Greetings precious people. In todayís article I would like to look at a subject from Godís Word, the Bible, which most of us can relate to, inadequacy. Inadequacy as defined in Websterís Dictionary is: the quality, state, or instance of being inadequate; not equal to the purpose; insufficient to effect the object or situation.
Every walk of life offers circumstances and situations that stir up feelings of inadequacy. As a student in school, we may enter a class where we feel totally out of place, questioning our ability to grasp the concepts that are being taught. For me, it was algebra. To this very day, I still donít get it. This sad fact is made evident when my older boys have asked for help with their homework in Algebra 1 & 2. Other times we may be told at our work to take on a certain task that we feel totally inadequate to accomplish. In sports, there are times when as a team or individual we face an opponent that we know is better. Parenting is another area of life that can bring great feelings of inadequacy. Before my wife and I had children, I thought I knew everything there was to raising children, and I wasnít shy about letting people know it. Then we had children, and I realized two things. First, I wasnít as adequate as I once thought; second, I was a fool for thinking I knew so much.
There are numerous examples in the Word of God, the Bible, of people like you and I that experienced feelings of inadequacy. One such person was a man named Gideon. He lived during a time known in the Bible as the time of the Judges. A group of people known as the Midianites was making life very difficult for the people of Israel. At the end of the harvest season they would descend upon the farms that the Israelites had been growing then take all their food from them. The people were defenseless; they could do nothing against such formable foes.
One day, an angel of the Lord, appeared to Gideon. Listen to what happened, in Judges6:11-17, "Now the Angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, "The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!" Gideon said to Him, "O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, 'Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?' But now the LORD has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites." Then the LORD turned to him and said, "Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?" So he said to Him, "O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house." And the LORD said to him, "Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man."
Here the angel announces to Gideon that he was Godís man to deliver the people of Israel out of the hands of their enemies. Gideon thought for sure that God was making a big mistake. He said, "I am the least of the least. I donít have the ability or know how for such a task. Iím just a farmer hiding out in this cave trying to hide a little bit of the food that I had secretly hidden away." Gideon felt totally inadequate for what God was calling him to do.
Another person that I would like to introduce to you is a lovely young lady by the name or Esther. Esther was a young Hebrew girl that became the wife of a king by the name of Ahasuerus. This made Esther the queen.
In the kingdom of Ahasuerus, there arose to power a very wicked man by the name of Haman. Haman hated the Hebrew people and devised a plan to have them all annihilated. Estherís uncle Mordecai heard of Hamanís plan and told Esther that she had to do something about it or they would all be wiped out, including her. Well that doesnít seem like any big deal right? After all sheís the queen. Things were a bit different in those days. No one, including the queen could approach the king unless he beckoned him or her to come before him. If anyone dared to come before him without an invitation, they would lose their head. What could Esther do, she felt inadequate to do anything.
Listen to what her uncle Mordecai said, Esther 4:13-14, "Then Mordecai told them to answer Esther: "Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king's palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" Talk about a difficult place to be in!
Feelings of inadequacy are not only natural, but good also. Too many people suffer today of an overdose of "self-confidence". Self-confidence is the opposite of inadequacy and is nothing more than pride. Confidence placed in anyone other than Jesus Christ, is misplaced confidence at best. 2 Corinthians4:7, "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us."
God will not use the proud, self-confident person to accomplish His will. Listen to what the Bible says, in 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, "For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God--and righteousness and sanctification and redemption-- that, as it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the LORD." For the person that has placed their trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we know where our sufficiency comes form, not us but from Jesus Christ. In 2 Corinthians 3:5-6, "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."
Listen precious people, Jesus Christ the Lord is all you will ever need, He will be your sufficiency and adequacy. Trust Him today.
If you have any questions, comments, or prayer requests you can contact me at: Calvary Chapel of Alpine, P.O. Box 1528, Alpine, Ca. 91903 or call 619-445-2589, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Drew Macintyre is pastor of Calvary Chapel of Alpine