Another semester is about to begin, or for some of us we’re already waist deep in schoolwork. Some have just started or just transferred. Some of us are graduating soon, looking toward an uncertain future. It’s a little unsettling to be graduating soon and seeing what our job prospects look like.
So what are you gonna do when you graduate anyway? Why are you in college, what do you want to study, what do you want to do with this degree? These are some of the questions we get asked, whether by parents or professors or fellow students. And a lot of us have no idea how to answer these questions, let alone one of them. We just know that we’re good at this or that. We look at how much we would make when we graduate and then decide using that. Some of us pray God will show us the right major to be in and worry all the time if we are really following His will. Laying the course for the rest of your life is a scary thing to do. Especially when you don’t feel ready and especially if you watch the news or know what the unemployment rate is for college grads.
Like I said earlier, for a lot of us we want God to show us what to do with our lives. We don’t want a suggestion, or a nudge in a direction. We want a map, a step by step leading from A-Z; that way we don’t have to worry, there’s no uncertainty because God is going to guide me exactly where I should go to school, what I should study, who I should marry, where I should live and work, and a whole list of other things. We want things to be taken care of as if God is a travel planner giving you an itinerary and schedule for your life.
But that just isn’t true. Yes, God knows everything that will ever happen in your life. But He doesn’t give you a path to follow. God has give us free will. We have choices. The way I see it God sees everything that ever has been, ever will and ever could be. He sees all the possibilities of our choices.
For me God is much more like my parents. While sometimes they do try to control my life and tell me what they think I should or shouldn’t do, they don’t force their will upon me. They know that I am an adult and I have to make my choices, good or bad consequences. God is like this. He wants good for us. He has good intentions for our life and occasionally He does have places he has planned for us to go.
Now as Christians we have been called to preach the gospel everywhere, to help the poor and downtrodden and outcasts. The ones who don’t have a voice. We’re called to go to the ends of the earth.
“He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” – Mark 16:15
This doesn’t mean that we’re all called to be missionaries to the farthest reaches of civilization or that we all need to be pastors. It’s been said that God doesn’t called the qualified, He qualifies the called. Just look at who He called in the Bible.
“God calls the unqualified to do the unimaginable.” – Author Unknown
Moses: A stutterer who was called to speak to the king of the superpower of that time and tell him to let his people go.
Gideon: A farmer who led the armies of Israel
David: A shepherd boy who became king
Amos: A shepherd and gardener called to be a prophet.
“Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. 15 But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’” – Amos 7:14
Do we even need to mention Paul/Saul. He was killing christians, until he became one. He didn’t call the people who probably should have gone. He called the people who weren’t necessarily the best choice. He took the skills they had and used them. His message is for the people of the world. Not just the people who are qualified.
Bottom line? God can use anyone, anywhere, anytime. They don’t need to be versed in preaching or theology. They just have to have a love for Jesus and a want to share it with the world.
Paul and Barnabas were worshipping in Antioch when the Holy Spirit moved and told the people to set them apart for the work which He was calling them to do.
“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” - Acts 13:2
What’s interesting is the word worship here.
In Greek the word is translated leitourgeō which basically means a worship service but also to do a service or work, to aid others with your own resources and relieve their poverty. It comes from the word, leitourgos, which meant a public minister. These people were worshipping God in a way that they were using their own resources at their own expense. It doesn’t say that they were pastors or professors of religion or pastoral care majors or anything remotely close to evangelism.
They were normal, everyday people.
This is what God does. He calls everyday, normal people to be the carriers of the Gospel. Yes, He needs pastors and preachers and religion professors. But He also needs business people and doctors and nurses and artists and graphic designers and filmmakers and IT people and writers and journalists and people who work at Starbucks and McDonalds and the mall and Wall Street and Washington. Because there are people that only those people can reach, only they can talk to. He doesn’t need them when they’re only out of high school or college either. He needs them wherever in life they are. People think they can’t do something because they’re too young or too old or something. I don’t see anywhere in the Bible where God says, wait you have to grow up first. He takes you now, wherever you are, whatever you are doing. You just have to be willing to go, to say something, to paint that picture, to write that play, to propose that business plan, to talk to that person you’ve been putting off talking to.
So in the words of a famous slogan.
Just do it.