In part two, we looked at the first characteristic of those with a genuine divine calling: their inner confidence in their call. Today we look at the second:
2. Other believers who observe their lives will see the calling on their lives and affirm it.
I once knew a pastor who thought he was called to pastor because he had an emotional experience at a conference. But I could easily tell, and so could many others, that he should not be in ministry. He was never called by God. It was obvious. Three weeks after he started pastoring his church, his people began asking all kinds of questions. They ranged from, “Is everything all right with him?” to “How do you fire a pastor?” Three weeks.
Over the next two years, his ministry unraveled, and he was forced out of the church. It was ugly: for the church, for the staff, but especially for him and his family. As it turned out, two other churches had previously forced him out. For some reason, he never woke up and saw what was so obvious to everyone else.
Spare yourself the grief, and spare the church of God. Be certain of your calling. If you haven’t yet had occasion to do so, I would encourage you to call or meet with older friends who know God well and know you well. Pray together and sound out your calling. Even if your internal sense of calling is strong, this will reinforce it, and later, when times of doubt come—and they will come—you can go back to how the Holy Spirit spoke through the Body of Christ to affirm God’s calling on your life.
Next week, I’ll share a story of a time my calling was affirmed by others.