When You Aren’t Gifted, God Equips the Called

Today’s post from Jonathan Pearson is part of Hinneh: a blog series on vocation and calling. If you’d rather read all the posts from the series in a short ebook, the writers have generously made it available for free. You can download a PDF copy here, or downloads in Epub (most tablets/e-readers) and Mobi (Kindle) formats are available as well. To receive the rest of the series in your inbox, sign up here


God calls people.

It’s one of the foundational understandings in scripture. Throughout the Old Testament, The Gospels, and the Epistles we see God calling people to do His work.

I don’t understand why God would use people. All I know is that by his grace and wisdom He calls us to do eternity shaking, difference-making, and life transforming stuff.

As I was wrestling with the call God placed on my life at an early age (I still wrestle with the specific calling and I pray I always will), one of the things I always heard was,

“Look how God has gifted you to find what He’s called you to do.”

I was told to take a spiritual gifts inventory and pray about whether or not God was calling me into “full time ministry.” This is sound advice. There’s nothing wrong with considering our passions and our gifts to some extent. However, one of the things I’ve learned as I’ve gotten a little older and wiser (hopefully) is that God doesn’t always equip us before He calls us. In fact, He often doesn’t equip us until after He’s called us.

We see countless examples of God equipping the called throughout the Bible.

  • Moses struggled with God because he lacked so many tools to do the work God called him to do. God equipped him along the way.
  • Abraham was an old man when God placed the call on his life. God did the miraculous and equipped him for it.
  • David had no real skills to be king. God called him out of his pasture and into the king’s palace anyway.
  • Jesus laid his divineness aside and followed God step by step in order to complete His call.
  • Peter had a big mouth and struggled with His faith. God equipped him as he boldly declared the name of Jesus at Pentecost.

The list could be much more extensive. The point is this…

Just because you don’t feel currently equipped for the call you feel God is whispering in your ear doesn’t mean you’re hearing things.

I believe with all of my heart that God gives gifts to us for the edification and growth of the Church. Sometimes, those come early on and before the call, but it seems to me like that people that shake eternity for Jesus are the ones that are willing to step out and say, “God, I need you because I don’t have all the tools I need to do this.” They’re the ones God uses greatly.

Don’t wait on all the gifts to know if you’re called. Just seek God’s voice.

Jonathan Pearson is the Orangeburg Campus Pastor at Cornerstone Community Church and the author of Next Up.