It has been a while since I dropped in to say hello or given you a life update, but everything is going well and nothing much has changed. I am still studying hard, and there has been no time to fit anything else into my schedule.
In the midst of all this, I have been thinking about ministry and what it means to know your calling. I remember several decades ago, when I used to pray about this in earnest, always hoping to get the answer as quickly as possible. I was so eager to know. The answer finally came in bits, over a period of time. This knowledge has boosted my confidence in Christ, and the knowledge of how He knows me so well never fails to humble me. It makes me fall flat on my face in complete surrender.
“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” Psalm 8:4
He knew exactly what He was doing, when He created me. Every experience, good and bad, has only enhanced the work He has put into me, for the fulfilment of His purpose in me. It has taken many years of ‘training’ to accept and get accustomed to my ‘office’, and I am still learning.
So, how does one separate themselves from their calling or ministry? The simple answer is you cannot. For example: once a Doctor, then you are always a Doctor. You can be a sleeping Doctor or a dancing Doctor, but never just asleep or dancing. There is no ‘time off’ and you are always ‘on call’.
Ministry does not only happen within the four walls of the church building.
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” Mark 16:15
With this in mind, please be aware that those who do not know you so well may never acknowledge your calling. Those who have not experience your journey or growth will not understand your story. The confidence that comes in knowing your calling can make you come across as intimidating and arrogant, without really meaning to be like that.
So, does that mean being confident in who you are, in Christ, is wrong? No, I am not saying that.
I am only suggesting that ‘boldness’, a byproduct of confidence in the knowledge of your calling, which only comes by faith, is not always positively received by others. Boldness is something that comes upon you, when you are standing in ‘office’, regardless of your personality. For example; you could be shy in person but then become loud and eloquent when you are preaching, or have a soft speaking voice but then sing loudly when leading worship, and so on.
When people see these contrasts in your behaviour, it can be very shocking and intimidating to them. They could like or hate it. Reactions can be good or bad, ranging from acceptance and encouragement to jealousy coupled with the desire to humiliate you in public. Last of all is the power play, which is aimed at discrediting, blocking and punishing you.
Now I find myself in conflict, and reluctant to function in my ‘office’ in order to avoid further misunderstanding, but also willing to be used of God regardless of the situation. However, when you find yourself in a position where you have to tamper down on the very things that make you who you are until you begin to feel suppressed or stifled, it is a clear warning that you need to make a change or get out. By understanding yourself, your calling and ministry; you will be able to discern when it is time to make that change.
If you do not know your calling yet? Then I encourage you to step up in faith and begin asking God for clarity in this area. When you do know, please own it.
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14