Monday, May 11, 2009

Call of God (Part 1) - The Call to Preach

Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. BUT HIS WORD WAS IN MINE HEART AS A BURNING FIRE SHUT UP IN MY BONES, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. Jeremiah 20:9

We believe that God calls all believers into ministry service. But there is also a distinct call to preach, or to be placed into one of the five offices of apostolic ministry (as found in Ephesians 4:11-12). As such God actually “puts” men & women into the ministry and "sets them apart" for special service.

The call to preach, for instance, comes in many different ways to different people, but the one common denominator for them all is THE LORD is the One DOING THE CALLING.

Not having an unshakable conviction and sense of divine call is one of the main reasons why so few who begin preaching actually stay devoted to it for a lifetime. But preachers like Jeremiah (above) are sure of the fire of God’s call in their bones, and cannot do anything but preach.

Sometimes mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, friends, and church members decide for a young person he should be a preacher, or at least would make a good preacher. But this is not God’s way. The call to preach comes from God.

For some, ministry today is defined as a “profession” which one simply decides to enter. After fulfilling a certain course of study of academics (some of it might actually include the Bible), a man or woman then enters “the ministry” just as one would enter any other field of employment. The problem with this approach is that it is contrary to revealed scripture.

You can no more send yourself into the pulpit than you can send yourself overseas as an official ambassador of the United States. This is not something one looks at and says "Oh I think I’d like to try that." There is a mystery to this calling; something not-of-this-world.

This calling cannot be escaped either, as Jeremiah testified. Paul said the same thing, "For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for NECESSITY IS LAID UPON ME; yea, WOE IS UNTO ME, if I PREACH NOT the gospel!”(1 Cor 9:16). If a man can live without preaching then he does not have this calling that Paul speaks about. GOD lays this burden upon whom HE will and no man can silence that nor overturn it.

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