Called and Confused

Throughout the Bible we see people who were chosen by God to represent Him and do His work here on earth. In many cases we see great leaders who were also reluctant servants.  For example, it is obvious that Moses was called by God to deliver the Israelites from the oppressive hand of Pharaoh, yet he wasn't too eager to receive the calling when God first spoke to him.  The exchange between God and Moses in Exodus 4 is almost comical. Moses keeps making excuses and finally says, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it."  Gideon was a surprise pick.  He was reluctant to heed the call of mighty warrior because he felt inadequate being from the weakest clan and the youngest in his family.   He asked God for sign to confirm his calling.  Saul reacted to being anointed by hiding in the luggage! My guess is not only was David’s family confused by the passing over of his older brothers by Samuel when looking for Saul’s replacement, but to pick the baby of the family!  That just wasn’t done.  I’m thinking David wasn’t sure what the heck was going on either. Joseph, who after being left in a pit by his brothers, certainly couldn’t have imagined one day being elevated over them, or for that matter, his whole family.  My guess is that by the time he was sold into slavery, falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife, cast into a dungeon and seemingly forgotten by all, his God-given dream was a faded memory.

Over the thousands of years of human history there have been millions of men and women who believe that God has spoken to them, tapped them to do His work here on earth. In fact, it would be the exception, not the rule if you spoke to someone involved in leading a ministry for them to say there was any other reason for doing what they are other than having been “led by God” to do it. Call it what you want, “anointed,” “called,” “spoken to,” or“a visitation.”  Everyone in ministry believes they are doing it because God has chosen them for such a work.   Most of us have known someone like this, or have been involved in a ministry in which someone who is leading the ministry has stated that they ‘”feel called.”  There is nothing wrong with this. I would place myself in that category as well.  I, to this day, can take you to the exact spot in San Clemente, California, where I believe the Lord first made me aware that He was “calling me” into ministry, and that was 50 years ago. I know the street address. I have visited the place. Yet from that point forward it has been anything but “upward and onward!”  The fact is, for me, it has been many times a very confusing thing to be “called by God.”

It appears to me that there are many who are confused when it comes to this calling; many who interpret it in many different ways. You have people who see themselves as “God’s anointed.” Since people are warned not to “come against God’s anointed,” it can mean, “Don’t question what I’m doing.”  For some reason I have always contrasted that against the exchange in Acts between Paul and the Bereans. I’m sure the Bereans knew of Paul’s reputation, that he was an Apostle, called by God, “anointed.”  Yet they didn’t seem to feel obligated to buy what he had to say without first examining the Scriptures to see if what he was saying was true.  Can you imagine the response of some of our present day “anointed ones” if anyone “under” them responded to their teaching or instruction by saying, “Well, that’s interesting. Let me spend some time checking it out in the Scriptures to see if you are telling the truth!” They would most likely be insulted and say, “Are you questioning my integrity?” “Are you calling me a liar?” Which of course isn’t the case, but the defensiveness of “the anointed ones” sometimes points to some real insecurities in people, who logically shouldn’t be afraid of a little question. By the way, if you are involved in anything that doesn’t allow for examination, scrutiny and even descent, I would simply say this, “Run Forrest Run!”  

I would like to leave you with these points for consideration: First, just because someone feels like they are called by God into ministry, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are.  Second, if they are, it doesn’t mean they fully understand what it means and how to work it out. Third, it doesn’t mean they are going to handle it perfectly.   Finally, if you are one who feels that you are called by God, specifically for one ministry or another, you don’t have to constantly proclaim and explain this to everyone; just do it, even it you feel insecure, or reluctant about it and find yourself coming up with a hundred excuses not to.   Do what you believe God has called you to do. Do it with humility, kindness, grace, meekness, and compassion.  “Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12).