Friday, March 20, 2015

Being Called

Being Called

If I was being honest and I will be, it wasn't my idea to go into ministry.  As a matter of fact, I've tried to run away from ministry and this "call" on my life.  When I first felt called into ministry I never imagined it would be into "full-time" or "located" ministry.  I was a teenager at church camp feeling God telling me this is what He wanted me to do, but at the time I just thought it was to preach or work in youth ministry as a volunteer or part-time, but later on I felt He was saying this was what he wanted me to do with my life as a living.

I transferred to Bible college after one year at a state university, and started classes and was doing ministry when I had opportunity, but I still was resisting the call, to the point where I eventually dropped out of Bible College and tried to run form God.  I even joined the US Navy, I guess in same way Jonah boarded a boat to run away from God, I was doing the same thing, but luckily, I wasn't thrown over board and swallowed by a large fish.  But, eventually through my time in the military God molded and shaped me and got me back His track and after getting out of the military I went into full-time ministry. 

I would like to say this was the end of the story, but it wasn't a happily ever after. After a successful 5 year youth ministry, I tried to walk or run away from my calling again, whether it was burnout, satan, or whatever, I was close to not even being a Christian let alone in ministry.  But, by God's grace He didn't give up on me and though I tried to run away from God again and His calling on my life, I could not escape it.  I am thankful that God gives us second and third and sometimes more chances to get ourselves together.

God had a call on my life that I didn't ask for or really want, and even though I tried to run away and hide or walk away and rebel, God was patient with me, because He had and has plans to use me for His will.  I guess like Moses in the old testament I wanted to make excuses or like Jonah I wanted to run away, but when God "calls" you to do something for Him there is no excuse that is going suffice and no place to hide from God. 

Even today there are times where I don't want to be in ministry and I have taken a couple breaks from ministry since all these past times 15 and 20 some years ago, but this time whether I have matured or God has made me wiser, I realize that it's not about me and what I want, it's all about God and what He wants.  My life is not my own.  God paid a heavy price for me and my sin, like He did all mankind.  He also puts "callings" on all our lives so that He can use us for His will, His kingdom, His church, His ministry, and His glory.  Some of us are called into church leadership roles as Elders or Deacons, some of us are called into children, youth, worship, missions, or preaching ministries, and many are called as missionaries out into the world working regular jobs because He needs Christians doctors, teachers, bus drivers, coal miners, railroad workers, bankers, and whatever skills God has gifted you.

God also "calls" us to serve in the local church as Sunday school teachers, nursery workers, sound technicians, greeters, with the teens, or lots of other ministries that go on in the local church.  It is no accident or mistake that we are all gifted with different gifts and talents and that God wants us to use them for Him and not just ourselves or the world.  Do you every pray for God to use you? Or do you make excuses?  Do you ever ask God to show you want He wants you to do or do you run and hide? 

There are days where I just want to be a normal Christian and go to church and sit on a pew and do nothing but complain about the preacher and all the church is doing wrong that I don't like, haha only kidding, but I do at times want to just be a regular Christian serving in a local church and not being the Preacher or Pastor, but that is not what God called me to do or be.  He called me to preach and minister.  It's always for Him and about Him. Never about me or you.  It's about the one who does the calling, not the called. Our role is to listen, be available, be faithful, remain faithful, and be obedient to whatever God calls us to do.  Whether that is full-time, part-time, or volunteer ministry.  Whether that is doing ministry for a living or whether it's just being a faithful part of the local church body and serving God in our careers or lives.

May you listen to the voice of God and follow your calling.  I want to be and remain faithful to God and His calling til the finish.

[ Confirming One’s Calling and Election ] His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.


Charles Dalton said...

More awesome story than a lot of people will realiz! Thanks Jason.

Jason Thomas said...

thanks Reece!