Wednesday night I went to the youth group of the church I go to in town. I used to serve there, but I left to focus on college ministry. It wasn’t really an only-pick-one choice of college or youth ministry for me, but youth was just draining. I figured they were heading down the right track so I stepped off the train and did other things.
I went there tonight because the pastor of youth lent me a really good book and I wanted to thank him for it, and also they had food there. I didn’t want to cook. I could have just bought taco bell and sent him a text, but oddly, that didn’t cross my mind.
I ate and sat in some of the service, but my heart was stirring. Youth didn’t feel the same. A couple kids I ministered to were deeply trying to leave and have their parents pick them up. They hated being there. They hated being in God’s house. They didn’t want to or couldn’t explain to me why. Whatever the reason, it really bothered me that they didn’t want to be in the house of “The Healer”, “The Comforter”, “The All-Powerful”, or just “Love”.
My heart felt like it was churning in my chest. “What happened?” I kept asking myself. When I left students were thirsty for God. I know they’re high school students so they try to act like they didn’t have excitement which is a lie. High schoolers are very emotional. Still, underneath I didn’t see the same thirst as before. I knew it wasn’t the youth pastor. He’s a great man. Neither was it the leaders, yet my heart just kept breaking.
A friend of mine asked me what I was thinking. I didn’t really know, but I asked him if I could speak to the senior high boys. Surprisingly he let me. I was afraid to say anything because I honestly was going to call-them-out based only on one exposure. Not very wise, but I prayed and trusted that the Spirit was moving my heart.
I then put responsibility and expectation on these young men. I was careful not to crush them, but I wasn’t afraid of shoving them out of boyhood. In the end, they were encouraged, and I agreed to come back weekly and help lead. I was the last to leave the room and as I walked down stairs I looked up to heaven and said “What did I just agree to?”
Why do I tell you this story? It’s because this is an example of calling. Calling is a tugging from God to an individual to minister to a different individual or group.
First off, we aren’t called to things without souls. Someone may say they were called to the Medical Field, but ultimately in God’s eyes you were called to reach the people in and around the medical field.
Second thing about calling is that it’s passionate. Essentially, it’s a tugging of the heart. It’s not logical, but that depends on where your logic is rooted. The world respects a passion for volunteering, but it esteems and cheers for a passion that makes money. Yet, the logic from heaven is the realization that the only immortal things on earth are the souls of the people you and I encounter every day. It’s not money, stability, or happiness.
The thing about this passion about souls is that often the feeling is a brokenness. The vast majority of people are hurting and don’t know Christ. We try to reach out to them with Jesus because we know only Jesus can truly heal them. Ideally, we should be broken for all of the lost people, but that’s a lot of people. My weak heart couldn’t handle such a thing. Yet, there are pockets of people that my heart has broken for, and I try to minister to them. I don’t seek out this heart ache. God usually reveals it to me as I seek after Him.
Third, calling finds us. I honestly went to youth because I was reading a book on God. I was pursuing Him. I was trying to figure out what He wanted me to do, and God led me to what it was. I wasn’t aware of what God was doing. As we wait for our callings, it’s important to just be pursuing God. Pursue God and your calling will follow.
So in the end, a calling is a pulling of an individual’s heart, passion, from God to minister to a person or people group. We get calling by waiting and pursuing relationship with God in the meantime.
I’ll close with this story. I used to teach English in Japan. I put a lot of hope in that dream fulfilling me, but I hated it. On my last day there I was very sad and defeated. Then I felt the Lord calling me back to another passion that energized me and I loved, but that passion would probably make me no money ever. I then became very afraid. Yet, one verse kept popping into my head. “The Lord doesn’t give you a snake.” It was Matthew 7:9-11
9 “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him?
Calling is scary. It affects a big part of your life. Yet, calling is a gift. It’s a call towards God and seeing that He is truly good.