Dinnertime with our six children was a circus. If any of you grew up in a large family, you know what I’m talking about. We had a Lazy Susan in the middle of our big round farmhouse table and I’d put the food on it. After we prayed, that Lazy Susan was far from lazy. That thing spun faster than the Zero Gravity Ride at Six Flags. It’s amazing that the dishes didn’t fly off. The reason why there was a shark feeding frenzy was that 3 of those 6 children were boys with appetites that rivaled Rob Gronkowski, and the girls knew it. So because there was only a certain amount of food, especially if it was Taco Casserole night, they wanted to make sure that they got theirs. The boys wanted to make sure that they got a big piece and the girls wanted to make sure that the boys didn’t get served first and leave nothing in the pan.
But this was ridiculous because I always made plenty. No one starved. But the kids still felt that there was a chance they could get less than someone else, and they acted as though there might not be enough to go around.
And while I can joke about those crazy nights now, I realize that this scarcity mentality is prevalent in me as well. And I’m sure I’m not alone. We struggle to get our share as if someone might take what we feel entitled to. We worry that our lack of qualifications will cause us to be overlooked when the goodies get handed out so we fight and scratch and strive to make things happen for ourselves. After all, God might run out of blessing and favor by the time He gets to us!
Today I want us to look honestly at the scarcity mentality that opens the door for all kinds of bad attitudes and negative emotions, like competitiveness, envy and the insatiable drive to have more and be more. I believe that if we can gain the understanding that God doesn’t call the qualified, but He qualifies the called and that God has more than enough favor, talent and opportunity for each of us, we might actually get off our blessed assurance and do something for God. I’m tired of attending conferences and services and going back to my ordinary life where I live in two dimensions and never experience all that God called me to be and do. I’m tired of hearing about what other people are doing for God and then allowing my scarcity mentality regarding God’s infinite resources to keep me barricaded behind my fear. How about you? Are you ready to challenge the things that hold you back? Are you ready to begin to identify your next steps of obedience?
Let’s imagine for a moment that I have a piping hot extra-large pizza. Now if I had this pizza all for myself, I doubt I would be able to finish it. But if I had this pizza and I invite a couple friends, we’re probably going to finish it. We’ll be satisfied. We won’t be hungry. But if I had to cut one pizza into pieces for 200 people, the pieces would be minuscule. No one would be satisfied. And if you were one of those 200 hungry people when I handed you your teeny tiny piece, you’d probably teeter on the brink of Hangry and start looking on your phone for the nearest place from which to order more food!
And that’s how most of us look at God’s supply of talent, ability, anointing, favor, and opportunities. We act like there’s only one pizza and we all have to share it. When we see others succeeding, it sends us the message that there is now less opportunity in the box for us. When we see someone prospering, it sends us the message that there’s now less money and blessing left for us.
But what we need to understand is that the Lord has a billion square foot pizza of opportunity, favor, prosperity, talent and ability for each one of us. And that’s shrinking the size of it just to be able to put it into words! It’s actually an unlimited supply.
God has an infinite amount of everything we need to succeed and prosper in the things that He has called us to. What God calls, He provides for. Who He calls, he qualifies. But our mindset of limited resources can keep us from stepping out into our purpose in fear that the resources we need won’t be there when we need it. And our mindset that we have to be qualified before we step out is going to keep us locked in the starting gate.
Let’s look at story of the lame man who met Jesus at the Pool of Bethesda recorded in John Chapter 5.
The Healing at the Pool: John 5:5-8
5 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  [b] 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him,“Do you want to get well?”
7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
This is a great picture of most of us when we know that God has called us to something but we also know that we don’t have what it takes to pull it off. We are all too aware that we are completely unqualified.
We act like the man in this story. He would see that the angel had stirred the water, and yet he had no way to get into the pool. He didn’t have the resources he needed to access the blessing. So what did he do? He just lay in that spot begging, settling for his lot in life. That man thought that he couldn’t walk without the stirring of the water to heal him. And the stinky part is that every time the water was stirred, someone else got there first! Someone else got his slice of the pie. So year after year, he remained stuck.
Until one day when Jesus arrives on the scene and just speaks the word and the man is healed.
This poor man had been looking at the once a year stirring of the water as his shot to get up and walk. And it’s true that until Jesus came, that was the only shot. There was limited access to healing and favor and if you missed it you were stuck until the angel stirred the water again.
But when Jesus came on the scene he changed everything. He opened up the unlimited supply of healing, favor and grace and showed the world that we can receive strength and ability anytime, anywhere. There isn’t a limited supply any longer. Now everything you need is only a prayer away. Everything needed for this life and for success is no longer found in extraneous things, in our abilities or good works. It is found in a person. The person of Jesus Christ. The new covenant is a covenant of Now Faith – not ‘wait around and see if you’re one of the lucky ones’- faith.
But knowing that there’s an unlimited supply of favor, blessing, anointing, and provision, talent, resource isn’t going to do us any good if we don’t stop letting the fact that we’re unqualified hold us back. We’re just like the invalid sitting by the Pool of Bethesda when we allow our feelings of being unqualified to paralyze us.
- What things are you called to do that you are unqualified to do?
- What deep waters has the Lord called you out into that you know are over your head
- Are you facing situations that are completely out of your league and beyond your experience? If so, you’re in the situations where God shines.
Dear Lord Jesus, I come to you with a humble heart admitting that I have limited You and made You too small in my eyes. I have acted as though You were unable to do anything with the paltry gifts I bring to the table and the lack of qualifications I feel that I have. I forgot that all You need is my willingness and obedience, and with that You can move a mountain or feed a throng of people! Lord, help me to remember that You qualify the called, not the other way around. Remind me that You are making me – I am not making myself. Help me to trust You completely and step out in faith and boldness when you call me out on the water! Amen.
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