The man you see in the picture is my wife’s grandfather, Carl Fields. Carl has been serving in the ministry for well over 40 years. After living a life without Christ, he heard “The Call” and has served faithfully since. I’ve sat around his kitchen table on several occasions and listened to his stories of working multiple jobs to provide for his family, going to school, preaching outstanding sermons, and planting churches where most preachers would have passed by on the way to a larger congregation. Each story presented its own struggle that led to ultimate victory. Some of his victories, we may not ever know of, but it was a victory of a single soul that others could not, or would not reach out to. Carl is the perfect example of a “good and faithful servant” spoken of in Scripture, and the inspiration for this post.
The Call is something that many have heard, but few have answered. Scripture points out that “many are called, but few are chosen”. You may or may not be called to formal ministry, but you HAVE been created for a purpose. The key to life is two sided: 1)Discover your purpose. 2)Live it out at the right time.
Discover your purpose. Notice I did not say “create” your purpose. You have been crafted from God, the Creator of all things. Life is not about you, but it is ALL about Him. We are part of his story, not the other way around. True peace, happiness, and meaning only come when we find our role in God’s plan for the world.
Not to undercut those with the gift of prophecy or word of knowledge, but I want to make sure to point out that no one else can reveal your purpose in life. This only comes from God himself. God will speak, but not exactly when you want him to. Are you willing to pay the price of prayer, fasting, learning, and living in the present instead of wondering about the future?
Live it out at the right time. Time is everything when it comes to answering The Call. You may know that you’re called to plant a church, but if you jump too soon, things may crumble in a hurry (believe me…I know!). You may know that you’re called to preach, but if you start speaking too soon, you’ll find yourself recanting a lot of doctrine because you didn’t have the proper training or study (I know a few things about that too!).
So how do you know if it’s the right time? Again, people may try to tell you that it’s the right time. But unless God has poured out his anointing, it’s doomed to fail. You may have a hundred voices all telling you to do something, but God’s voice is the only one that you need to hear.
Just because something did not work out this time, doesn’t necessarily mean that it was never meant to be. Part of the cost of the call is to remember that God doesn’t judge you on results, he judges you on obedience. Failure happens to everyone, but it doesn’t have to be the last chapter of your story. God has something ready for you, but the cost you’ll have to pay is the struggle of discovery, the discernment of time, and faith in God to be able to work in spite of your failures. Are you willing to pay the price of The Call?