Unqualified. That was my conclusion as I sifted through hundreds of resumes for the one open position. My career in Human Resources had included responsibility for recruitment and I spent many hours searching for qualified candidates among the many unqualified who applied. I couldn’t understand why some had even bothered to send a resume when they clearly did not meet the requirements of the job.
But maybe I did understand. Desperation drives us to do many things we wouldn’t normally do. For job seekers, it’s desperation to find a way to pay the bills, put food on the table, and once again feel productive.
And maybe…just maybe…I understand on another level. How many times have I tried to impress God out of a desperate need to convince Him I am worthy of His salvation? To show Him that He made the right choice when He called me to be His child? Yet I can almost hear Him say it. Unqualified!
I am unqualified to impress God. Unqualified to present myself clean before Him. Unqualified to prove how worthy I am…because I’m not.
But Jesus is qualified. Qualified to die in my place because He had no sins for which He had to pay. Qualified because God accepted His sacrifice, and our receipt for that payment is His resurrection. Qualified because His is God, the second person of the Trinity, the only One who could stand before the Father on my behalf so that the Father can declare me justified.
And I am unqualified to keep myself clean – sanctified – apart from the empowering work of the Holy Spirit. Unqualified to stand alone against the enemy of my soul apart from the One who has declared Himself to be my Defender. Unqualified to make myself better because Christ did not die to make me better, He died to make me brand new!
Finally, I am unqualified to bring this worn-out body to glory. Unqualified to translate this body of clay into a glorious, eternal body. Unqualified to see Him face to face apart from His call on my spirit the moment I close these earthly eyes.
Unqualified? Absolutely. But I don’t need to be driven by desperation to apply for a job that was never meant to be mine. God the Father planned my salvation. God the Son accomplished it for me. God the Holy Spirit affects it in me on a continuous basis.
So what am I qualified to do? I’m qualified to say yes to this gift of salvation God graciously offers. I’m qualified to cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He works in me moment by moment to conform me to the image of Christ. I’m qualified to rest in His love for me when this temporal life ends and the real adventure begins.
The enemy of our souls works tirelessly to convince us of two extremes. We can fall into the trap of thinking our worthlessness makes us unqualified for Christ’s sacrifice – that we’re just not good enough for God to love us that much. Or the enemy wants us to think we are qualified to make ourselves worthy of God’s love.
When we recognize these lies for what they are, we will rest in the One who loves us despite our lack of qualification…and then qualifies us for the greatest position of all – the position of being sons and daughters of our great God.