Earlier this year, I received a calling that I know with all my heart came from our Savior. Answering that calling required that I start a business in an industry where I had ZERO experience. Jumping in feet first, I struggled with the reality that not only did I not know what I was doing, but I didn’t have any additional resources (time or money) to put toward making this business a success.
To say I was unsure, is putting it mildly. Within about a week, I knew I was doing the right thing. Now six months in, and I still struggle with a few things, but God has provided me with the resources I need to accomplish this mission. I can’t explain how it’s working, because everything on paper points to failure, and yet, the business continues to thrive and support the mission of serving other women business owners.
In Isaiah 6: 1-8, the bible demonstrates the stages we might go through in our own walk with God, and how we might respond to a divine calling. It doesn’t matter when in our lives God was revealed to us, or where we were at when we truly recognized His holiness; when we are asked to serve in a leadership capacity, every single one of us will respond the same way, just as Isaiah did: “I am not worthy.”
Right? When we are called to teach others, or lead others, or spread God’s word through whatever talent has been bestowed upon us, we suddenly notice the stark contrast between His righteousness, and our own lack thereof. But, and here is the really cool part, He designed it that way. AND, he will cleanse us of our sins, provide us with a new outlook, and make us ready to serve. Yes, He is THAT good!
Jeremiah: 1:4-10 “Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Then said I: “Ah Lord, God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.” But the Lord said to me: “Do not say, “I am a youth,” for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord. Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to build and to plant.”
We might, like Jeremiah, feel that we lack the talent and the knowledge to accept a calling. But, God provides. He won’t call you without also giving you the talent and the resources to accomplish His goals. God provides and He prepares. He isn’t going to send us out on a mission that He hasn’t first prepared us for. Matthew 5 tells us about how all leaders must be tested. We must prove to God that we have the ability to obey Him, even when it’s hard. First, we are called, a seed is planted (that “idea” that pops into our head in the middle of the night); then, He begins preparing us for leadership through testing (we must learn and grow into our calling). We must learn to recognize our own strengths and weaknesses, we must learn to live at a higher level, and we must always seek His face. Like, Aaron, the Lord has set you apart for His work. To be successful, you only need to trust in Him.
Here is my only word of caution. Be prepared for the high expectations that come with a holy calling. People will expect you to be a different kind of person, and everything you do will be scrutinized. We may not see too many Christian politicians, but look at the political leaders who profess their love for God. Every move they make is scrutinized, every word out of their mouths is dissected. It seems unfair, but it is all part of preparing us to lead. God gave us the story of Ezekiel to demonstrate the scrutiny those called for His purpose will face. God told Ezekial what needed to be done, but He also warned him that he’d face an angry mob. The good news is that God called Ezekial to speak, and that calling wasn’t dependent on the response of the people. To put that in a more modern perspective, if you have been called to minister God’s word, and you’re utilizing social media to do that, know that there will be people out there who rebel against what you’re sharing with them. Not everyone will embrace the Word of God. Don’t quit. Keep telling people. Maybe your calling exists to just change the mind of one, maybe it’s to change the mind of 10,000. It doesn’t matter, and that’s not for you to decide. Keep plugging away., stand strong even when people ignore you, or shun you for your ministry. Remember that you are not in control of the outcome anyway. Your job is simply to stay faithful and utilize the gifts God has given you.