Sunday, July 17, 2011

Are you 'called'??...

Ministry... are you called??... am I?

...and having asked that, I have never thought there was a question about it... if we are His... we ARE the called.

The answer is YES... each of us who belong to Him and want Him to be the Lord of our lives... is called.

My dad, and our son, were called to full time christian ministry and service, as ministers. I am no less 'called' as His child.

I remember my own mom and dad... the call of God upon their lives was clear...they both knew that and they answered and obeyed. But the harvest was often small, and looked like so little. Some of us have been there, maybe are there now.


No accolades, no applause, no real interest or even encouragement many times from a human perspective. And even worse, the desire and capacity for more of God among those even within the church, was many times so weak. By the world's standards, their ministry was not front and center.

I have such a different view now, now that they are both in heaven...

Maybe it's just that I am getting older, and my thinking is changing... but I am so sure that the jewels in their crowns is the fact that they were faithful to what God gave them to do... all through the years. Their vision and their passion for His purposes did not dim.

There are so many who are held up as christian heroes in our world today. Some of it is deserved, lots of it is not.

Here's what else I know...

My dad was the mentor and minister to many other ministers, some of whom are carrying out that vision God gave to my dad, and the work is thriving and flourishing in ways that didn't happen when dad was living. But it was always GOD'S work, my dad was just being obedient. My dad ministered... he didn't minister because of the feedback, but because His desire was to obey God..

My mom was the example and teacher to her 3 children and so many others that she ministered to, who now continue what she taught them.

I hope that this encourages some of you who may feel they are discouraged in what God has called them to. There are times when I... one of those not in full time ministry, but one who wants to do His will right where I am... feel so small, and maybe without much value in terms of His kingdom.

That is another one of satan's lies!!!

Before you and I were born, God chose us, created us, and His call has always been on my life, and yours.

One of the verses that was a life line in our home growing up was...

"Be not weary in well doing, for in due season, ye SHALL reap, IF ye faint not!"...
It's a promise I claim constantly, and for any of you who feels any of the above... it's your promise too!

There are so many faithful children of God, all over the world, who are living out their lives, both the 'called' and the untitled 'called' (me)... without always seeing the results their hearts have hoped and longed for... yet!

Don't be discouraged by what you may not see... STAND on what you know God wants you to do... the rest is His to perform, and that is His promise.

"Knowing this, that He who hath begun a good work in you, WILL perform it until the day of Jesus Christ".

Wow! I just read this over and it sounds like a sermon, if so... I'm preaching to the choir!




18 comments:

Farm Girl said...

When I was a young mother and I had my hands so full and I wanted to be in full time service. It wasn't until Elisabeth Elliot talked about if you are a mother in your home you are in full time service. It really helped me so much. Then Bill Bright talked one day about your "sphere of influence." and as I thought about that I realized that whom ever God brings in my path is my ministry.
Since I had all of these kids at home and I was at the grocery store so much, I asked God if he would allow me to share Christ with every person at the grocery store that worked there.
And He did.
I am so thankful for those Godly people that God used to show me that ministry isn't something we do, it is how we live every day.
Thanks so much Sonja, and I of course count you as that kind of Godly example that God has placed in my life to spur me on.
Thank you,

Felisol said...

Dear Sonja,
I think what you are writing (or preaching) is the word of life.
I also admire preacher's wives, they are so public, and so exposed to all kinds of criticism and jealousy, and they are often dong three persons' jobs.

Me, I am an almost invisible member of a congregation, not a barricade stormer or a busy cake baker.

Even so I too am made in God's picture; Ephe.2: 10 "For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

Even if I am old and semi retired, there's still work to be done. I often feel both tired and incapable. I know that God hasn't laid more before me than He and I can cope together. Even so, the fiend keep telling me, I am of no use.

Then again your post made me think, if I am called to make phonecalls or carry out garbage for some who cannot do it themselves, that must be deeds laid before me.

Pray that God bless us wherever He has placed us, and grant us happiness and piece in our work.
From Felisol

Maryann said...

If we are His we are called. There are those who are called to full time ministry but we are all called to something.
You may be called to be a mom, teaching your children about the things of God. An older person may be called to encourage or mentor a younger person, an older saint may be called to be that prayer warrior.
We also have to remember some are planters, some will water and others may harvest.
Thank you for this post Sonja, it was wonderful.

Nancy said...

You are so blessed to have been brought up in a Christian home where you were shown and taught the love of Jesus.....For those of us who weren't, we have to sit at Jesus's feet extra time but thank goodness He is faithful to keep us close to Him.....

I agree I think we are called 24/7 to be available for any tasks where ever He calls us......One is not more important than another, He just wants us to be ready and obedient.....He knew the plans He had for us before we were created and they are always perfect.....

Thank you for your post today.,,,,,the sermon was wonderful......

Marsha @Spots and Wrinkles said...

Well, here is one choir girl who is paying attention. :)

Thanks and blessings to you - Marsha

Michele Katherine said...

Hi Sonja, I hope you had a nice weekend.

AMEN, to a great post!

The Church I'm attending uses this as their motto
" TRUTH" Know it, Live it, Share it."

This is about getting serious about our relationship with the Lord, and I really like that You have addressed this subject, and made it clear that as followers of Christ "We are all called, and the call is to reach the lost, and just living by example is not enough, because people must hear about Jesus.

I certainly struggle with the fact that I don't have the knowledge that a pastor has, but when I spend time with the Lord, in the Word, or memorizing scripture verses I realize how vital that is, because I believe this is what draws us closer to Him, and the deeper our love grows, the more our desire to share about Him just becomes our life.

As long as we our seeking Him He can use us, even when we falter, and I am no stranger to faltering again and again :o(

I know that when we share Gods Word with others, it is He who reveals Himself to those individuals.

"And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself."
John 12:32 NASB

...do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit. Mark 13:11 NASB

Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. John 20:21-22 NIV

OK, I'm done now :o) I liked your post so much, it got me all fired-up for Christ. I love that you lift Him up on your blog.
God bless you friend,
Michele

JBR said...

Sonja, thank you for sharing!

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Oh thank you so much...you sure you weren't in my kitchen yesterday as I cried some of this out to my husband? The feeling that everyone wants to show how well they have done it, the perfect family, the perfect kids (no rebellion) etc...and they are ministering...I look up and cried out, wow the ministry I see before me looks so different, it has all the mistakes, all the didn't turn out right...but wait, it is exactly where God has me!

Thank you...right now I am lifting my head and receiving back the calling of God on my life...it might not look pretty, but it is where He called me. Ministering to those whom it didn't go as they had planned. There is a call on my life. The fruit of that calling is His responsibility, mine is just to obey.

Debbie said...

I think this post is just wonderful and soo packed with truth. We ARE all called to His work. And it takes everyone of us working together to accomplish what He has in mind. Everyone must do their job He has called them too. From the Pastor behind the pulpit and the missionary in the field, to the woman (or men) who come in and clean the church after everyone is gone or those who spend their time on their knees praying. I think the majority of us are in the background never seen, never known. I know MANY times I feel as though I am not doing enough. Wonder what else He might have for me. Thinking I have not made a difference for His kingdom in my life. Especially when I was knee deep in raising my kids. Soo many pressing things that always seemed to need doing. How many times I felt frustrated or worthless when I couldn't go and do the things for Him that I thought were soo important. And He always seemed to be saying the same thing. Your work is here for now. If I could encourage all the young mothers out there of this importance I'd do it everyday. Still looking for that way, haha....Thanks for all of this Sonja. Can't tell you how much you always encourage me. HUGS, Debbie

beBOLDjen said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. This is a great post and a GREAT reminder!
Sometimes I think some of God's biggest blessings to us are that no one else notices our ministry and service to Him. That way our reward isn't spent on receiving the praises and accoloades of others but in hearing on That Day, "well done good and faithful servant."

I also enjoyed how you mentioned that some of your dad's labor was spent in building a foundation for other generations of Christ's servants. Our God is so generationally minded. We forget He's weaving a much grander work that will extend far beyond our lives on this planet and into eternity!

Sassy Granny ... said...

So well said, Sonja!

I've been employed in full time ministry for a good many years. A part of my employed status involved an office and paycheck. The balance - the bulk - of my employed status is in far simpler doings, like laundry :) .... and NO paycheck!

Whatever we do, we do it as unto the Lord. To me, that's the most sensational ministry/career I could ever want or ask for.

As for your parents ... I can't help but think of the scripture about the "last being first". What seems insignificant and obscure here, blazes on God's viewing screen THERE.

Love your heart!
Kathleen

Gwendolyn said...

Sonja, I just met you and yet, just reading your post, I wanted to comment every couple of sentences and AMEN what you said...so many good things. Yes, we are all called! The Word of God is so clear. We all have a purpose...to glorify Him and being faithful to whatever He asks us to do, day by day, moment by moment...it isn't a chore, but a joy; a privilege. Well, the Lord bless you! Come by my way when you can!

Vee said...

Just a wonderful word. I think of a pastor who has had the church full to the rafters with all manner of blessings and wonderful worship who now continues to minister right there in that church when there are fewer than a hundred and much calmer worship and few blessings. I think he's being faithful to his calling.

sex addict said...

I really enjoyed how you mentioned that some of your dad's labor was spent in building a foundation for other generations of Christ's servants.

deodate said...

Not preaching Sonja, ministering! Yes, we all have a part in spreading God's words. Some of us are up front and others behind the scenes. Thanks Sonja.
Andie

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Just left a comment; blogger wouldn't take it. Anyway, thanks for the encouragement. It was just my kids and me again on Sunday and our church is in the summer slump. Still and yet, we preach with our hearts, believing that God will grow the seed.

peace~elaine

Debbie said...

I love this Sonja! This is exactly what I have been learning about in my early morning quiet time. When I submit myself fully to God and allow Him to work in me and through me for His good pleasure, I am in 'my calling'.

Love you,
Debbie

myletterstoemily said...

hi sonja!

just dropped by to see how you are doing
and as always i am so encouraged here.
my husband is such an anointed minister
even though he is in the business world.
he LOVES to share the word of the Lord,
but i am such an introvert and find my
ministry to be so much smaller.

but when i think about it, i keep him so
happy at home, he is MUCH more
anointed on the field. :)

nothing new at my place. still soaking
up the colorado mountains.