April 26, 2010
When God Calls a Woman
"I took you from the ends of the earth, from it farthest corner I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant,' I have chosen you and have not rejected you"
Isaiah 41:9, (NIV).
Growing up in church, I was familiar with the term called although its meaning had little interest to me. Once I sensed God's call on my own life, the term took on new significance. The emotion I felt most was fear! Like Moses, I thought of everything that would disqualify me for ministry.
Later on, I realized those were only excuses. The God who calls us equips us. My mind understood this truth, but the rest of me struggled with fear. Anxious thoughts raced around my head such as, Did I hear God correctly or was this sense of service coming from my own desires? Eventually, I found peace in Paul's words:
"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 1:1, NIV).
I noticed that Paul was called "by the will of God." That means that ministry is not something you and I choose. God does the choosing. We can choose to do any other profession on earth, but ministry. To do ministry, you and I must be chosen by God.
According to Billy Graham, people ago into ministry work for various reasons. Most are thankful for their salvation. Others have a genuine desire to help others. Many are merely following in their parents footsteps. And some desire the respect that comes with the profession. These are all good reasons, but the peace-giving key to being in ministry is knowing you were called there by God.
Each person should be able to pinpoint a time in which they became certain God called them into a lifetime of service. This is the first step to overcoming fear. This can be a Damascus Road experience like Paul's or a growing sense that God has separated you for His service. It may be a mixture of both. The important thing is not how you were called but that you were called. This person not only has God's favor but His promised presence and provision. Trusting that God will make up for what you lack is the second step to putting fear to rest.
Moses had doubts and fears about his ability to be in ministry, but God didn't. He knew just what He was getting when He called Moses. What's more, God knew what He was getting when He called you, too—someone about your size, with your heart, your personality, your accent, your background, your talents, and even your flaws. God looked you over good and said, "Yep, she'll make a fine partner! Someone who recognizes the reality of that statement understands that they are not working for God but with God. There is a huge difference.
Fear, worry, and anxiety are symptoms of doubt. Doubt often means our focus is on self instead of God. When we trust God to do what we can't, it takes the burden off us and places it on Him. Then, as we look to God, we see reflected in His eyes great potential that only He can accomplish as we join Him.
Lastly, we grow in confidence through confirmation. Many times others will notice the call on your life or your giftedness before you will. Take these comments as confirmation. Other ways to affirm your call is through a godly counselor, mentor, or pastor. My pastor played a huge part in my preparation and confirmation into ministry.
Another way to establish confidence is to attend a writer and speakers conference. Proverbs 31 Ministries holds this type of conference annually called She Speaks. Many have attended and left with the assurance to say "yes" to the call, along with the tools they need to fulfill it.
God wants you to be certain of His plan and purpose for your life. Whether you're called to serve within your church or in full time ministry, there's no need to fear. You can be confident that God will provide all you need.
Dear Lord, I don't always see the obvious—Your provision; but I trust it's there to empower and guide me beyond my imagination. I'm placing my fear aside today and saying "yes" to whatever You have for me. Lead the way with assurance and clarity. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Finding a Faith Stronger Than all My Fear (Three CD Series) by Micca Campbell
Visit Micca's blog for more tips on clarifying your call.
The Message of Leadership: 31 Essential Insights from Proverbs by Daniel Southern
If you feel called to speak or write, these two resources are for you! The Reason We Speak and For the Write Reason Gen. Ed. Marybeth Whalen
If you don't know your purpose, seek God and wait and watch for the ways in which He answers. If you sense God has called you into ministry, make certain you were chosen by God. Relinquish your fear and commit to His will. Next, seek godly counsel and direction. Finally, gain experience and training by attending She Speaks.
What is holding you back from serving God with confidence? Identify it and give it over to God.
2 Corinthians 9:8, "God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." ( NIV)
1 Thessalonians 5:24, "The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it." (NIV)
© 2010 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 26 April 2010.