You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. ~ John 15:16, ESV
Most of us who are in God’s ministry have lost sight of the fact that we are in His ministry not because we FIRST invited Jesus the Christ to come in to our hearts, but rather because the Lord FIRST invited us to come in to the Kingdom of God. As a result of His invitation (calling), the Lord Jesus the Christ not only became the only One who can save us but also the only ONE who can choose what specific work His Christian workers will do for God.
So then, those believers among us who have made a conscious decision to choose to be saved, have made a conscious decision to choose to be a “Christian” worker, and have made a conscious decision to choose the kind of work they will do for God will one day discover that they have not been following God’s plan and purpose for their individual lives. The truth is that those believers among us who have made said conscious decisions only are following their own agendas—their own plans and purposes for serving God, which ultimately will cause Jesus the Christ to reveal to these workers that they are NOT children of God, because they are NOT doing the Father’s Will (cf. Matthew 7:21b; Matthew 12:50; Luke 6:46).
Indeed, the only believers that Jesus the Christ acknowledges as His relatives are those believers who are united to Him by God’s Grace, God’s Holy Spirit, and God’s Plan of Salvation—those supernaturally spiritual ties between the Lord and His brothers and sisters that make these believers ONE with the Lord and ONE with Father God. Certainly, these are the only believers who do not just hear Father God’s Word, but they obey Father God’s Word, which actually means they are doing Father God’s Will (cf. Luke 8:21; John 17:20-23).
These aforementioned biblical truths are why there is nothing more disheartening than to hear so many born again, saved, notable believers constantly referring to the “Christian” work they are doing as “my” ministry, “my” church, or “my” job/work. For sure, this reference to “my” ministry, “my” church, or “my” job/work often means that many of these men and women have accepted a ministerial “calling” (invitation) either because of how they personally have felt, or because their pastor has told them that they should be a minister, or even because they have “thought” that God’s ministry was a paid occupation (job) that they would enjoy doing. In essence, many of the “Christians” who speak about God’s ministry as being “my” ministry, “my” church, or “my” job/work really are saying that God did not choose them or what they would do in service for Him, but rather they first made the conscious decision to chose the Lord and then they made the conscious decision to choose the work they would do for Him!
Once again, Jesus the Christ clearly states that our calling (invitation) in to God’s ministry is not because of us choosing the Lord or us choosing to preach, to teach, to write, or to sing about the Gospel of Christ, and etcetera. The Lord makes it clear in John 15:16 that the “choosing process” has never been up to us. Indeed, it is God through Jesus the Christ who has chosen us to be Gospel ministers, meaning, Gospel preachers, Gospel evangelists, Gospel apostles, Gospel church planters, Gospel prophets, Gospel pastors, Gospel teachers, Gospel singers, Gospel writers, and so forth. For this reason, everything about our calling is about God—the One whose “selection process” is done according to His Grace, according to His Power, and according to His desires.
Case in point, the Apostle Paul writes:
Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ ~ Ephesians 3:7-8, ESV,
and, in this above verse, it is obvious that the Apostle Paul is confirming that EVERYTHING about his call and the work he has been called to do is ALL about God: His supernatural gift of Grace, His supernatural gift of the Holy Spirit’s dunamis (power), and His supernatural gift of Salvation. Therefore, ministering to others, whether by preaching, teaching, singing, writing, and so on, is possible only because God FIRST decided to make us Gospel ministers, that is, He FIRST chose to make us Gospel preachers, Gospel evangelists, Gospel apostles, Gospel church planters, Gospel prophets, Gospel pastors, Gospel teachers, Gospel singers, Gospel writers, and so forth. Put differently, it is by His freely given gifts of Grace (undeserved, unwarranted favor), the power of His Holy Spirit, and Salvation that we are able to receive the motivation to do that which we have been called (invited) to do for the Lord and for God, and this motivation only comes from God rather than from any human being or because of any impulse.
How we came to think that we are the ones who choose to be a pastor, or a prophet, and so on, happened the moment we became tired of and frustrated with waiting on God to elevate us to our ministerial position(s). In our impatience, we began to think that because we have the right gifts, the right anointing(s), the right training, the right look, the right acquaintances, and so forth, that we also have the right to make our own opportunities and successes in the ministry work that we have decided to do for God. In other words, when we are influenced by time, as well as by fame, money, friends, family, and etcetera, then instead of waiting on God’s calling in to ministry (His invitation to serve Him and others), instead of waiting on His purpose that He has for us, and instead of waiting on the way He wants us to fulfill that calling and purpose, we often end up forcing an opening in to ministry—an opening that only allows us to promote our own agendas and our own purposes or intentions.
While waiting for ministerial opportunities often is hard to do for those of us who know that we know that we know God has called, ordained, anointed, and appointed us, waiting is what we must do. For sure, God knows that our not knowing how long we will have to go back to doing the monotonous, dull, and often seemingly insignificant tasks we were doing before He officially called us will make us wish that we were somewhere else doing something more extraordinary. Nevertheless, we must know that He will not send us anywhere to do anything if He has not prepared us for service. For this reason, we also must know that we must continue to stay where we are, excellently and contentedly doing what we have been doing, for it is in these humble beginnings that we will find sufficient occasions to serve Him and others.
For sure, our humble beginnings also will be our testing times—times when we prove that we not only know our calling but also know our character. In these testing times, God does with us that which He so chooses to do, which is to prepare us for His service by bending, breaking, and molding us into His Man or His Woman. Not until we finally are ready will He send us through His open window or open door of opportunity to do the work that lies ahead of us, and when He does send us we will be all about doing the work that glorifies Him rather than more concerned with doing the work that brings us glory!