Overcoming Inadequacy

By Ryan Shaw
Ryan serves as the international lead facilitator of Student Volunteer Movement 2 and currently lives among the unreached.

“Is anything too hard for ME?”

In Jeremiah 32:26-27, we find the Lord asking the prophet this poignant and searching question in the middle of an impossible situation.

Jeremiah was responding to God’s command to buy a field in Jerusalem after he had just prophesied that it would be destroyed at the hands of the Babylonians. God responded that He would indeed punish the people, but would also one day faithfully bring them back into Jerusalem.

Jeremiah’s purchase of the field was to be a symbolic act, meant to demonstrate that God would again restore, resettle, and bring hope to His people in that city. In the midst of something that seemed so impossible, God would make good on His promise.

If asked the same question, most of us would quickly answer “NO – there’s nothing too hard for you Lord,” but our lives sometimes reveal a very different response. Let’s spin the question a little bit and ask it this way, “Is there anything too hard for God to do through you?”

Sure, we believe in theory that God can do anything, but when we personalize it – bringing it home to what we believe about God’s ability to work through us – we tend to back down. This question gets to the heart of the sense of inadequacy, fear and self-condemnation so common in our generation .

We believe that God is supremely great, and yet behave as though He couldn’t use us to fulfill His purposes in our world. For many of us, thoughts like “God could never use me in a significant way” or, “My past is so full of junk, I’m just happy that He has saved me,” go round and round in our minds.

Yes, it’s a wonderful thing that He has saved us, but let’s remember that He has done so for a purpose greater than the enjoyment of heaven with Him one day.

He’s called each one of us to live a life entirely sold out, as a vessel of honor for Him, an intercessor who will stand in the gap for an entire generation.

We are called to be His voice to the forgotten, people who will never hear the glorious truth unless we go to them. We value the eternal over the temporal rewards of this earth.

“Lord, I see that the way that I look at myself is so far out of line with your thoughts toward me and the way that your Word declares that you see me. I ask your forgiveness as I recognize that this is sin.

I ask that as I study your Word, you would wash over me with living water and heal my poor self image.

You have called me to live by great faith, and one of the ways to do this is to believe that you are able to use my life for your kingdom purposes. I believe this, and ask that you would continue to change my heart that I can walk in it wholeheartedly.

I choose to daily take captive those negative and self defeating thoughts that come into mind so easily, and receive of your boundless grace to live victoriously, with a positive view of what you desire to do through me.

I give you my life and my inadequacies. Have your way in me!”
Scriptures to hold on to in times of discouragement …

Psalm 40:1&5 Psalm 139:17-18 1 Peter 2:4-10 1 John 3:1 Jeremiah 31:3 Ephesians 2:4

Deuteronomy 7:7-9, 33:12 Job 7:17-18 Isaiah 43:1-7 Isaiah 54:10 Jeremiah 29:11 Hosea 2:19

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