What two things do Vance Havner, Charles Spurgeon, A. W. Tozer, G. Campbell Morgan, Robert T. Ketchum, and D. L. Moody all have in common? All of them had profound national influence for Christ and a lifetime of successful Christian ministry, and none of would have qualified to be on the pastoral staff most churches because of a lack of formal education. Now there is something to think about.
Peter and John were common men who were uneducated and untrained formally, but they had the advantage of having been with Jesus. They were powerfully used to change the world for Christ.
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)
The Scriptures say that knowledge “puffs up.” That is a way of saying that education can breed pride, which is the death of real ministry. A continual awareness of need, weakness, and pockets of ignorance have a humbling effect which can drive a person to the books, to their knees, and to God for help. A person with an education should be grateful, not proud. A person who lacks education should be a humble, life-long learner, not proud – maligning those with formal training.
If you are discouraged and wonder if you can be used of God, get to know Jesus intimately. He uses people who have been with him. Have you been with Jesus? Are you walking with Jesus? Are you enjoying fellowship with God? Education can be a good thing, but it is no substitute for having been with Jesus.