God calls men to do His work. When God calls a man to the ministry, He separates him from his peers calling him to a special task. Learn more about this holy calling.
Acts 13:1–4 “Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.”
Each child of God is called to good works and service of the Saviour. Eph 2:10 The Christian life should be filled with loving service to our Lord. Yet, God calls certain men to positions of leadership and particular works. He chose Abraham as the Father of the Jews, Moses to lead His people out of Egypt, and Samuel as a prophet and Judge. What a privilege that God still calls men to fulfill His purposes!
When God calls a man to ministry, He separates him from his peers calling him to a specific work. In Acts 13:2, the Holy Ghost called Barnabas and Saul for missionary ministry. They were to leave family and friends traveling to distant lands to spread the Gospel.
It ‘s hard to describe the call of ministry to someone who has never experienced it. The knowledge of God’s call is similar to the confidence of knowing that you are saved. Yes, you believe the Scripture about salvation. But also, the Holy Spirit bears witness with your spirit that you are saved. You just know it! The Call of God is much the same. There is the unmistakable knowledge that God has separated you for a special task.
The Bible shows the call to ministry in 3 stages:
1. Personal Call
God begins to work on the heart. He places a desire in a man for a life of ministry service. This process is scary and unnerving as the one being called tries to figure out these new feelings and desires. God begins to change his thinking about possessions, money, career, etc. God brings the man to a place of total submission. It’s a painful journey of the soul! But, it brings the man of God to a sweet place of absolute surrender.
Acts 9:6 tells us of Paul’s surrender to Christ.
“And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”
Later, we learn specific information about God’s ministry call of Paul when He is sharing his testimony with King Agrippa.
Acts 26:15–18 “And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”
2. Peripheral Call
Other people begin to notice when God calls a man to the ministry. Usually, a Man of God has God-given discernment when the Lord is calling someone else to the ministry. Typically, parents, family, and friends can sense the change that has taken place also. The Lord revealed to Ananias that Saul had gotten saved and was called to a special work.
Act 9:15 – 16 “But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.”
3. Public Call
When a ministry call becomes clear, Men of God will gather in a public ceremony to confirm their belief that God has separated a man for ministry. Today, this is known as an ordination. Men of God place their hands on the candidate signifying their belief that God has put His hand on him and called him to a special work. An ordination is an incredible event for a new minister and a church family that witnesses it.
Who does God call to Ministry?
Acts 13:1-2 reveals that Barnabas and Paul were busy serving the Lord in Antioch with the other men listed in verse one. Generally, God calls people who are already serving in their local churches. If you are not serving God in the little things, why would He choose you for bigger opportunities? Remember this critical Bible principle:
Luke 16:10 “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”
The ministry is not for the selfish. A minister will spend and be spent for the sake of the Gospel. A servant’s heart is a must!
Acts 13:2 tells us that Barnabas and Saul were fasting. Fasting is a deeply spiritual discipline. Typically, fasting is practiced only by the most committed followers of Christ. Also, we know they heard the direction of the Holy Ghost when He called them to the mission field. Spiritual Christians are filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18). They follow His direction as He empowers their lives and ministry. Any effective ministry must be led by spiritual men supernaturally enabled by the Holy Ghost! Spiritual men lead lives of consistent Bible study, passionate prayer, holy living, bold witnessing, humble service, and unwavering commitment. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is evident in their lives. The world needs more spiritual men!
Have you been called to the ministry? How did God speak to your heart?
Do you think God may be calling you to a life of ministry work? Consult your pastor and let him guide you.
Have a blessed day!