Make Sure You’re Supposed to Be Here, part two

• December 19, 2007 • Comments (7)

So how do you know if you’re called by God? Good question.

People who are genuinely called by God to ministry have two things that are true of them. Today we’ll address the first.

1. They are certain of their own calling.

There is a bit of mystery to how this works. God speaks and moves in mysterious ways. But each individual who I’ve known in ministry has a story of how they came to hear the calling of God on their lives to go into ministry.

For my friend Josh, his calling came out of studying John Piper’s Don’t Waste Your Life. He looked hard at what a meaningful life in God’s eyes really is and compared it to his own. He had a great job he loved with a fantastic salary, but in light of eternity, it didn’t seem so significant. Now he’s in seminary; he and his wife are preparing for the mission field.

For me, it was during a summer mission experience where my team served in churches for 10 weeks. Halfway through, the growing sense in my heart was that I couldn’t do anything else with my life…that ministry among God’s people was the place of eternal value for me. It was cemented in a moment of prayer and the scriptures by a poolside in Orlando. I remember it like it was yesterday…my questions and fears, and God’s assurances from his word.

Do you have a story you can tell about your own calling? How specific is it? How definite is it? I’m uneasy when I hear a story of calling that seems vague or unclear. When we encounter difficulties in ministry—and believe me, you will—many times the only things that will sustain you is your inward confidence that God has spoken, that you have heard, and that ministry is His plan for your life.

Part one here.

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Category: Calling

About the Author

Mark Warnock is the founder and General Editor of Seminary Survival Guide.com. He serves as Associate Pastor of First Baptist Church of Columbia, Illinois, and is a Ph.D student in Christian Philosophy at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is working with Ed Eubanks on a book on how to survive seminary.

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Comments (7)

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  5. Aaron says:

    Josh – A couple of questions…

    They are certain of their calling? Or would it be better stated that they were certain in their faith? God always challenges our faith with a step of action. I have to argue that Moses wasn’t quite so receptive of his calling or Peter in his. What they did expose was their lives! They lived them out faithfully. Isn’t that what God really wants for ministry? Those who will faithfully love and care for His people and carry out His word.

  6. Mark Scrutton says:

    Just entering seminary at 53! All your comments have value. I might suggest, without faith, it is impossible to please God. Not that any should boast, our faith is a gift from God. Wihtout faith, God will not call anyone. It seems to me your calling should be as definite as your born again experience. You know (or should)when you gave your heart and life to Christ and felt His wonderful presence through the gift of the Holy Spirt. (Those who have been forgiven much, love much). I “felt” the call for years – God pursued me, but i denied Him. On one day, 3 times, different people said, “you are a pastor, surely, you are a pastor, you must be a pastor” and 3 times I denied I was. I was right and wrong. No, I was not an ordained pastor. Yes, God’s conviction and calling was heavily upon me. Finally I could take it no more. In the shower (of all places) His spirit fully convicted me as I cried out “why me”, “I don’t want to do this”. “I don’t want to pay the money, or take the time. My life is fine (a lie), why me?”. The more I cried the more the shower water hid my tears and my sorrow was drowned in joy for finally believing and trusting the Lord. My conflict was attending a church in a denomination that determined the law equal to Christ. I have learned over the last several years the all-sufficiency of Jesus and His love for us. Now, I know the only true full joy this side of heaven I can really have is obeying Him, preaching, teaching, evangelizing and reaching out to the unreached. How do you know when you fall in love with someone? Hard to define, but the evidence in your heart and your experience will show you. How much better, can God with His infinite love and guidance make you aware, whether you’re willing or not, that his hand is on you for leadership ministry? Trust the Lord. He will answer. You will know.

  7. Robin says:

    Wow, I really like Mark’s comment above, now That Is the Heart of God, brother!! I am a 36 yr old single mom to my 3 year old daughter. I too, have forsaken, fallen away, but when I came back and truely surrendered, I was showered with His Amazing Presence. That was back in Aug. of 2008 and I have been on non-stop fire ever since. I have sooo much passion I don’t know what to do with it somedays. I’ve never worked in paid ministry, but jump on the opportunity to serve at my church when I can. I felt God has called me to seminary recently b/c I really need to get a better hold on His Word. I love it, but I need to really understand more of it too. As a woman, I don’t know where I fit in ministry, but I know if God put this on my heart, which He did, he will direct every step of it. God bless to all of you seminarians, and hope you will stop by and check out my blog too when you get a chance. I would love to get to know some of you. Robin

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