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Amos 7:14-15 • Spiritual Prequalification

“Then Amos replied to Amaziah, ‘I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet; for I am a herdsman and a grower of sycamore figs. But the Lord took me from following the flock and the Lord said to me, “Go prophesy to My people Israel.”‘”
    —Amos 7:14-15 (NASB)

David was a shepherd called to be king, Elisha was called from the plough to be Elijah’s replacement, Peter and John called from their fishing boats, Matthew from his tax collector’s booth, and Amos from his flocks and orchards to speak as directed by God. God’s calling is not prequalified by status, education, heritage, or any of the most common blanks for which we’d have to provide a description on a resume. What these examples all have in common is a willingness to immediately leave the old life completely behind to convey God’s message as directed. They were all committed to His Word.

But just as the fishermen’s occupation symbolized a greater “catch” that they would pursue, and a greater field that the ploughman would tend, so Amos’ earthly occupations foreshadowed a greater work to come. As a shepherd he was a guide and protector of the herd, just as Israel now needed. As a “grower of sycamore figs”, it’s worth noting that this particular fruit must be cut open at the right time and allowed to stand for 4 days in order to ripen. God’s Word through Amos needed to cut and penetrate if there was any hope for a spiritual harvest to be realized by Israel.

Although Amos, like so many of our biblical role models, lacked the earthly credentials to assume the roles and responsibilities that would be required by man, the truth is that God was actually providing all the preparation and training they needed to be activated into His service. From birth God implanted in each of us the traits necessary to carry out the particular work for the kingdom He’s always planned for us to accomplish on His behalf.

“He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,”
    —Ephesians 1:9-11 (NASB)

You’re already “pre-qualified”; all that’s left is to respond to His call.