Determining God's Call
3 Points to Consider Before Joining the Mission
Any sincere Christian who wants to know the will of God concerning his life can know it, but this is typically a process, not a dramatic revelation.
There are 3 issues that swirl around this question of God's will.
How Can I Be Sure God's Calling Me?
The first is how one looks for affirmation when they are sensing God's leading.
Insight into this question can be found by going through a process by which we confirm God's direction:
- through alignment of circumstances
- prayerful impressions by the Holy Spirit
- the counsel of others
- reflecting upon our deepest desires
- analyzing the pros and cons of the decisions/options (wisdom)
- through insight from the Scriptures.
Are You Waiting for a Sign?
The second issue is what exactly it means to be "called" or receive a "calling" from God to ministry.
What seems to paralyze most people is that they are expecting an unusual or spectacular sign.
Here's a more helpful way to see things: If you read through the Scriptures, you'll notice that a person's coming to Christ -- the act of becoming a Christian -- is also referred to as a "calling" or being "called."
That calling into a relationship with God happens a variety of ways: sometimes the calling is more cognitive (the gospel just seems to make sense); sometimes we see a great need in our life and reckon that Jesus is the answer; sometimes it's an emotional experience; or the example of a Christian friend that convinces us the gospel is true.
But make no mistake, the Holy Spirit does the calling. He simply uses a variety of microphones to get our attention. Likewise, your calling to ministry can come through a variety of channels.
You may logically conclude ministry to be a good stewardship of your life.
You may be compelled by the great need of those who haven't heard the gospel.
It might be your experience of God using you in ministry, or simply an intense desire to serve God.
There's an assortment of means by which God calls us into the ministry, most of which are not in the category of the miraculous.
Do Others Confirm Your Call?
Finally, lest our "calling" become too subjective, the Scriptures affirm a community component of our calling.
Others in the body of Christ should recognize your call and affirm that God is indeed leading you into ministry.
One Thing That is Not Different
The call to be a vocational Christian worker is really no different from the call to any other vocation.
Being called primarily means being obedient to the ongoing direction of the Lord's leading in your life. God is calling every Christian to submit his whole life to Him and thereby bring glory to His name.
"Whether then you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31).