An intriguing question: How do you respond when God calls?
God calls people to serve him full-time or part-time in the ministry.
Note: This article is written for those who have received a call to ministry and are in the process of giving an answer to the call of God. Also to anyone who is considering to be in the ministry.
“God does not choose people because of their ability, but because of their availability.”
― Brother Andrew (Source)
That is a true statement. If you have ever attended a bible college you would have heard that statement several times, almost every month by the time you graduate. It’s a powerful statement.
Over the years, I have seen several students graduate from the bible college. Unfortunately, most don’t enter into ministry. I am not pointing my finger at them as I write this. But that’s a fact. And I have pondered over that for years. Why don’t people go into ministry after studies if that is what they have trained and prepared themselves for all those years?
In my batch of 36 students, only a few – about 10 of them are in ministry. Some are still studying, some have chosen to be in different organizations.
Well, maybe that’s what they wanted to do.
Jesus said, the Harvest is plenty but the laborers are few. Matthew 9:37.
What does that mean? Jesus is saying, there are people who are longing to know the truth, they are ripe to know God but there is lack of Christian workers who have not yet gone into the field to harvest them.
Oswald Chambers said like this (Source)
“God did not direct His call to Isaiah— Isaiah overheard God saying, “. . . who will go for Us?” The call of God is not just for a select few but for everyone. Whether I hear God’s call or not depends on the condition of my ears, and exactly what I hear depends upon my spiritual attitude.”
― Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
It’s very interesting to understand that Isaiah overhead God’s call for his life. Our response depends on how well our ears are tuned to listen to his call for ministry.
God’s call to ministry is challenging. It’s not a walk to fame, not a walk where people will celebrate you and welcome you. Rather you will find that you will be questioned more and sometimes even discouraged to go into ministry. Instead, if you were to say, I am going to the USA to work; You will be supported, encouraged and even financed by people. You will be sent into the ends of the earth to work and make a living but not so easily for ministry.
Isaiah heard the call of God and answered and did a terrific ministry. He was a prophet. He was one of a kind; spoke the word of God without any adulteration; just the way he received it. Elijah heard the call of God and brought fire down to demonstrate God’s power. Elisha heard the call of God through Elijah and raised the dead to life. And even after his death when a dead man was thrown on his tomb the moment the body touched Elisha’s bones the dead man came to life and stood up (2 Kings 13:21). Moses obeyed the call of God and lead israelities out of Egypt. The disciples of Jesus heard the call and followed him. Paul received the call and did a great ministry among the non-Jewish people. Thomas the disciple of Jesus came to India after he received and call and died in South India as a martyr; the seed of the gospel was sown.
Men and women called by God throughout history have served him. Some were highly educated, rich and influential and some poor and had no education. God used everybody and called them based on how available and prepared they were to hear and obey his call.
The greatest fear today that grips the heart of young people as they think about ministry is this, what will happen to my life. What about my future?; Should I be separated from my parents? How will I meet my needs? How will I feed my family? What about finance?
These are common and practical questions. But often times such questions can be asked with unbelief and doubt in mind. And slowly because of such questions and worries, many fall away from doing the ministry.
One thing we need to get into our minds is this, “When God calls he provides.” He knows what we need even before we ask him. He knows what we need even before we know that we need.
So when God calls, we are to answer, Yes Lord, I will go. Honestly, it’s not an easy one to say. But when you say, this is what it means, “I am now placing my life, my hopes, and my family into your hands. Take me where you want. I will follow you and serve you for the rest of my life.”
I believe we would be surprised if we were to see what God can do with our life if we give it to him fully.
Psalms 34:10 says, The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
The ones who are strong will lack and suffer hunger but those who look to the Lord will lack no good thing. When you depend on him he will feed you, protect you and take you to places you’ve never imagined and have never been before.
Also, times of testing will come. Times will come when you find yourselves in a tough situation, there will be plenty of need but you may not see any providence. Sometimes we won’t have what we desire. God shapes us throughout those times. He builds our faith and takes us to the next chapter of our journey.
I have met many pastors who left their good paying jobs in private and government firms to serve the Lord. The beginning was tough but now God has blessed them abundantly. My family is a testimony to that. There were tough times as my parents left their jobs and began ministry. Today, we don’t lack anything. We have good food, good house, good clothing and all that we need.
That is how God blesses when we serve him. He is a faithful master who never delays the wages for his workers. He is a father who provides his children without fail. He shepherd who guides his sheep on the right path. He is the protector who protects those who serve him.
Those who serve him never lack anything. They are healthy, safe and sound.!
If you have received God’s call for yourself. Do not hesitate. Say, Yes!
God did not direct his call to Isaiah but he heard and responded because his ears were tuned enough to hear God’s voice.
How are your ears today? Do you hear the voice of God every day? If you hear then be expectantly waiting to hear his call. If you do not hear his voice surrender yourself in his presence and get into the habit of hearing his voice everyday.
I met a dear pastor whom I had met few months before I left my job. At this time when I met, I told him, I am now in full-time ministry. He said these words of encouragement, “Brother, you are now part of a very different class of Soldiers that stand for God.” Those words sank deep into my heart knowing that I am privileged to be in the ministry and to serve him with all my strength.
When God calls, respond. It’s glorious to serve him.
Read about my life here: Grateful for what I am today.
If you have any interesting stories to share or have questions about your call. You can leave them as comments below.