Specialized to Go

We live in an age of expertise.  Everything from the medical world to athletics, and computer technology to engineering, the workforce has gotten more specialized.  Authorities in certain areas a called upon constantly in the media for their opinions.  Training has gotten more specific and the workplace for that training has narrowed because of it.  This is the natural progression of a society that is learning more and applying that knowledge as a service to humanity.

Photo courtesy of Rita Morais (Unsplash.com)

Is there, however, a caution necessary when considering this and the role of a disciple?  Is there potential for us to approach being a disciple of Jesus with a “specialist mindset”?  If so, is there potential for too many people top feel “unqualified”?  How “expert” must one be to fulfill the great commission of Christ to make disciples?  Or, even to witness for Christ in one’s neighborhood?

Amos is an individual who shatters the specialist theory within the confines of the work of the Lord.  By his own admission this prophet did not have the specific training or background to do what God commanded him to do.

14 Then Amos answered, and said to Amaziah:

“I was no prophet,
Nor was I a son of a prophet,
But I was a sheepbreeder
And a tender of sycamore fruit.
15 Then the Lord took me as I followed the flock,
And the Lord said to me,
‘Go, prophesy to My people Israel.’

Amos 7:14-15

As a sheepbreeder or “herdsman” (as some translations put it), his expertise was in a different area.  He even clarifies his lack of pedigree further by saying he was not the son of a prophet.  What he was, though, was obedient. The Lord told him to go and proclaim God’s truth.  Talk about a career shift!

Amos was from Tekoa which was south of Jerusalem near the dead sea.  His northward mission was to a place where he was considered a foreigner.  He was the representative of the Lord’s message. A missionary.  He was not groomed, nor trained as a preacher.  But, was used of the Lord because he obeyed the Lord when the Lord told him to go.

His bold message was communicated in a place devoid of the Gospel’s presence.  His influence was so significant it was annoyingly, acknowledged to the king!

 10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel. The land is not able to bear all his words.

Let’s let the example of Amos ring out loud and clear.  The Lord equips those willing to be used.  Every breathing believer has been given a command by Jesus… GO (Matthew 28:18-20).  Let’s allow the Lord to direct the extent of that going because Jesus has already outlined the plan…

…you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

We need to look no further than the book of Acts to see how that power of the Holy Spirit used common people in extraordinary ways to accomplish astounding things.

Dear resolute, active, harvest-minded disciple, let’s go in confidence that the Lord equips, specializes and empowers those who are determined to follow His plan…regionally, nationally, internationally and to the farthest reaches of the earth (Acts 1:8).