The question here to day is: How does one truly know beyond doubt that they have been called to preach?
First we have to know and understand that only God can call you to the ministry. While others pursue the ministry because of parental influence or, to quote a phrase, they are “mama called and papa sent.” Consequently it is paramount to know that God has called you, not others. If God has not called you and you try to force the ministry to work, you will be miserable the rest of your life. That is not what God intends for you. God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33). In fact the Bible says (in Psalm 37:23) “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” The Lord will lead you where He wants you to go and, as the familiar phrase states, “The will of the Lord will never lead you where His grace cannot keep you.”
When God fills us with the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost), we are called to do something for Him. “But ye shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me in both Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.” (Acts1:8).
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that God called us to preach. Often,we misinterpret what God wants us to do because we think “called by God” means he called us into the pulpit ministry. That’s not always the case.
Our areas of service to God vary and are limitless. Some are called to hold street meetings; some are called to teach Sunday School or Bible studies, while others are called to foreign mission fields or to simply pray for Missionaries and Pastors. Every Ministry,whatever God places on your heart, is valuable to God.
A preacher alone cannot win the lost; he must surround himself with people who desire to do the work of the ministry.
The Bible tells us that we are all different parts that make up one body. “For we as many members of one body, and all members have not the same office” (Rom.12:4). We all must work together. Don’t allow yourself to envy someone else’s calling. Your calling is just as important to God as any other.
SO HOW CAN YOU KNOW GOD HAS CALLED YOU TO THE MINISTRY?
- YOU WILL HEAR FROM GOD – Jesus said; “my sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me.” (JN.10:27). To be called by God is to” hear ” from God. We must ask ourselves: Have I put myself in a position to hear from God ? In other words is your prayer life consistent? Do you fast often? The multiple distractions from daily life can prevent us from hearing from God. Prayer and fasting cleanses our bodies and minds to be more sensitive to the voice of the Lord. God calls different people in different ways. Some people hear the audible voice of God while others (A greater majority) sense a strong impression by the spirit. Either way it is an undeniable calling. Something inside burns with truth as God speaks to our hearts, (Luke 24:32). We desire to spend all of our time studying the word of God and nothing else satisfies. We experience what the prophet Jeremiah said, “His word was in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones.” (Jer. 20:9).
- YOU WILL DEVELOP A BURDEN FOR THE LOST – Those called to the ministry will have an enormous burden for the lost and dying in this world. Your heart will break for those without God and your desire to reach them will, at times, overwhelm you. Teaching Bible studies or knocking on doors will rank high on your priority list. On the other hand if the thought of sinners going to hell where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 13:42) doesn’t bother you, this is a good sign that you have not been called. Through out scripture, whenever Jesus ministered, His thought and main focus was to seek and save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10 ).
- YOU WILL STRIVE TO BE MORE LIKE HIM – To be called by God is to be more like Him. The disciples who followed Jesus left what ever they were doing to follow and do what Jesus was doing. We have to separate ourselves from friends and even from family members. It means we will no longer go to certian places or do certain things because of our intense desire to be more like Jesus. We are always conscious of changing from “Glory to Glory.” We strive to lead a life pleasing to God.
Finally be careful of what you pray for because “He came unto his own who received him not.” To follow your calling is often lonely because: ” To lead the orchestra you will have to turn your back on the crowd.” (Prov.3:5-6).
HW. Question: Tell me in at least a two paragraph answer, how God called you and when he called you. What are you doing to prepare for the particular call that is on your life?