Have you ever felt unprepared for a job, test or game? We all have a tendency to procrastinate our preparation, or over-estimate our abilities. The proverbial “butterflies” in the stomach before such an event is a witness against our anxieties about our lack of readiness.
Spiritually this happens in a slightly different way. We are confronted with a ministry task or just a basic command of sharing the Gospel, and we develop a sense of unworthiness. This anxiety, for those who are striving to walk with God, is natural and should be genuine. But, many times people can have a false sense of this unworthiness. The false sense of unworthiness is related to pride and needs to be rooted out. This post is primarily focused on the genuine sense of unworthiness.
In Exodus 6, God is telling Moses that He wants him to speak to Pharaoh, and Moses replies, “I am of uncircumcised lips….” In this phrase we get a glimpse of the sense of unworthiness that Moses feels. But, we need to realize that when God tells us to do something He has already sanctified us to do it. When manuscript copyists would write the name of God in a parchment, they would wash themselves and change their clothes because of the sense of unworthiness. Moses, as a human, was no different in his feeling of unworthiness after his encounters with God.
The classic example is in Isaiah 6 and verse 5 when Isaiah says, “I am a man of unclean lips…”, this again is showing that there is a sense of unworthiness. Whenever we get face to face with God there should be sense of unworthiness. In Proverbs 1:7 we read that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” and again in Proverbs 9:10 its says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” When we encounter God then our experience should be one of total awe at who God is! The Apostle Paul asked that question when he was confronted with God on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:5).
This sense of unworthiness should never paralyze us from serving God. Many times excuses are made, because of pride in our life. But, we need to remember that God is on our side. If we do what we have been commanded to do then God will take care of the rest. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) This verse shows that our responsibility is to prepare by studying God’s Word. There will be two benefits, 1) we will be prepared to teach and preach God’s Word, 2) We will see that we are worthy only because of Christs worthiness.
Don’t let a feeling of not being worthy hinder us from being used by God. Being genuinely humble is what God desires of us, but we need to then serve God faithfully. Prepare, but then rest in God’s Worthiness.