Enjoying the Journey
Several weeks ago I published a short post on how to know when you have been called. (You may read the original post here.) It was encouraging to hear from so many who are sincerely praying about the Lord’s will for their life. We need more people laboring for souls, not fewer!
I had the privilege of having lunch with a couple of young men recently who surrendered to be preachers in a youth meeting last year. Our conversation was a reminder that those who have been called must begin immediately to both prepare and act on the call of God upon their lives. The night that I yielded my life to God’s will a wise old preacher said to me, “Young man, if you don’t start serving God now you probably never will.”
A dear friend commented after my last post that this truth is not just for young people. Amen! “Truth endureth to every generation.” The truth will help any person at any stage on the journey who believe God has called them.
My heart is to help those who feel called to begin taking the right steps. Remember, the will of God is never future; the will of God is always present, for God is always a present tense God.
Here is my counsel for those who are called into ministry:
- Begin where you are. (Luke 16:10)
- Attach yourself to someone older in ministry and learn from them. (2 Timothy 3:14)
- Set an example. (1 Timothy 4:12)
- Guard your heart. (Proverbs 4:23)
- Stay right at home. (Ephesians 6:1-2)
- Read. (1 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 4:13)
- Work on your devotional life. (Psalm 1:2-3)
- Plan to prepare yourself. (Proverbs 24:27; Luke 14:28)
- Find a like-minded friend. (Proverbs 27:17)
- Don’t believe your own press reports. (1 Corinthians 1:27-31)
- Be yourself. (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
- Learn what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18)
(You may listen to a full discussion of these principles in this message: “Preparing As A Young Person for Ministry.”)
The best counsel I ever received about ministry my dad gave to me just days after I announced the call of God on my life. He said, “Son, keep your head level, your mind clear, and your heart pure.” I still rehearse those words often.
Never take lightly the opportunity, responsibility, and accountability of being one of God’s ministers. “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry” (1 Timothy 1:12). There is nothing like being in the Lord’s work! There are challenges and conflicts, but the will of God is perfect.
My prayer for you is best expressed in the prayer of another preacher: “always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God” (Colossians 4:12).
My encouragement to you is articulated in the words of the Apostle Paul: “Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it” (Colossians 4:17).
Strive to be usable and you will be used.