I Am Unable
Kent here, kicking off the first post here. Admittedly, it is a little weird posting on a Blog that assumes that Ashleigh and I are already married in the URL (KentAndAshleighSaidIDo) but I have some thoughts, a day off, and the motivation to write. What a wonderfully rare circumstance.
God often (Seriously often, like every few weeks) will bring coinciding and overlapping themes in my life at the same time. For example, I started reading the book of Joshua the other day, only to see that The Lord exalts Joshua by saying he will be as Moses was toward the people of Israel. I started to desire reading more on Moses before getting into Joshua, so I began reading Exodus, shortly after reading a scripture where Jesus was talking about Moses looking forward to His earthly ministry. Ashleigh was somewhere in Numbers the same time as Chris Adams, exactly at the same time that Mark Driscoll, unbeknownst to me, was beginning a sermon series on the 10 Commandments. Rodney from Gateway House of Prayer also spoke several weeks ago on the life of Moses, and I had to just laugh about it all and realize that God was trying to speak to me through all of these “coincidences.”
Basically there is this guy named Moses who is seriously unqualified for leadership, and no church today would hire him based on his criminal background alone. Nevertheless, God calls him to lead the Israelite people out of slavery in Egypt and into freedom. After fumbling through as many excuses as he could before finally exclaiming “Oh Lord, would you just send someone else to do it?”, Moses can’t resist The Lord any longer and goes on to fulfill the calling on his life. God, with much patience, exercises His power through signs and wonders, frees the Israelite people, and leads them through the wilderness toward a better future. But at every turn, at every unknown, at every time where they are in lack, instead of trusting in The God who performed all of these miracles (which they all witnessed with their own eyes) they decide to trust in their infinitely small minds and grumble against Moses (although the Bible attributes this grumbling against The Lord) and God, saying things like “It would have been better for us to die in Egypt.” God had literally walled up the Red Sea from flowing so that the entire nation of Israel could walk through the water on dry land, and within probably a week they are already complaining and wishing they had been left alone.
This story does not terminate or find it’s end in Moses being a great leader, or even a great person. Moses was as flawed as you and me. At times his faith faltered and his patience wore thin. Moses is just a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ, who in His perfect life and death rescued His people from the power of sin and death. Moses was flawed, whereas Jesus was flawless. The Old Testament is about Jesus, and not understanding that will lead to many problems with how we view the Old Testament writings.
In life God will call us to do things that we are not qualified for. For example, marriage. I am not qualified in my strength to uphold the expectations that God has placed on me for my marriage to Ashleigh. I am a seriously messed up man. God, even more than Ashleigh, knows this fact intimately. Yet God, does not lessen His calling on me in light of my obvious, glaring issues. God asks me to die to myself, take up my cross daily, put away my selfishness, and serve Ashleigh as Christ served the church. Let us keep in mind that Jesus did not die for a pretty bride. Jesus died for a bride that has a pretty sordid past, who was prone to, as the Bible says, “whoring around.” Jesus didn’t die for a pretty bride. Jesus was in fact crucified by His bride. It would be like me marrying Ashleigh, and during her vows she simply says “Until your death, with a gun in my hand, do we part.” That would probably be a good time for me to get out. Todd hasn’t brought up that red flag in counseling yet.
Yet Jesus looked past the pain of His cross, toward His future Glory. Faith is looking past both the riches and rags of this world, and believing in a future-oriented reality of being with God. So when things get tough in our marriage I am not called to a life of grumbling Ashleigh, as the people of Israel did, or looking elsewhere for fleeting pleasures, because the point of marriage is not my happiness, nor is the point of my marriage Ashleigh in and of herself. The point is knowing Jesus better. God has given me a woman that is very different than me, and that was in His wisdom and His mercy. His wrath would have been listening to all the prayers I had prayed throughout my life where I did not have His best in mind for me. He didn’t give me Ashleigh and then whip out a little notepad and take notes on how He could pair people up better in the future. He knows I need someone who is more organized, very disciplined, Type-capital-A, more detail-oriented, passionate about evangelism, passionate for others. Again, it was His mercy to give me those things, even though they daily grind against what I believe to be best for me. When I am tempted to be threatened by her strengths, or mouth off about how my way is better, I am called to love her, die to myself, and most importantly ask Jesus for the strength to do so. The truth is I am unable, and unqualified, to do what He has called me to do. But this is meant to produce in me a humility that could not be produced under any other circumstances.
Be encouraged when you find yourself completely unable and unqualified. Ask The Lord to give you what you need more than what you desire, tell Him you are overwhelmed with His calling and ask Him for the strength to become the person He desire you to be. Do not wallow and grumble. Confess to Him your sins of unbelief. He may not answer your questions, but He does not despise a broken heart and He draws close to the humble.