I recently have had conversations with two of the closest people to me about the same subject. One was questioning me the other was questioning themselves, but they both consisted of the same content. I wanted to take a few moments to address this with you also. You, the person reading this blog has a purpose from God, for God. Choosing to seek and fulfill that purpose is up to you.
My wife came to me about my calling to preach the other day. She addressed her thoughts of what she thought I would be doing when I told her about my calling when we started dating two years ago. She said "I thought you were going to be on stage all the time, or teaching classes". Now when she said this my pride kicked into action and wanted to say a few things but i was able to control my tongue, well, that time anyway. The more I thought about that the more it stung. I think it is most preachers desire to preach to the masses and lead souls to God through the pulpit or maybe to have a class each week where people are hungry for the word. But the truth is, most don't.
If you were called to ministry and nothing seems to be going the way you thought it would, hold on! Don't give up! Don't throw in the towel just yet. I started to pray and think about this in my life throughout the week. The more you look into it the better you may feel about your calling and understand that you are still called, but its not your time just yet. With that said, just because it may not be your time does not mean that you do not have work to do. Preparation during this time is the greatest and most effective key to success during this time.
I began to look at Jesus ministry. He began public ministry at the age of thirty. Why did He wait so long? Was Jesus, the Son of God unable to, or unprepared to minister before that? Sometimes it is easy to forget that Jesus was fully man as well as fully God. we see examples of this through the gospels. In Matthew 4:2 it says "after fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry". Jesus needed food like we do. He ached, and hurt like you and I. When He stubbed His toe on the coffee table I believe He did a special one legged dance like any grown man does. Matthew 26:39 I believe Jesus shows His fully man side more than ever. He is crying out to His Father in heaven asking "if possible, let this cup pass from me". Jesus is saying if there is any other way, please, do that. Jesus knew what He had to do and He knew that was the will of the Father so he added "not my will, but your will be done".
Jesus as fully man had to prepare for His time when it came. You must prepare for your time as well. I told my wife just this. My time has not come yet but it will and at that time I will be ready.
If you are like me or any other person, at times you make bad choices. I feel that some of these choices can slow your progress into ministry. Some may be such bad choices that you may have to spend some years recovering from the decisions. I am an honest man and I like to be transparent with people. Without going into great detail I will tell you I am divorced. I divorced within biblical grounds. Even though I had good reason I still have to go through a season of recovery, reflection, and growth. You may be in the same position. Maybe, you are in a worse position and made some other bad choices. I just wanted to use myself as an example. Time must be taken and used constructively to move forward in ministry. It stinks, its not fun most of the time, but it is necessary. Please do not take that lightly. I encourage you to get with your pastor or a counselor and let them help you through that critical time.
My best friend called me yesterday with feelings of "there has to be more to life than this". My friend whom I look up to as a spiritual leader that has taught me many lessons over the years caught me off guard with his statement. But then I thought about all he has been through the past few years as he hit a few snags in life and had to take a few curve balls along the way. As well as some great but life changing events as in marriage, having children, changing jobs ect. I quickly realized that he was not at a dead end in life but rather just in a construction zone. At times we will find ourselves in these dreaded but needed construction zones in life. It slows us down, makes us late, irritated and makes us want to stop driving that direction. Could you imagine what the road would be like if we never had construction on them? If you are like me and you are from the north it is almost a reality already. But imagine never patching them holes that make the ride a little smoother. or have to deal with the major road replacement construction that keeps our cars from being tore apart by pot holes and cracks. Construction on the road and in our life is a must to not have to detour. Stay the course, its not over, its just necessary construction, do your part during this time. Recognize and remember the day you were called, the day God confirmed to you the call to minister. prepare for it. Get ready, yout time is coming.