“It is easier to serve God without a vision, easier to work for God without a call, because then you are not bothered by what God requires; common sense is your guide, veneered over with Christian sentiment. You will be more prosperous and successful, more leisure-hearted, if you never realize the call of God. But if once you receive a commission from Jesus Christ, the memory of what God wants will always come like a goad; you will no longer be able to work for Him on the commonsense basis.” Chambers, Oswald: My Utmost for His Highest : Selections for the Year. Grand Rapids, MI : Discovery House Publishers, 1993, c1935, S. March 4
I read these words this morning. Last night, reading Wayne Cordeiro’s book, Leading on Empty (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2009) he asked a similar question – What has God called you to do? What will he hold you accountable for at the end of your life? (p. 106).
I am in a season bordering on burnout. Last night in our weekly prayer time I shared some of what I’m experiencing- one of the dear old saints asked, Is this a dry season? Boy, is it ever. I’m sitting here this morning remembering my first inklings of a call from God. I was about 11 or 12. I remember asking my pastor what I needed to do to prepare for service. His answer was to look around me and see where I could begin serving right then and there. then at about age 15 I was asked to preach in a Youth Week Service (only really old Southern Baptists remember those events!) It was then that God began calling me to the ministry I am now serving in. When I was 18 I met Dave Baker- then a Student Minister at Missouri Western State College- now pastor at FBC Belton MO. He saw something of value in me and discipled me- helping me get my first ministry jobs.
I am thankful for those who saw more in me than I saw in myself. As I slog through this season- which will end…which does have an exit- anything God brings us to He brings us through (my bad paraphrase of my life verse- Phil 1:6).
May God renew the fire of that initial vision of ministry in my heart. May God renew that passion in the hearts of all my fellow church leaders. May God ignite that passion in the hearts of those who sit under our teaching week after week. MAy God light a fire of renewal and revival that makes these dry seasons all the more valuable!