In my last article I tried to reassure us that when God calls a person to a specific work, the calling is unmistakeable. Notwithstanding this certainty, even once called we can still be plagued by a feeling of inadequacy: will we have the ability to carry out that which we have been called to do? To a degree a sense of humility and an – I can’t do this in my own strength – kind of attitude, relying upon God’s enabling is essential, but not to the extent that it prevents you from taking any action at all.
“Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, 21 equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)
We should draw a great comfort from this benediction at the close of Hebrews, because: The Gospel was God’s idea, we have a Great Shepherd and He will ensure that we have what we need.
The Gospel was God’s Idea
God is a God of peace and it was God who wanted to make peace with His fallen creatures. In the beginning we had it pretty good and we had a perfect relationship with our Heavenly Father, but this relationship was ruined by sin. So God authored the process by which we could be restored again to a right relationship with Him. Therefore, since the work is by His initiative, its His work and we should be mindful that He has called us to be a part of it.
We have a Great Shepherd
The Great Shepherd of the sheep is with us all the way. He said He would never leave nor forsake us. If we follow Him closely, we will learn His voice and be able to hear and follow Him wherever He leads. (In times past, sheep were not driven or round up with dogs; they knew the voice of their shepherd and just simply followed as he lead them to good pasture (see Psalm 23)). Not only is our Shepherd with us but His spirit is in us: He guides us into all truth through His Word and leads us the way we should go. We are not in this alone, neither are we expected to do it without any help.
He will Ensure that we have What we Need
Since the work of the Gospel is God’s initiative and that He helps us to carry out what He calls us to do, we should be able to proceed, knowing that He will enable us to do so.
Some people are gifted with incredible ability and skill in many areas, but this could turn out to be a hinderance, since we are then able to do stuff without much help and guidance. Don’t misunderstand me, training is vital, but I have observed that, however skilled a person is, God will always stretch them a little outside of their comfort zone. In this way they will learn to trust Him, because learning to do so, is of utmost importance and because He wants us to lean on Him. Also, God gets all the credit too, and so, we aren’t ever able to boast.
On the other hand some of us have little in the way of natural skills and have had to learn – ‘on-the-job’. When I was considering my calling into the ministry (as an evangelist in a very specific setting), I was plagued with doubt about my ability to do the job in hand. However, when I received a message from a dear friend with the quote “God does not call the equipped, He equips the called”, I prayed that, if this was true then I would ‘step out in faith’ and allow God to equip me as I went. I can honestly say that throughout – almost without exception, all the things I have had to do were new, challenging things – God has somehow given me the ability to do them all.
“For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)
Whatever your current level of ability is, learning to trust that: God will equip you in every way to do His will because its His work, is vital. So, now, with that understanding, you can proceed with boldness and godly confidence.
Having heard the call of God, and are willing to go, knowing that God will help you every step of the way, how else will God prepare you? The next article (3/5) in this series, Be Ready – Preparing your Heart, will show what the essential qualities are for the called of God.
Read more from this series: https://notrecommendedforministry.wordpress.com/tag/missions/
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