“Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you.” (I Corinthians 1:26 NLT)
What a sobering revelation to know that the world–those who knew us and some who didn’t–considered our calling into the ministry of the Gospel–foolishness!
Re-reading this passage of scripture this morning, reminded me of the reaction of people when I informed them that God had spoken to my heart and told me to “teach His Word!” Very few people who knew me, believed me (they were stuck on my past life) and many thought I had just lost my mind (they thought I read too much). There were even a few who told me flat out, “My pastor said, God don’t call no women to preach!” This came from men and women who professed to be Christians.
While I struggled with understanding this calling into ministry, I also leaned on The Word and was in constant prayer. One of the first things I did was to tell God, “If You want me to teach Your Word, then You’re going to have to teach it to me.”
I headed for the main library in our city because I knew it held a large religious section. I pulled information from book after book after book. I purchased books about Jewish history and studied the illustrations that were available of how people dressed, the culture of family, and worship. During a commercial advertising a center for Bible Study, I recognized God’s leading me to see it and went to the school. I refused to try to tell anybody anything that I didn’t understand about the Bible.
On Father’s Day, nine months after I knew I had heard God’s instructions to me, I delivered my first message and people received it. Their positive response to what was said, gave me the confidence I needed to continue to discover all I could and I am still seeking knowledge because I realize that no matter how I live, I will never know it all.
Over twenty-five years later, there are still people who are skeptical about God’s calling me (and many others) into ministry. There are still some people who refuse to understand that God is not concerned about what we know, but our willingness to obey Him. It is He who qualifies those whom He calls. It is He who speaks to others who are in a position to confirm and recognize the calling on our lives. It is He who leads us to get the recognition and certification (ordinations) needed to operate according to the church and state protocols. It is He who has the first and last Word about what He wants us to do and say!
When God calls us to do something, we have no need to worry about what others will say. When God calls us into ministry, and we follow His directions–everything works together for our good and for the good of the people. When people call people into ministry–they are out of order and where there is no order–chaos reigns!
Now while there may still be those who consider me foolish and unwise–they say–God knows who I am and what I am capable of doing because it is Him, still molding and shaping, me to do His Will. Hallelujah!
What a wonderful reminder!