Reading Proverbs 2:1-11 which will help in understanding the specific working of God in the mind of the individual. God teaches and leads but man must act and follow. Man’s mental ability must be coupled with God’s spiritual guidance in order to know and do His will.
The call of God to man. How does one recognize and confirm the call of God?
The believer must be aware of God’s general call to the church.
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
This command is to the church and every member is involved. The church must evangelize its own community while at the same time reaching outward to the entire world. The plan of God shows men being called from the church and sent out to preach the gospel message to all. The entire church must prepare to serve God in the commission which He has given.
The believer must recognize that there is a specific call to a man. God has specific roles which He has designed and designated!
The call of God is necessary. Note the contention created by the well-meaning but uncalled nephew of Barnabas, John, in the first missionary journey from the church in Antioch. God stated that He wanted Barnabas and Saul to be separated from the church and to be sent out to evangelize. John accompanied these men until they were faced with opposition, at which time he departed from them and returned to his home. These facts are noted in the Book of Acts, chapter 13. In Acts 15, verses 36-39, a contention over John again joining with these men in another journey was so great that the teams split up. The call of God is necessary to give men staying power in the pursuit of their service to God.
The call is specific as to the ministry to be entered into. God gave four offices to the church as noted in Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
The office of apostle and of prophet have ceased. Both of these offices involved direct revelation from God and were for the purpose of establishing the church foundation. Once the Scripture was completed with the writing of the Revelation of God to John, these offices ceased. The two offices operating in this time are that of the evangelist and of the pastor and teacher. The evangelist is popularly known as a missionary. The work is to preach the gospel in areas that have no witness and see people saved, baptized, establishing churches. The pastor and teacher is to continue that ministry in the church by teaching the whole counsel of God.
The call of God must be listened for and examined.
The man that believes that God is calling him must examine himself in the light of God’s Word. He should ask himself and number of questions that must be Biblically answered.
Am I qualified?
He must fulfill the criteria set forth in 1 Timothy chapter 3, verses 1 through 7. His character must be identified with the references set forth by God. He must be faithfully involved in serving God. God calls active men as the ministry will not be fulfilled under the leadership of a lazy man. When Barnabas and Saul were called, they were serving God in the church at Antioch.
Am I sensitive to Biblical example?
He must identify with those of men that God set forth in the Bible as examples. The prophet Isaiah is a prime example as set forth in Isaiah chapters 5 and 6.
His heart was stirred by what he saw as he view the condition of the people. He became indignant at the ungodliness of the people. Then he saw the majesty of the Lord. While he was in the company of the people he felt himself to be very righteous, but when in the presence of the Lord, he knew that he was as the people were – sinners in need of a Saviour. He repented of his sin and then he heard the question “Whom shall we send and who shall go for us?” Who would go and preach the Word of God to these people. God was calling and Isaiah found himself to be willing. He stepped forth to offer himself to God “here am I, send me”. God called him to this ministry and sent him forth to preach to the people. The man of God should identify with God’s working in the life of Isaiah and others as told in the Scriptures.
Am I listening?
The desire to serve God in these offices is a good thing. Paul stated this in his letter to Timothy -1 Timothy 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. Men should have the desire to stand where the pastor is standing and preach the whole counsel of God, not to take his place but to minister as he is ministering. In order to know God’s call he must have the knowledge of God’s Word. God will use His Word coupled with man’s testimony to call the man into His service. The desire to serve can be brought forth in a man’s life through his knowledge of passages such as that in Romans, chapter 10.
Romans 10:13-15 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
The man will know God’s Word, be aware of circumstances, and will confirm his call with God’s Word. Seek God’s guidance through the Bible and in prayer. He will take good counsel and he will have confirmation from the Word. Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful