How do you know if God is calling you?
First, there is an inward call. Through His Spirit, God speaks to those persons He has called to serve as pastors and
ministers of His church. The great Reformer Martin Luther described this inward call as “God’s voice heard by faith.” Those
whom God has called know this call by a sense of leading, purpose, and growing commitment.
Charles Spurgeon identified the first sign of God’s call to the ministry as “an intense, all-absorbing desire for the work.”
Those called by God sense a growing compulsion to preach and teach the Word, and to minister to the people of God.
you sense that God is calling you to ministry, whether as pastor or another servant of the church? Do you burn with a compulsion to proclaim the Word, share the Gospel, and care for God’s flock? Has this call been confirmed and encouraged by those Christians who know you best?
The ministry is more than an occupation or a job, it is a call from God. The salary is lower than most other positions of
equal responsibility. The demands are great, the hours are long, the burdens are almost unbearable. Ministers are gossiped about and lied about. They are criticized to their faces, and carnal church members connive behind their backs. The pastorate is one of the most demanding positions, and no one man could remain as pastor without the inner assurance that the Almighty God has called him to that office.
What makes a minister give up sleep to prepare sermons and pray for power on his message? The call of God. What motivates a minister to spend all day knocking on doors instead of getting a better-paying job when he knows his family doesn’t have as many nice things as the neighbors or he doesn’t have the freedom to be with his family as much as some others? The call of God.
A man at the assembly line hears something no others perceive: it is God’s call. He begins to march to a different drumbeat:
it is God’s command to go and build a church, even when his friends think he is crazy. A man attempts to do what seems impossible. He speaks in public when his grammar is shoddy; he knocks on doors, knowing he cannot sell. He attempts to teach the Bible when he has little formal education. He tries to build huge auditoriums, not knowing construction or architecture.
He manages a large corporation, though ignorant of financing or advertising. Why does a man dream the unthinkable and attempt the impossible? He feels God has called him and all he can do is obey.
This minister knows that with God’s calling is God’s
enablement and that if God has called him, he can serve the Lord.
The ministry is not something a man chooses. A young man does not look through the want ads and, not finding a position, turn to the pastorate. The New Testament church begins with a God-called man who is willing to make any sacrifice, pay any price, forsake all and build a church in the name and after the pattern of Jesus Christ who said, “I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18).