And these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. Romans 8:30
There is nothing in the entire world like the call of God, nothing of greater importance or of more value. Once you hear his voice and respond, your life is never the same. God calls people in many different ways for countless different reasons. The scriptures are full of wonderful examples; from the call that came to Jeremiah as a young boy to change an entire nation (Jeremiah 1:15), to the call of Peter the fisherman to leave his fishing nets, to follow Jesus and to begin fishing for men (Matthew 4:18-20). This is the same Peter that went from being a simple fisherman to an Apostle of the early Church, all because of the call of God.
The most important of all calls is the call to salvation (Matthew 9:13, Mark 2:17, Luke 5:32, Acts 2:39, Romans 1:5-6). This call is a call to enter into a personal life changing relationship with Jesus Christ. Some people are confused by what they perceive this call to actually be. They consider this call as a call to religion or some particular Church. This is not a call to religion, a Church, denomination, or even to Christianity. It is a call to follow Jesus Christ and to accept Him as one’s personal Lord and Savior. What is important about this call it applies to everyone. I will never forget when I heard this call for the first time. It was not an audible voice; it was something that compelled me to love Jesus Christ more than anything else, believe and to serve Him with all of my heart.
In addition to the call of salvation, there is the call to a specific task, mission or assignment. This is where God will call an individual to do something as His personal representative. For example, Peter and John were sent by the Church in Jerusalem to investigate what was happening in Samaria under Philip’s ministry (Acts 8:14). Another example was Barnabas being sent to Antioch to follow up on the church that had been planted there (Acts 11:22). The scriptures are full of examples of various calls from God to complete an important assignment or role. For you the reader this call could come as a compelling desire to start an outreach service to your community, volunteer in the children’s department for your local church, or simply share your faith with a colleague at work. The call to a task is not just the willingness to do random acts of charity, as good as that maybe, it is far more than that. It is an irresistible compelling desire to serve, to make a difference and to demonstrate the love of God by serving others. Once one answers the call to salvation, he or she is compelled to serve God by answering the call to a specific task, mission or assignment, not out of a sense of duty or obligation but out of the overflow of a loving relationship with the one who called.
In Ephesians 4:11 we discover the specific gifts that God calls to serve, lead and to equip His Church for the work of the ministry. For example, one of these gifts and callings is Pastoring. Pastoring is a direct call from God. It is not a career choice, a matter of circumstance or an elected position. One does not become a pastor by default, mere chance, or because he graduated from a major University. In order to pastor authentically and effectively one must be called and approved by God. The fruits of his ministry and leadership must give undeniable proof of his calling. Keep in mind, position is not proof of one’s calling. Sadly, today there are many who serve in the function of pastor without the call. Scripture refers to them as hirelings (1 John 10:11-14).
Although the call comes from God, we must keep in mind that it is not a guarantee of success or failure. It is not the assurance that the task will be easy or free of opposition. We must further keep in mind that the call is not extended exclusively to uniquely gifted, talented, or perfect people. In fact, He does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called. God uses imperfect people for impossible tasks. In addition, the call of God is extended to all who believe. We are all full-time ministers of the Gospel. As the salt of the earth and the light of the world we all share the same mandate to change the world
What has He called you to? What you need for the task ahead of you is in you!