“The call of God is not just for a select few but for everyone. Whether I hear God’s call or not depends on the condition of my ears, and exactly what I hear depends upon my spiritual attitude.” ~ Quote by Oswald Chambers
Who among us is called to preach? What qualifies us to stand behind a pulpit? Who is the one to stand in front of a church and pronounce God’s word?
It’s a common question among us Christians to ask, “What is my purpose?” Many of us go through life feeling empty. Our frustration is caused by this feeling of emptiness. The act of patiently waiting for God’s inspiration can make us feel stuck in life. It even leads us to question God’s ability. We even question God’s character.
But there’s one individual who can relate to this innate desire for purpose: The Apostle Paul. He was an individual who avoided the passionate state of “waiting for God,” and instead put words into action. He didn’t wait for his purpose. He made his purpose. Consider this: The world may define success as being ahead of the competition — all to fulfill selfish desire. Money. Fame. That type of stuff… But among God’s people, that’s not the case. We define success as sharing the gospel of Christ. We define it as going to the hidden person who suffers alone, and telling them “God loves you.” To think otherwise would only bring insult to the suffering, lonely person. And it would lead to our savior in telling us, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” People such as Paul knew this and, in fact, wrote about it. And he did so not from a place of selfish praise, but to emphasize a point. Not in reason of social status, recognition, money, or fame — as to do so only adds insult to injury. (Side note: If we did that, it would be better off for us to never be a Christian) But rather, Paul gave this rant to emphasize the importance of Christ’s message. This is how Paul said it…
“… Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?” ~ Apostle Paul, (2 Corinthians 11:23–29)
So let’s go back to the question of, “Who among us is called to preach?” As Oswald Chambers put it, we are all called to preach. The fact is you don’t have to stand in front of a church to preach the gospel. You don’t have to stand behind a pulpit to reveal God’s word. Just like the Apostle Paul, you can do God’s purpose wherever you may go — not from selfish gain, but from love. You can care for the weak, feed the hungry, and love the unlovable. That’s how Christ defines our success. That’s how Christ gives us our life’s purpose. It has always been defined this way, and always will be.
If you would like to watch the video that inspired this Bible blog, it’ll be attached below. It’s an amazing video by my old friend, Chuc Osegueda. It talks about our purpose and motivation. My favorite quote from it is, “Go until you’re told to stop.” I hope it blesses you all. And I hope you take these lessons by heart…