God’s Call – Part 3

How do you know when you’re not called to something?

1) By family (spouse, parents, your uncle who is a pastor, etc.).

Your family may help confirm a call that God as placed on your life, but they should not be the driving force behind your thoughts about entering into a ministry. Listen to their advice if they are mature spiritually, but be wary if they put a guilt trip on you, or they are too forceful with their plans for your life.

2) By a sense of Guilt.

Speaking of guilt trips…God does not take us on guilt trips! God is not going to manipulate you by guilting you into anything. God will give you a quiet confidence about what He has called you to and a peace that goes beyond anything this world can offer or understand. Our God works through conviction, not guilt. Guilt is an overwhelming sense that “I am bad, ” or “God is not pleased with who I am.” Thoughts like that are evil and come from the enemy of our souls. Conviction is very specific and never condemning. In other words, the Holy Spirit will speak very specifically about what we are doing or are thinking about doing and speak to us whether it is pleasing to Him or not. If you feel guilt pushing you toward something, that is not God. If God ever convicts us of something that we are doing that is not pleasing to Him, we only need to repent, move on from that situation/circumstance, and seek God’s face and listen for what He directs us to next.

3) By a desire to “pay God back.”

You can never pay God back for the grace he has given you. It is impossible and not something God even wants us to attempt. If you are entering a ministry because of a sense that you owe God, or trying to earn his love, you will not be able to find the peace and confidence that God desires for you. Once we truly understand God’s grace, we will realize that we are more sinful than we ever realized, and we are more loved and taken care of by God than we could ever dare to hope. Thank you Jesus that we never have to earn or pay back what you have freely provided for us!

4) By insecurity

I struggle with insecurity. From what I have seen in my years of pastoral counseling, most everyone does. I want people to like me and appreciate what I do. We all struggle with wanting approval and acknowledgment. The danger is when we look to the wrong things to deal with our insecurity. Many people are trying to define who they are by a position or a title. That desire all comes down to the fact that we are all insecure at some level about who we are and are searching for something to define us and give us worth. Position or title will never satisfy your soul or define who you are. We must define ourselves by who we are in Christ alone. I believe that self-esteem is not what God wants for us. What is there in our flesh that is worth esteeming? We need to have”God-esteem,” instead of self-esteem, and realize that our worth does not come out of a title or what other people think about us. We are valuable because God has created us, paid the penalty for our mistakes, and has an incredible plan for the time He gives us on this earth. You will never be secure in “who” you are, until you realize “whose” you are!

5) By a desire for fame

Our main desire should be to make the name of Jesus famous. In the early days of NewSpring, the thing that impressed me most about Perry Noble was the contagious vision and desire he had to lift up the name of Jesus, reach people with the gospel, and honor God. We didn’t know what a megachurch was when we started and had no aspirations for people to know who we were. We just wanted to reach a lot of people for Jesus, and bring Him glory through what we did every day. That is still our goal. Ministry is not about people knowing who you are. It has to be about Jesus and obedience to what He leads us to do everyday.

Perry, thank you for being faithful to the vision that God has given you for NewSpring. Thank you for being humble and focused on Jesus. And thank you for refusing to listen to the critics tell us what we couldn’t do. God is driving this church and making the name of Jesus famous through your choice to be obedient to His call.

 

 

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