As you may have guessed from my previous posts that God’s will is manifesting itself in my life right now. This last year has been one for the books, but in the midst of all the turmoil/trials/tribulations and heartache I’ve experienced, I’m good. I recognize God’s favor and I realized that God is only strengthening me, preparing me…for greater. One of my favorite songs is “Greater is Coming” by Jekalyn Carr. In the opening she explains:
I am standing on the precipice of my greater and God has allowed me to go through the stages like the pressing of the olive into oil: the shaking, beating and pressing have confirmed how anointed and ready to work for God I am. I started thinking how God prepares us to do His will in the midst of our trials and tribulations and how some folks just choose not to answer His call. I didn’t want to fight it anymore. I am ready to open up and share my testimony as to how awesome God is and all that he has done for me. I am ready to share my story.
I recently reconnected with a childhood friend who had been called to Minister. His love for God was overwhelming in his description of his testimony. Being a novice, I wanted to research and find out what being called to ministry actually means. In my research I discovered that there are Five Elements of the Call to Ministry and the author says that they are:
1. Receiving the Call
2. Verifying the Call
3. Announcing the Call
4. Affirming the Call
5. Solidifying the Call
Wow! I didn’t realize that there were elements that most experience when they receive the call to minister the word of God. There is consistency in this and we can use the elements to further develop our relationship with God. We don’t have to be called to the pulpit, be we are called to verify minister to non-believers everyday. So, how do I use the elements to define my call to share my testimonies to the masses? By being open to God’s word. I started to review these elements and see how they’ve been revealed in my life. Here’s what I’ve learned about myself…
Receiving the call – I received the call to come to Christ at an early age. It wasn’t a call that I recognized. Whereby it was in Sunday school at a church in Texas (mega church). My Sunday school teacher said “How many of you know that if you die today you would go to Heaven?” Everyone raised their hand except me. I didn’t know where I would go if I died. I was 12. I wasn’t supposed to think about that. Death. But, I did and they took me downstairs in the sanctuary into a separate room where they prayed over me. They asked me do I want to know God’s love and have him watch over and protect me? They asked me do I believe that Jesus is the son of God who came down from Heaven and died for my sins? They asked me do I accept him as my personal Savior? I replied yes and instantly I was saved. But, I didn’t know what that meant. What was salvation? Was there something more I needed to do? I was 12 and still unsure of Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. Would he keep the Boogey man away? Would he protect me from bullies? If I was mean to my sister, would I go to Hell? So, many questions and I didn’t have any answers at that moment, but my decision to follow Christ was verified a few months later.
Verifying the call – After I had been saved and baptized I went away to Bible camp four months later. It was Texas and tornado season. We lived in Tornado Alley. All the churches sent the kids to Bible camp at the same time and that summer tornadoes struck down as we headed to camp. Some children were trapped on buses as rivers overflowed the roads, hanging in trees and being swept by rushing waters. However, we were lucky because we only experienced bad rain and arrived at camp safe and sound. God had saved us. Church camp allowed me to verify my relationship with God because it was the first time that God had spoken to me. We had tent revivals that week at Bible Camp and as I went to the altar to pray, God spoke to me. It seemed unbelievable that this kind of relationship was real, but that life line to God was established and verified. I mattered to God.
In the next post I will review elements 3-5 and expand on my beliefs of accepting God’s call to testify that He is real and how its impacted my life.