby to live a life of homeless poverty, die a brutal, criminal’s death, nailed to a tree for crimes He did not commit.

My thoughts are not His thoughts.

His ways are not mine.

He picks unlikely people.

Disciples complain to Jesus:

“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in Your Name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”

Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in My Name can in the next moment say anything bad about Me, for whoever is not against us is for us.” Mark 9:38-40

John says they aren’t qualified, they haven’t taken the official discipleship class on demon removal – they aren’t properly trained.

Jesus says – They’re doing My work – I qualify them, not a class.

When I look to God and make it about His purposes, He takes care of the details – people, places and things.

My job is to listen and obey.

Love God, love people.

Follow.

Trust Him to do what I can’t in unimaginable ways.

Jesus didn't recruit religious leaders or Temple attend-ers. Click To Tweet

He used regular people from all walks of life – including common, uneducated fishermen, women and shepherds – those considered the lowest of the low.

He uses foolish things to shame the wise, weak to shame strong.

Unlikely heroes who help people experience God – no class required.

More about Liz

I'm a free spirit. I hate rules and legalism. I love art and nature, music, the beach and dogs. I like to garden, take pictures and read. I tend to speak my mind and have a rip-the-band-aid -off approach to life. (Brace yourself, this might hurt.)

4 Comments
    1. Liz, thank you for this post. I have observed pastors and fellow Christian laborers falling into the trap of deciding how far someone has matured in the faith or highlighting how far they still need to go. My eyes and ears have been sensitive to these kinds of discussions because I, a 40 something year old speaker who didn’t know Bible stories and hymns, has been called to do His kingdom work. Oh, Lord, help us walk confidently in Your plans for our lives. Help us fix our eyes on You who say we are worthy to serve. Help us with wise words to share with those who make judgements upon other people You chose to shine Your light. Have a blessed Saturday my dear sister and coworker for Him.

      1. Heyyy! Hi Julie…thank you for a great comment – you get it! What you write is exactly where this post is rooted. It hurts my heart to see genuine believers who want to serve told “they’re not ready” instead of giving them something to do. God Himself says the amount of time we are followers doesn’t determine our maturity. You are an example of this truth. Thank you again for contributing to a conversation I think is important. We all have something to give. Blessings to you and your ministry – I love how God is growing what you do! ❤️

    1. Reading through this reminded me of the song by Sidewalk Prophets called Save My Life….the lines in particular (relating to Mother Theresa’s quote:

      I’m the pastor at your church
      For all these years you’ve listened to my words
      You think I know all the answers

      But I’ve got doubts and questions too
      Behind this smile I’m really just like you
      Afraid and tired and insecure

      Excellent post!

      1. Hi Ben! Thank you for reading and your great comment – I love that God can use anyone and He’s the one who qualifies us. He is showing me this over and over – in Amos 7, Amos talks about how he has no experience or background as a prophet – yet God called him, a lowly shepherd to deliver His words. So encouraging! Thank you again for the blessing of your comment. ❤️

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