You're Called What?
I have been called by God. That is a weighty claim. It can be full of abuse, misuse, and arrogance. It is also full of responsibility, fear, and obligation. Looking back at the Old Testamentsaints, prophets, and kings who had been called by God is a sobering study. There were those who were persecuted, Kings who abused it, and those who stood steadfast in their call to deliver the Word of God.
The New Testament apostle, prophets, and pastors felt the same weight of their call. They could not resist it, they struggled with it, they endured hardship as a result of it, they wrestled with the church through it, and they often died because of it. They found their inspiration and strength in the Spirit, their hope in the resurrected Jesus, and their security in a loving Father. They felt the love a grateful church, and they were spurned by the same.
I have been called by God. As I look back on my life I believe the Spirit has affirmed this call, over and over, and when I have resisted it I have be discontent. It is in understanding the nature of the call that helps ground me in it and persevere through it.
Colossians 1:25a, "I became a minister by the stewardship of God." All those who have been called by God are given a stewardship. The ministry doesn't belong to us or the church, it belongs to God. He gives it to us to care for, to feed, and nurture. He expects a return when He comes back, but it is not based on the world's idea of success. Have we been faithful and have we invested in the lives of others for the glory of God? The call by nature is ouward. It is not about me, but about others. It is a ministry.
Colossians1:25b, "that was given to me for you." Ministry by nature is for the benefit of someone else. It isn't about building personal kingdoms, majestic cathedrals, large incomes, or personal followers. It's about building God's kingdom, God's church, God's investments, and followers of Jesus. That means as a minister, called by God, I exist for you, the church. Not to be at your every beck and call, but to serve you in such a way that will make you fully devoted followers of Jesus.
Colossians 1:25c, "to make the Word of God fully known." As a minister I am called to make the Word of God fully known to the Church, so that it can become the bride which is honoring to God. The Word of God defines how I am to minister. I am to speak the truth in love, bring comfort to the broken hearted, pray for the sick, strengthen the weak, help the poor, and equip the saints to do likewise. I do this on behalf of God, for the church, unto God's glory.
I have been called by God. I know I haven't done it perfectly, but I hope that I have done it faithfully. I don't want to come to the end of my life and find that I have wasted my call, that I have invested unwisely, that I have set my bar too low, and my legacy was but sand.
Have you been called? Maybe not to full time ministry, but to minister within the Church. You have been given a gift, how will you use it? How will you invest it for the kingdom of God? Don't bury it and hope for the best. Hold it out for God to bless and use, and watch what he does with it. It's not ours anyway, we are only stewards. I'm just saying.