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How Do I know if I’m Called?

The ministry is more than an occupation or a job, it is a call from God. The salary is lower than most other positions of equal responsibility. The demands are great, the hours are long, the burdens are almost unbearable. Ministers are gossiped about and lied about. They are criticized to their faces, and carnal church members connive behind their backs. The pastorate is one of the most demanding positions, and no one man could remain as pastor without the inner assurance that the Almighty God has called him to that office.

What makes a minister give up sleep to prepare sermons and pray for power on his message? The call of God. What motivates a minister to spend all day knocking on doors instead of getting a better-paying job when he knows his family doesn’t have as many nice things as the neighbors or he doesn’t have the freedom to be with his family as much as some others? What possesses a man’s heart to lay brick on a church, to paint old pews, to run a mimeograph, to get on the radio and preach the gospel? The call of God.

A man at the assembly line hears something no others perceive: it is God’s call. He begins to march to a different drumbeat: it is God’s command to go and build a church, even when his friends think he is crazy. A man attempts to do what seems impossible. He speaks in public when his grammar is shoddy; he knocks on doors, knowing he cannot sell. He attempts to teach the Bible when he has little formal education. He tries to build huge auditoriums, not knowing construction or architecture. He manages a large corporation, though ignorant of financing or advertising. Why does a man dream the unthinkable and attempt the impossible? He feels God has called him and all he can do is obey. This minister knows that with God’s calling is God’s enablement and that if God has called him, he can serve the Lord.

The ministry is not something a man chooses. A young man does not look through the want ads and, not finding a position, turn to the pastorate. The New Testament church begins with a God-called man who is willing to make any sacrifice, pay any price, forsake all and build a church in the name and after the pattern of Jesus Christ who said, “I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18).

Conclusion

The call of God into full-time ministry is not the call to salvation, although it includes that. The call into full-time ministry is not the Great Commission to go into all the world, although it includes that. The call of God into full-time ministry is not the knowledge that all men are lost and need salvation, although it includes that.

The call of God into full-time ministry is exactly that. It is God calling a person to win souls, build churches, teach the Bible and serve Jesus Christ. A man knows he is called because of the burden God gives him to reach the lost. He knows God has given him a desire to preach. He has the inner assurance that he is to serve God. Just as he knows that fire is hot and up is up, so he knows God has called him to preach the gospel and build a church. He responds as did Isaiah, “Here am I, send me.”


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