The Call of God for Service

From Mission Preparation Training by Mathew Backholer

Those with a divine calling cannot live like those without one. That which God tolerates in some, He will not tolerate in those He has called into ministry. Those with a divine calling should differentiate between what I can do, and what I am supposed to do. Deciding what you’re not going to do is equally important.

A true disciple with a divine calling will say no, especially to the good, in order to produce the best. The prophet Jeremiah was called from a very early age (Jeremiah 1:5-8), and described his test of loneliness as ‘bearing the yoke in youth’ having to sit alone and keep silent as God had laid it on him (Lamentations 3:26-28 and Jeremiah 15:17). Jeremiah was also called not to take a wife, as a sign against Israel (Jeremiah 16:2).

If you commission yourself, you will serve yourself and your own agendas (Romans 12:3). If you go into the ministry without God’s calling and appointing, you will go in your own strength and gifting. But when God calls and appoints you, you can go in His authority and see a larger anointing with greater eternal fruit (John 15:1-11).

Before the apostle Paul was released into the world, he had a period of training and testing. Paul was separated to the work that God had called him to (Romans 1:1). Paul is silent as to what happened in Arabia, but God was dealing with him and eventually God revealed the full gospel to him (Galatians 1:11-18 and Galatians 2:1-2).

Paul submitted to the church at Antioch for a period of testing in whatever duties they wanted him to do (Acts 13:1). Paul later wrote about the importance of testing and faithfulness (1 Corinthians 4:2 and 1 Timothy 3:10). Once Paul passed the test in the ministry of helps, he was promoted to the office of teacher (2 Timothy 1:11 and Acts 13:1-3). Paul’s calling and anointing was recognised through his faithful serving (1 Timothy 1:12). We are all called to be an example (1 Timothy 4:12).

Submission to authority and a broken and contrite heart

Brokenness and a contrite heart is a requirement for service and this is what God looks for (see Psalm 51:17, Isaiah 57:15 and Isaiah 66:2). Jesus revealed that you can either be broken by your submission to Him or ground to powder by your rebellion (Matthew 21:44).

To be broken means to submit your will to the Master. The breaking process deals with submission to all authority, whether it is God’s authority or delegated authority (Romans 13:1-2). It is wrong to submit only when we agree. Those with a calling should be servants (rather than being served) and need to be enrolled in the school of humility. God measures greatness not in terms of status but in service; not by how many people serve you, but by how many people you serve.

Mission Preparation Training by Mathew Backholer.


Mathew is the author of:
Revival Fire - 150 Years of Revivals Go
Extreme Faith – On Fire Christianity Go
Global Revival – Worldwide Outpourings Go
Discipleship For Everyday Living. Christian Growth Go
Understanding Revival and Addressing the Issues Go
Revival Answers, True and False Revivals Go
Revival Fires and Awakenings. Thirty-Six Visitations of the Holy Spirit Go
How to Plan, Prepare and Successfully Complete Your Short-Term Mission Go