It is God who calls people, and it is God who anoints for that service. He may place you in a body of believer's under a pastor and you may serve in that capacity. But this is not the only way or means that God uses his servants. The bible is full of examples of this, I'll let anyone who wishes, to study it for themselves. This message will not discriminate, there will be equal opportunity for everyone to be offended.
Paul speaks of this in this verse:
1Th 5:24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
1Th 5:25 Brethren, pray for us.
He goes on to ask the brethren to pray for them, for what purpose?
Eph 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
He asks for prayer for courage and boldness to speak the gospel, and it's doctrine without compromise and to make the proclamation of it with clarity.
Col 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
Col 4:4 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
Here he asks for an open door to be able to speak what God has given him, and to be able to make it clear to the hearers.
2Th 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
2Th 3:2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.
The intentions for prayer here is:
That the word of the Lord, etc. He asks no prayers for his own ease, or worldly prosperity, but that he may be helped in his work of the gospel.
Have free course. Not be hindered by opposition which might prevent success. When in bonds (2Ti_2:9) he rejoiced that the word of the Lord was "not bound."
Be glorified. By its powers to save
If you are called by God to serve Him in any capacity, or speak anything under his authority-there is no guarantee that people will like, listen, or follow you. If you think that people following a pastor, or leader is an indication that God is with that person-you do not know the word of God, and only read what you like in it. The fact that all but one of the disciples were martyred is clear enough evidence of this truth. the beheading of Paul and crucifixion of Peter upside down emphasizes it even more. Paul speaks of some of what they faced in these verses:
1Th 2:14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
1Th 2:15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:
1Th 2:16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.
See also: Forbidding: Act_11:2-3, Act_11:17-18, Act_13:50, Act_14:5, Act_14:19, Act_17:5-6, Act_17:13, Act_18:12-13, Act_19:9, Act_21:27-31; Act_22:21-22; Gal_5:11; Eph_3:8, Eph_3:13
I'll add here that if we are called it is the power of the Holy Ghost given to us- as it was to the first disciples in Acts that we need to fulfill the call on our lives:
Act 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Act 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Act 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Act 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
The only way you will know if that person is truly serving the living God, and not his/her own agenda, or a false religion, is according to how well you can discern what they are saying and doing, and if it aligns with the word of God or not. I never ask anyone to follow me, I point them to Jesus Christ, the truth that he is the only way to salvation and eternal life, and teach what the word of God says on any given matter, to the best of my ability. It is faith in Him, and the authority of the word of God that will set you free, I have no power to change anyone, and will never claim to.
People are not going to like what you say probably any more than they did in the first disciples day. You may as well settle this in your soul before you accept a call of God on you life, and live out your service to Him as devoted as possible, and let the chips fall where they may. It's taken me many years to finally get to this place, and I still have to re-examine my heart once in a while and surrender again- surrendering to God's service isn't just a one time thing, you'll find that you have to look inside yourself periodically, and make up your mind again, and pick your cross back up, and follow Christ, with a deeper sense of what that means.
What if your attending a church, know God has asked you to do or say something, and the pastor won't allow you to do it? You may have to do it on the street corner, in your own house, on your own time, and ask God to open the way for you to obey him. If it's God, it will happen. God's anointing and call to serve him does not hinge on anybody else- it's strictly between you and God. Don't believe me just because I'm saying this- read the bible, and study the servants of God on your own. I'll suggest Abraham, Moses, Daniel, Nehemiah, John the Baptist, and Paul. Study their lives in depth- how God called them and molded them, and used them. They didn't ask permission from anybody. They heard the call of God, and obeyed it. They made mistakes along the way, they got detoured sometimes, they were met with many adversaries, enemies, and at times wanted to give up, but God's hand was on them, and moved them sometimes when they weren't even aware of it. God works with imperfect people to accomplish His tasks, and changes us as we go along. Many of the great preachers of early America did most of their preaching in fields, in the open air because the churches wouldn't let them in. George Whitfield, and John Wesley were examples.
You may say you can't speak well, and aren't learned, haven't the ability communicate with eloquence. You may say your afraid, and don't feel qualified. None of us are qualified, the only thing that qualifies you, is God himself- if he has called you, He has qualified you.
Paul had this to say about his calling:
1Co 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
1Co 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
1Co 2:3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
1Co 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
1Co 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1Co 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
1Co 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1Co 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
1Co 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
See also: Psa_8:2; Isa_26:5-6, Isa_29:14, Isa_29:19; Zep_3:12; Mat_4:18-22, Mat_9:9, Mat_11:25; Mat_21:16; Luk_19:39-40, Luk_21:15; Act_4:11-21, Act_6:9-10, Act_7:35, Act_7:54, Act_17:18; Act_24:24-25; 2Co_4:7, 2Co_10:4-5, 2Co_10:10
You may say you've sinned too much, that God could not use you. Moses and David were murderers, and adulterer's. Paul was a murderer and persecutor of the believer's in the first churches in Acts. Whatever you've done, Christ already died for your sins, and if you've repented, and asked Him to forgive you, and save you, you are now a new creature in Christ. All your sins are now under the blood of Christ- you are washed, cleansed, redeemed and there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Paul's testimony is a good one to study and learn the depth of the love and mercy God showed him- is the same that's available to you.
These verses tell of Ananias sent to Paul to pray for him and speak of his calling:
Act 22:12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there,
Act 22:13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.
Act 22:14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.
Act 22:15 For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
Act 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
Act 22:17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance;
Act 22:18 And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.
Act 22:19 And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee:
Act 22:20 And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him.
Act 22:21 And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.
If God can save this man, wash away his sins and call him to the work he gave him-he can save you and use you, no matter what you've done. Don't ever let people use your past against you, it's the devil's work, and his condemnation, shake it off, and let God have His way with you. If you are called by God, no one can take it away, and no one can come between God and that calling- you may try to run from it; I did, but there's no place to run, and you will find it out; as I did. No matter where you go, you'll not be able to escape it- as Jonah found out. Moses didn't want to do what God asked him to do either-and tried to get out of it, God wouldn't take no for an answer, and if we are called, we find out the same thing, in the end God does have his way.
See also: Act_9:15, Act_13:2, Act_13:46-47, Act_18:6, Act_26:17-18; Rom_1:5, Rom_11:13, Rom_15:16, Rom_16:26; Gal_1:15-16, Gal_2:7-8; Eph_3:6-8; 1Ti_2:7; 2Ti_1:11
2Pe 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.
See also:Rom_8:28-31; 1Th_1:3-4; 2Th_2:13-14; 1Pe_1:2
What if your a woman? The bible tells of Deborah, a judge in Israel, Anne the prophetess in the temple when Jesus was presented to the priest, four prophetesses in Acts, and there are other's. If you seek how God works in people's lives, you'll find, if you take the time, and are willing to do the studying. Paul instructs us to "study to show ourselves approved unto God", and it is worth it when you do. You come away knowing for yourself what is correct, and what is error, and when you feed your soul on the truth- it stays there, and this is how discernment grows. You are able then to listen to someone, and tell by what comes out of their mouth whether it's the truth or not. If you don't take the time to study, this is the greatest way the devil is able to deceive people-ignorance of what the bible really teaches. Listening to a pastor or leader with no bible in front of you, no discernment, and just swallowing what is fed you is a deadly mistake, and has caused many to fall away into apathy, and apostasy. The many empty and dead churches are testimony of this. The world is full of people following other peoples personalities- it's idol worship, and ear tickler's entertainment.
Today, a true servant of Jesus Christ without compromise is rare. I'm talking about one who serves Him with no agenda, not a money-changer, who does and says what God gives them, without price and without looking for an opportunity to use it for any personal gain. One who is serving in this capacity will look like this:
Act 3:1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
Act 3:2 And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
Act 3:3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
Act 3:4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
Act 3:5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
Act 3:6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
Act 3:7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
Act 3:8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
See also: Silver: Mat_10:9; 1Co_4:11; 2Co_6:10, 2Co_8:9; Jas_2:5
but: Mar_14:8; 2Co_8:12; 1Pe_4:10
In: Act_3:16, Act_4:7, Act_9:34, Act_16:18, Act_19:13-16; Mat_7:22; Mar_16:17
Jesus: Act_2:22, Act_2:36, Act_4:10, Act_10:38; Joh_19:19
This is enough to study and learn the true ways of God, and you could spend many weeks with the corresponding scriptures to deepen your understanding of what a true servant of God is by them.
Obeying the call isn't easy, and does not guarantee fame, or worldly success. But, Jesus Christ is worth obeying, He gave His all for you, and is worth our surrender. If God has called you, may you heed Him, and find the path He has chosen for you.
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No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me,
saith the LORD.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto
The Victory of Our Faith
is born of God overcometh the world: and this is
the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
Who is he that overcometh the world,
but he that believeth
that Jesus is the
Son of God?
But they that wait
upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
The Whole Armor
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all,
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
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