Disqualified: 1. To pronounce someone ineligible for a prize. 2. To eliminate someone from further competition or an activity because of an infringement or violation of the rules.
If you’re an Australian, chances are (whether you’re a sports fan or not) you would have been glued to the telly for the whole of the Sydney Olympics.
I remember vividly the moment Jane Saville was disqualified. It was, quite simply, one of the most heartbreaking scenes of the 2000 Olympics. Jane Saville, the hometown Aussie hero, was literally less than one minute away from entering the Olympic stadium to claim victory in the 20km walk. I understand that the packed stadium went from hysterical cheering to stunned silence as the scene was shown on large screens to the crowd inside the stadium. The red paddle was held up and immediately Jane collapsed into tears and was escorted off the course.
I remember thinking, imagine being Jane Saville. Imagine having the hopes of the nation on your shoulders. Imagine being seconds away from winning gold and then having the proverbial rug pulled out from beneath you. And then I thought, imagine being that poor official, a fellow Australian. Imagine being the one that had to hold up that red paddle and tell Jane she was disqualified. Current leader. Champion. Fellow Australian. Disqualified. Eliminated. Ineligible to win the prize.
I don’t know anyone who likes being told they have been disqualified.
For a long time after my recent three year season of disappointment and discouragement, I have believed I am disqualified by God. Disqualified for ministry. Disqualified from doing ‘greater’ things for Him.
He says the enemy doesn’t want me to live a ‘greater’ life, he wants me to live a “lesser loser life”. He wants me to believe I am disqualified and wants to keep me trapped in condemnation believing: “You’ll never be good enough. God could never use someone like you with your weaknesses, hangups, secret struggles and dysfunctions. You should never believe you can be anything better than what you are right now. You lost all chance of doing things for God when you walked away from Him. When you lost your vision and your faith and your trust in God, that meant you are disqualified.”
The truth is, nobody is going to do ‘greater’ things for God just because they’ve got it all together. And equally, nobody is going to be disqualified because they don’t have it all together! God doesn’t do ‘greater’ things exclusively through great people. He does them through anyone who is willing to trust Him in a ‘greater’ way.
I know there will be a cost but I am willing to trust Him in a ‘greater’ way again and even if I have to say over and over again “I am not disqualified”, I will.