Called but Not Qualified?
What does it mean to be called of God? We often use this phrase a lot especially in the Pentecostal church! Well, we are all called of God to live in accordance with His Word which above all is to love Jesus and those around us (Matthew 22:36-39), but God has also created each of us uniquely with specific gifts (Romans 11:29), graces (Romans 12:6, Ephesians 4:7), and desires (Psalm 37:4).
"Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;" - Romans 12:6
Often our specific callings look like a combination of things we love to do, things that make us come alive with joy and passion when we talk about them, things we think everyone else should be doing more of, or be more focused on, and things we find much easier than most people and can sometimes become frustrated when others don’t seem to ‘get it’! Something I have also noticed is that callings are often apparent even from childhood even if we didn’t grow up with a faith in God – what did you enjoy doing as a child?
As we mature in Christ and seek the Lord, I believe our specific callings are often confirmed through times in the secret place in prayer, however the Lord talks to you, which for me has often been in dreams and visions. Often if we are in a church environment that encourages and believes in the gifts of prophesy it is often confirmed through prophetic words spoken over us and often this is from strangers. Sometimes we have power encounters with the Holy Spirit where the weight of Gods glory or the power or fire of God so hits our physical body that we cannot move easily from the ground. Sometimes we feel the witness and presence of the Holy Spirit confirm it to us as people speak to us. Also, as we mature and step out in faith, if our Christian leaders are walking closely with God, they will often recognise the callings on our lives and speak into our lives with encouragement and help us mature and grow in what God has called us to do. The Holy Spirit is not confined to just the ways I have mentioned; sometimes it is confirmed through people you meet, conversations you have, strange 'coincidences' and many more ways!
One of the sad realities about all this is that even callings can become an idol, where a person is more concerned about what they do rather than who they are in Christ. We must continue to submit all things including our ministry and callings to the Lord and remain in first love for Jesus secure in our identity as a child of God, but we must also not out of fear of idolatry, laziness, fear or anything else, negate that God has made us uniquely to be part of His unique expression of the bride and body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12).
Our specific callings will always align with the Word of God to love Jesus and others, to fulfil the great commission in some way (Romans 8:28, Matthew 10:7-8, Matthew 16:15), to equip and disciple the saints for the work of ministry and to edify the church (Ephesians 4:12). The callings of God will also be impossible without walking with Jesus and the help of the Holy Spirit and will require much FAITH (Galatians 5:16, Hebrews 11:6).
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." - Romans 8:28
God will often call us to step out in faith into our callings without the experience, without being qualified in the world’s eyes, and even at times with very few, if any believing in our calling. This is when we stand on Gods Word to us, and His confirmation and say ‘yes’ to Him in faith whatever it looks like.
As we go, pray, and ask God for mentors, leaders, friends, and family; wise God fearing and God loving people who you can seek wisdom, counsel, and prayer from and those that will walk through the valleys with you as well as the mountain tops, who genuinely love and value you, not just your calling, gifts, or ministry (Proverbs 15:22). As you find these people include them in your journey, ask them to pray and listen to their advice, wisdom, insight, rebukes, and correction.
Pray and ask God for opportunities for training and growth and take these opportunities as you are able. Start somewhere, no matter how small, keep taking steps towards what God has asked you to do. Humble yourself and above all prepare in the secret place in prayer (Matthew 6:6).
If you are not walking closely with God in the secret place and in the Word, and with good healthy accountable relationships you are likely to fall into pride, deception, and idolatry. We never become too mature to need to seek the Lord, too mature to continue to need to read the same things in the Word again and again or too mature to need and value the wisdom and insight of other believers. We will find it very hard to sustain the call of God from a place of being in love with Jesus and out of the overflow from the love of Jesus if we are walking in pride, deception, and idolatry.
Your calling will not satisfy you. Only Jesus and relationship with Him will bring satisfaction of our souls (Psalm 107:9). Remain in Him and abide in Him (John 15:4). Remember, you are called of God by God (Romans 8:30). He is the one that chose you before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4), who prepared good works for you to walk into (Ephesians 2:10). We can often feel unqualified or inexperienced but if He has called you, He will equip you as you GO. You are qualified as a son or daughter of King Jesus in your ‘yes’ and obedience to Him (Galatians 4:6, John 14:21).
"...giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light." - Colossians 1:12