I’m the kind of person who comes off as very stubborn, unwilling to learn sometimes, and a bit prideful; and I swear it’s totally a front (all faults, I’m well aware…). However, on the inside, I have a huge heart for learning and love conviction when I know it comes from the Holy Spirit at work in me – it hurts, but it reminds me I am alive and He is real and that He’s not finished with me yet.
Recently, these ideas of what ministry and callings look like have been constantly circling my head and it’s been a whirlwind of emotions between the people around me, searching the Word, and praying. Needless to say, there’s been a lot going on and I’ve been writing about it as this thing is building me and changing me.
Here’s the first four posts in this “series” of sorts:
I don’t want to be Joyce Meyer: https://samfindsfaith.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/i-dont-want-to-be-joyce-meyer/
on ministry and focusing on the family: https://samfindsfaith.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/on-ministry-and-focusing-on-the-family/
love the calling you have: https://samfindsfaith.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/ministry-isnt-just-missions-and-church-work/
the indisputable call: https://samfindsfaith.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/the-indisputable-call-the-weight-and-reality-of-parenthood/
I don’t by any means ever claim to have all the answers and I don’t at any point try to blanket an idea as it applies to everyone. We were all created uniquely and gifted for different purposes.
The only purpose or “calling” (as it was) is literally for all of us in all of creation is that we are to be reflections of God. Period. Created in His image, we all reflect His glory.
However, in response to my posts, a friend and mentor said something that has definitely readjusted my focus a little bit, and shown me that my labels and understanding are off.
“God doesn’t call us to anything but Himself.”
I have misused a word; she is so right.
Out of naivety, really, I have labeled these things in life as callings. And it might not seem like a huge deal, but it so is (and you better believe I’ll be correcting the older posts – so don’t be shocked if they’re titled differently).
At the time, I felt like she was, but I wanted to see it for myself so I sought the Word. In the Bible, the only thing Jesus actually calls anyone toIS His Self!
Here are multiple accounts of Jesus’ calls on the lives of the apostles. Notice what He says in these calls:
““Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.” -Matthew 4:19-20
“Without delay He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed Him.” –Mark 1:20
“… Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him.” –Matthew 4:21-22
““Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.” –Luke 5:27-28
“Finding Philip, He said to them, “Follow Me.”” John 1:43
As I searched what she had said in the Bible it has occurred to me one hugely and greatly important fact that has yet to be included:
You do not pursue a calling. You are to pursue Him. These men didn’t pursue their ministry because it was ministry. They just followed Him and Jesus’ ministry sort of happened around them. They literally just walked on foot, physically and spiritually FOLLOWING JESUS. They did nothing without Him, His Name, or His power and authority.
Our ministries are not our own. We call it women’s ministry or men’s ministry or whoever’s this-that-or-the-other thing ministry, and those who work these things refer to it as our calling – but ultimately, it should be ALL HIS MINISTRY that we just follow Him into and watch in awe and with great reverence how He works miracles in people. We just follow closely to Him and do what He asks. But all the work, all the glory, all the power and authority to change lives, and all the real ministry belongs to Jesus, done through the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
I still believe that ministry is our lifestyle, not our job or church work. But it is not a calling either.
Once called, the Holy Spirit will enable us with gifts to bless the heart of the Lord, for worship or prophesy or what have you. But our gifts or how we use them are not our callings. They are our gifts, and in following Him, we will probably get to use them.
“Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those He wanted, and they came to Him.” –Mark 3:13
All I can say is that reading this and having my eyes opened to this has wrecked me in so many wonderful and amazing ways.
Jesus called to Him THOSE HE WANTED. If you are a follower of Jesus, then I believe it’s safe to say that you were called to Him, by Him. And He called you because He wanted you.
I know that He wants all of us because He loves all of us, but I seriously get chills knowing that the reason I came to Him at all was because He called me to Him, whether I recognized it at the time or not – I think I did – and He did so because He wanted ME.
I pray that you all can really just bask in that today. And that as you pursue a discovering of your gifts and their application in the world, or what the Holy Spirit will do with them, that it remains all about just following Him wherever it is that He leads.