“‘Not called!’ did you say? ‘Not heard the call,’ I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face — whose mercy you have professed to obey — and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.”

— William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army

Jim Elliot once said, “We do not need a call to get involved in world missions – we need a good swift kick in the pants.”

What the call is not

a vision

just feeling sorry for the other guy

a delicious feeling running up and down the spine

a bolt of lightning

a yearn to travel

the urge to be a hero

a voice from heaven

but the call is God’s revelation to you of his will that all men hear the gospel. So, maybe you should stop worrying about the call and start working on the answer? From a book “Mission Possible World Missions” by Marian Schindler and Robert Schindler by Sudan Interior Missions

Can you give a clear, confident testimony of your salvation based on the written Word of God?

Can you express clearly and confidently your call to the ministry?

Can others see the hand of God on your life and the proof of your calling?

Has God made it clear to you where it is that He wants you to serve Him?

Are you faithful to your local church (this means all regular services and also any special services)?

Do you participate in the soul-winning ministry of your church?

Have you ever led anyone to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ?

In your local church, what ministries do you participate in?

Have you ever built a Sunday School class so that your pastor and church can see you exercising your gifts and calling?

Have you ever discipled anyone to the point that they came from nothing and nowhere spiritually to maturity in Christ?

Can you stand alone spiritually or do you need to be pumped up and propped up spiritually?

Have you had a problem finishing what you start?

Have you finished your studies, Bible College, etc.?

Can you explain how you determine the will of God for your life?

How much pulpit experience have you had?

What is your attitude about living around or working with other races of people?

Are you in debt?

How does your family make major decisions?  Who has the final word in family decisions?

Can you explain and defend your basic doctrinal beliefs?

Did God call you?

1. Did you have an intense all consuming desire for the work of God? 

This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.  I Timothy 3:1.

It is not natural to want to be a missionary.  The thought may cross many peoples’ minds but the truth is that it is only a fleeting thought quickly and easily dismissed by most.  It is God who has worked in us both to will (or to put a desire in us that is not natural to us) and do his good pleasure.  God placed something in our hearts that we could not get away from.

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.  Philippians 2:13

Many of us were afraid.  Many of us doubted, but He did something in us.  Don’t you dare doubt that when the trouble comes.  Don’t you doubt in the night what God gave you in the light.  This desire was so great we couldn’t get it out of our hearts and minds. 

Did God place a “necessity” on you?  Did you feel the “woe”? 

For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!  I Corinthians 9:16.

I don’t know what happens, but it seems that one day we are happy in our lives and churches and then something just happens.  It may have started with a message from our pastor or a Sunday School lesson.  It could have started in a mission’s conference or by reading a book.  It may have been something that someone said, but it happened.  It doesn’t happen to most folks, but it did to you.  All of a sudden you felt like you couldn’t get away.  It may have started as only a passing thought.  It was kind of romantic.  It was neat to think about but it didn’t go away.  Almost everyone has thought about being a missionary, but they get over it.  You didn’t because you are different.  You are called of God.

Did your “heart stir you up”?

And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom, even every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it:  Exodus 36:2. 

No one can explain it.  It is different with everyone, but something happened.  You knew it then and even in the worst of times you will need to remember it.  When it gets tough and the Devil is on your back, you are going to need to remember this.  You didn’t choose it.  He chose you.  He put the unnatural but spiritual desire in your heart.  He put a “necessity on you.”  He put the “woe on you.”  He “stirred up your heart.”  Don’t let anyone or anything rob you of that.  Don’t let yourself, a “friend”, or the Devil try to explain it away.  It is the most precious gift we have in our personal ministry and walk with God.  He called me!

Others can see the hand of God on my life and ministry.

He put the burden on me, but He also has helped me live a life that met the   requirements of the ministry.  He gave me the ability.  I went before my pastor, and he could see that in me.  A group of Godly men have examined me, and they can see it.  Not only do I think that God called me but others recognize it in me.  God has placed His hand on me.  I feel very humble when I think about it but the God of Heaven has counted me worthy and put me in His ministry.  One of the wonderful things about it is that I am not the only one who thinks so.  You wouldn’t be here today unless God had impressed on others that you have been called of God.  You had to prove your call.  You had to let others see it and they did.

I believe God has called me or I wouldn’t be sitting here right now. 

Now you will travel all around the country while literally thousands more evaluate your call.  You will have to believe it or you can’t keep telling people over and over.  God called me.  God called me.  Don’t forget it when it gets rough.  Never make a major decision during times of discouragement and problems.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9 
God has confirmed or will be confirming His call in you. 

He opened doors for you in your church, at the mission, in other churches, and in the work.  He called you.  Never ever forget it.  Hold on.  He that called you will see you through. 

God’s call is what holds me when I get down. 

I often think of quitting.  I often get tired, but then I remember.  I am not in Peru because I want to be.  I am not going as a missionary because I am a good guy.  I am not there because I like it.  I didn’t choose to go; He called me.  I would be afraid to do anything less.  When I get down I just remember (I try to forget) but it is still there. I came here under orders.  I do not want to embarrass my God, my Calling, my Church, my Mission Board.  I will stay.  I will not allow myself to think of other things.  I will not try to rationalize it.  I will not try to figure a way out of it.  I will get a hold of God.  He sent me; He has to help me stay.  For 30 years now He has not failed me and He won’t fail you.  He has a job for you to do, and He will give you more grace and help if you will just allow Him to do so

  • Posted January 26, 2013 1:25 pm
    by David Velasquez

    I enjoyed this podcast! A wonderful balanced view of the call of God.

  • Posted January 26, 2013 2:41 pm
    by Jason Holt

    Great podcast again Pastor Gardner! I appreciate your insight about this subject. It really helped clarify my understanding. Thanks

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