When Jeremiah is called to be a prophet, he is hesitant. He says he is just a youth and cannot speak in a way that will make people listen. There’s an old saying that God does not call someone to a task without enabling them to complete it. That is most certainly true. Sometime the call requires a lot of preparation and training. Other times, not so much. But God’s true call to His people will be enabled–even if we can’t see how that might be so.
Being honest, we’ve all seen people fail at a task in or for the Church. That doesn’t mean God fell down on the job, but rather that the person was not truly called to that task or was not yet ready to undertake it. Maybe you’ve been one of those people who failed at something for the Church. I have been one. That doesn’t mean God failed, it means that we weren’t yet ready or that we have failed to correctly discern what we were called to do.
When Jesus called the Apostles, He did so verbally. “Follow me,” He would say. You couldn’t make discernment any easier if you tried. He does the same for you and me through the preached Word and the Scriptures. For the Church to follow Jesus today we must all discern our part to play in that great work. So how do we do that?
First and foremost, we pray. We pray for guidance and direction before we begin our work. We pray for strength as we do our work. We pray for humility as others see our work. And we pray for wisdom as we look forward toward our future labors.
Second, we search the Scriptures to make sure that our discernment is in line with the true faith. We are easily misdirected when we trust in our own ideas. God will never call us to do something He condemns, but He may call us at any time to take up a task which is approved in the Bible.
Third, we listen to those fellow believers who have seen and worked with us–those who can discern, when we can’t, how God is directing us as we move forward.
Finally, we begin our labor and we thank God that He, the Almighty and everlasting God, has chosen us to do some task for the building up of His Kingdom.
God called Jeremiah. He called me. He called you. And we will feel His pleasure when we walk in the path He has chosen for us.
For more posts about discerning your calling see:
The Purpose of Spiritual Gifts
What the Bible Says About Purpose by David Ramos–Book Review
Discernment by Henri Nouwen with Michael J. Christensen and Rebecca J. Laird–Book Review