I had felt for quite some time that God was calling and moving me towards ministry on a full time basis, but the day it happened is a day I will never be able to forget.
I was at work running my machine, just an average day in the shop. I was on an easy job, so, while my hands were busy, my mind was in another world. I was thinking about music and worship and how my life would soon be different because God was calling me to a life of ministry.
The nature of this world was going through my mind, how we work to have, so we can continue to work and have. We work to have food, clothing, shelter, transportation, money, and toys of course. Then it dropped into my spirit that I was not a part of that system. I said, “Oh yeah, I’m quitting my job.” As fast I said it, I knew in my spirit that I was NOT quitting my job. The conversation however was far from over.
As I continued to work, I continued to talk to God. And then the scripture came to me. Phil 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” This was followed by the words, “That is who you are.” That is when the confusion began to set in. So I asked a direct question. I said, “Are you telling me that You provide for my needs by giving me the ability to work and provide for my own needs?” I honestly expected to hear a “Yes” to that question. The answer was definitively, “No”, and further explained, “that I, God that is, am your provider plain and simple.” To which I responded “I really don’t see a need for the job then. I know, I know I’m not quitting my job.”
I kept working while trying to wrap my mind around what God was trying to tell me. On one hand, I have a job in a system that I am not part of but I’m not allowed to leave, and on the other, God is the provider of my needs plain and simple. It was two conflicting ideas, and I could see no way for them to coexist. So I asked another question, “If I’m not at this job to gain provision for my family’s needs, then why am I here?” The words I heard pass through my spirit when I asked that question would change me for ever. The response was, “Because someone here needs Jesus. Congratulations, you’re a full time minister of the Gospel.”
I felt my mouth drop open and my eyes bulge out as I began to panic. I was looking around frantically and trying to make sure I knew what I just heard.
I said, “But some of these people don’t like me, and I’m not sure I like all of them.” I heard, “Yes, you have the wrong attitude. We’re going to work on that.”
As I began to calm down, I said, “Wait a minute, we’re talking about ministry. Ministry is teaching, preaching, worship and music, you know church stuff.” The answer was, “No, we have a full time pastor in the church, we don’t need another, and most of the people in church already have Jesus. I need you to reach people who don’t.” It took a few hours of this kind of conversation for the idea to settle on me. Then I said, “Ok, I’m here to be a minister for my coworkers, so I should focus on that instead of working so hard.” To which I was told, “Read the book of James and we’ll discuss what your attitude as an employee should be.” I had to stop talking after that, I had received all that I could possibly process in one day.
The next day when I started talking to God again, I asked about church.
I said, “I understand that being in the world, and specifically in this job, I’m here to point people to Jesus. But I have no idea how to classify church. The teaching, the preaching, worship, dance, fellowship… I love it all. If that’s not ministry then what is it?” A question came back “What does it sound like?”
I said, “It sounds like a party.” Suddenly it all made sense. We’re in this world to share Jesus, and we gather with other believers to celebrate Jesus.
I’ve done my best to live according to what I learned that day. It’s not always easy, but when the stress begins to rise, I remember that God is my provider plain and simple, it’s not all on me, and I can let it go.
I’ve always found church to be a good time, so calling it a party isn’t even a stretch. Jesus said if we would gather in His name He’d be in the midst. Every time the church doors open I’m expecting Him to show up and do something amazing, because that’s who Jesus is.
Maybe you’ve felt God calling you, or at least trying to tell you something.
Keep listening, it might not be what you’re expecting, but it will be something amazing, and I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.
See you soon.