Over my years in ministry I have heard many people tell me they knew they will be successful because God had called them to their particular area of ministry. “God has called therefore God will conquer” is the mentality. I get it. It is a powerful thing to be called by God to do anything. It is life changing and affirming beyond belief. I also believe that God truly does provide more than we can imagine in our lives whether we are called to preach, teach, be a parent, run a business or whatever else God may lay on our hearts. However, I think we need to recognize another part of this process.
In the book of Nehemiah, we find God’s servant called to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and bring Israel home. The King of the region approves this venture and Nehemiah gathers those he can and begins a long and arduous process of rebuilding fortified walls and gates. The other tenants of the land are not very happy with this project and they begin to threaten Israel on a regular basis. In the face of all the threats Nehemiah gives the answer that we mentioned above. Don’t fear, God is with us. But then he does the oddest thing. Every day and night he posts armed sentries around the city in case of attack.
Did Nehemiah lack faith? Was his God language just lip service? I don’t think so. I believe Nehemiah is demonstrating a wonderful principle. Yes, our God is with us when He calls us, but He also expects us to show up and work and use the gifts and intelligence He has given us. God may be with you in your ministry or calling, but He expects you to handle your budget well, market well, read and study and grow. There are real enemies in the world and significant hurdles. God’s call is accompanied by gifts and talents. He expects us to use them.
Don’t let God’s call be an excuse to be lazy and uninformed. Be strong in the call but also post your guard. Use the common sense and insight that God has provided as well. If you do this your ministry or calling has a great chance of being successful.