Answering The Call

Dear ___________

I was thinking about you and your calling through the night.

We don't get into this business for the fun and glamour of it all. We don't do it for the big bucks or for the great cars we will drive or sweet office views we will have. We do it in spite of the toll it will take on ourselves and our families and the options we will have in life. In fact we give up all claim to our lives because inside of us we have heard a distant call.

It comes and it builds within us a deep desire to answer the distant call of the one we know as King. We can't help it, when the call reaches our hearts we have no real choice but to begin to move in the direction we heard the call come from. So we get up and begin the epic journey to follow the call right to it's source. The heart of God.

Down through the ages men and women have heard this calling in their own hearts. Some have answered in dramatic fashion, pouring out their own lifeblood in answer to their call. While others have answered in less dramatic fashion, serving the call faithfully day after day after day, perhaps in one location, perhaps in a few. But being faithful to the call and seeing lives change direction over a lifetime.

This journey to the heart of the call is never an easy one. It can't be, because then it would be easily done in human strength. And if humans could do it, then we'd take the credit for it. No, it's a journey that will call you to deeper and deeper faith and trust in the one who called you. It will involve his provision for your daily need and will test your resolve to follow and to submit and obey. This is why I encourage people not to go into ministry in their own strength because it will not be enough. They should go only if they have heard a call from the One who calls, as though they have no option, but to follow.

Remember Moses who sensed a call in his own life. He who was born a Hebrew, yet raised an Egyptian Prince, knew a call of God in his own heart to lead these Hebrews to a better place. His quick response to this call resulted in the death of an Egyptian and he had to run for his life. The calling he heard must have felt dead as he ran away and at the age of forty, began to work with sheep. He was by all accounts, a failure.

Then began forty years of working with sheep, raising a family, and God shaping the man to fit the calling. This forty years of God remaking Moses and reminding him that the call was still alive resulted in a very different man. When God visited with Moses at the bush that burned but never burned up, Moses was a much more humble man. In fact it's said that Moses was the most humble man on the face of the earth. He had to be convinced that the calling was still active, but that meant that he was ready for it. The result was that throughout Moses life and his following of the call, God was glorified and not himself.


I want to affirm the call in you and echo yours and your wife's sense that the call is still real and active, and worthy of following. God is not done with you yet. It may be a season of shaping and making you to be the person who will fit the calling God has given you, but see it as a part of the following of the Call. Obedience, faithfulness, even brokenness are not lessons that are easily learned when things are going well. I expect the person who comes out the other end of this time will have strengths and insights that they would never have known if they never knew this season.


As I was doing through the night, thinking about you and praying for you, I will continue to do. I am excited for you and your future, because you do have a strong sense of call.

May you know Gods peace through these days of turmoil and may you gain some extra tools for your toolbox as you continue to answer His call.


Blessings my brother.


(More on calling here)

4 comments:

  1. Since when did we (who started out on this ministry path @ the same time) become the wise elders ?

    But, mixed into your words is the certainty (that I share) that the call to ministry may be sacrficial at times, but is also a call to be ourselves, made in the image of God.

    And however that looks from the outside, deep streams of living water are quarried from the inside.....

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice platitudes -- but how do you discern this thing we name the "calling"? How do we separate answering in our humanness and divine direction? What does it look like, sound like, taste like? How do we know when we are walking towards or away from it? How do we know that it isn't just us trying to make up for our own failings -- long to be someone's saviour, want to be important, want to be significant, want to be influenctial, etc? We may not enter vocational ministry for money, fame and so called glory but can we not enter for other negative alterior reasons? Thanks for your honesty on the subject as it gives me something to consider -- but i remain frustratingly uncertain!

    ReplyDelete
  3. S&B - I don't know you and you don't know me, but it very much sounds like you have some quite different questions to answer, unrelated to calling of this nature, and much more fundamental. Only you know what they might be.

    FWIW however, I suspect no-one truly enters anything for entirely pure or single-minded motives. As for me, the concept of vocational calling is an interesting one, because I believe I'm called to do the things I do, whether they are in or out of church:

    What do I do for work?

    What do I do in church?

    What do I do with my friends?

    All these things are 'vocational' and are what everyone everywhere is called to. In a sense, there's nothing special about being called to be paid to work for the church over earning money in a conventional job to enable us to work for the church.

    Randall - you may have posted this for one person, or you may not. But I'm sure it fits a good many of us.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ah sorry, I've been off the site for a few days getting life under control.

    Actually this was a response to a recent email I received and of late I've been having this conversation over and over with a few different people, so I figured I'd post it here. If it helps, great, if it doesn't, then maybe the questions being asked are different than this answer being offered.


    Actually, I honestly don't trust my motives. I've been around myself enough to know that my motives for doing something can be suspect.

    That's why, at the end of the day, I submit myself and my calling, to the Body. We are taught that the Church is the body of Christ, and that He is it's head. I felt like ok then, if the body is Christ's, and Christ is calling me in this direction, then the body should be able to discern that and bear witness to it.

    (I think I wrote more on this topic at the link at the bottom of the post there...)

    So when I initially rejected this, forlackofabetterterm, "Calling," it was the church who called me back to it, who saw Christ work through me in these ways, who affirmed it in me.

    When I push against the titles that can go along with such a position and instead prefer to just do the work, rejecting the organized church's valuing of such incidentals, they still respond to the calling within me.

    When I take off my pastors cap and go to places where the Church doesn't know me, they still react to this, calling thing.


    I think that key in there is the submission part. A strong sense of calling without submission turns into a self-absorbed person who thinks they are the saviour of the world.



    ... I think anyway.

    ReplyDelete

I'm moderating all the comments these days.
I'll release your comment as soon as I've seen it.

Thanks.