“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 NIV).
“Johnny, take out the garbage!”
“Carlos, go find your brother!”
Remember when you heard someone calling you; especially your mother? You could tell by her tone what mood she was in. And God help us if we were called by our ‘full names’. We knew we were in trouble. But mothers are not the only ones who call us to do something.
God calls us to do specific things in life and when we do what He wants us to do, He honors our efforts and good things happen. What has He called us to do? That depends. Every believer is called to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but some have been gifted to operate in specific offices of ministry. “He gave gifts for some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and some teachers (of The Word)” (Ephesians 4:11). Here’s something to think about God’s gifts–they are without repentance. In other words, whether we live right or not, the gifts He has given, will not be taken from us; they simply won’t be as effective as they could be.
When God “has called us” into a ministry office, it does not matter what others think since we should only be concerned about pleasing God. If God is pleased, nothing and no one else matters.
The real problem with ministry in the church is when “other people call someone” into an office. Some fathers call their sons into ministry; some mothers call their sons into ministry; some pastors call their children into ministry; some showing favoritism call people into ministry that God has never even considered. When this happens, the gifts are counterfeit and the anointing is manipulated to make it appear as though God had a hand in it. How do we know?
Listen to those with “counterfeit gifts” and see if what they say aligns with The Word. Can we find anywhere in The Word of God, preachers condemning people for how they dress or other such nonsense? Can we find the preachers of the bible, lining people up to give an offering based on the amount for which “they” are asking and then belittling those who have nothing to give? Can we find preachers in the Bible who promote dancing and shouting over hearing The Word, so by the time they stop dancing and shouting, they are too tired to hear The Word? Can we find preachers in the Bible who promote worldliness over godliness? Can we find preachers in the Bible who always “have a word of wisdom” for the people they know, but never have anything to say about those they don’t know? This list could go on and on, but there is not enough space or time to continue. Do you get the point?
God knows those He has called–He knows what gifts they have been anointed with to help move the body of Christ forward; not backwards. Those who God has called may not pastor a mega-church, but they have mega-influence over all who know them. Those who God has called, always give God credit for everything they accomplish in life. Those who God has called, understand the importance of only saying or teaching what God has already said. Those who God has called, “Study the Word so they can rightly divide (explain) it to others”. This is how we recognize the difference between those who God has called, from those who others have called.
Who called you? Or better yet, who called the person to whom you’re listening and following?
Father, grant us all the gift of discernment this day so we will not make a mockery of the gifts You have given us, to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ.