If you ask me to manage an office, I could do that. If you ask me to edit a document so it is client-ready, I’d say yes with confidence. If you ask me to lead a Sunday School group, I would have no problem. If you me a question about Scripture, I’ll probably have an answer. I’ve studied and put in a significant amount of time regarding these activities and I’ve gained wisdom through experience.
Most people start at the bottom and work their way up to reach the top echelon. It takes time. It is virtually unheard of for a university graduate to be offered the CEO or CFO position. Instead, the graduate must start in an entry management position before climbing the corporate ladder. Even an uneducated person can reach the top, but it takes longer than a university graduate.
Why then would the Lord use a group of ragamuffin tradesmen to lead a movement that changed the world? All of the original apostles, save Paul, were uneducated with no perceived political clout or honour.
It’s like it is opposite day in the kingdom of heaven. In fact, it’s not just opposite day but simply opposite all the time. Jesus told us the first will be last and the last will be first. Jesus said if someone sues you for your tunic; give him your coat as well. God chose the foolish things confound the wise.
I was reminded of this kingdom truth again in the past week. I quickly become intimidated by those I perceive as more ‘advanced’ in the faith. Often they are older and I’ve always been taught to defer to my elders. While it’s true that we should honour those that the Lord has established, when God has given us gifts and a calling it’s wise for us to be found faithful to walk in them.
Promotion in the kingdom of heaven is not based on how long you’ve worked for something, but rather, do you seek after Jesus. Peter and John walked in great authority and yet they were unschooled men (Acts 4:13); Paul exhorts Timothy to not let anyone look down on him because he is young, but to rather be an example (1 Timothy 4:12). Jesus said all authority was given to him and inferred all that authority to us, his body (Matthew 28:18-20). There is no junior Holy Spirit and the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in us (Ephesians 1:18-21).
It seems opposite to what we’ve been taught for so long, and it’s hard to make a mind shift. Do you get caught up by intimidation by those who have been in the faith longer? How do you combat your thoughts to change your mindset?