While we dream of doing “Big Things” for God, the reality is this that most of us are called to serve God in the mundane, everyday, “living out” of our faith in relative obscurity. In our OBSCURITY we raise families, pay bills, help friends, walk with God, feed the hungry, visit the sick, meet needs, take care of the widows and simply do LIFE!
In the Summer of 1989 I sat on the back porch of our tiny rented home in our little West Texas town, dejected, frustrate and feeling terribly alone. I vividly remember praying this exact prayer… “Lord, I will do anything for You. I’ll plant a church, go on the mission field, move across country, sacrifice financially, anything you ask me to do, I will do! Just tell me what you want me to do!” (In my heart what I really meant was “I want to do something bigger than this, I’m tired of laboring in obscurity, while guys I know are moving on to bigger and better places, God, I am bigger than this!!!!)
In what was an incredible time of clarity in my life, God seemed to immediately respond to my prayers with this question: Will you follow and serve me when there is no applause?” It continues to be a defining question for most people who follow Jesus. I was looking to be a ‘rock star” and Jesus was looking for servants. My faith was about me and the faith He offers is about Him. I was open to do the grand things for God but “winced” at the thought of serving him in obscurity.
Richard Foster said it well when he wrote, “In some ways we would rather hear Jesus command to deny our father and mother, houses and land for the sake of the Gospel, than to hear his command to “wash feet”.
Mark 10:43-45 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
- Last Sunday night was special for our church and for Brady Sharp. He was “ordained” by the church in a very special ceremony. He was “set apart for the work of the church and the Gospel ministry”…pretty cool. Brady is “called to Ministry”. It is a good thing.
- Some people are called serve God in some exotic mission location to tell the story of Jesus… It is a good thing.
- Some people are called to serve God by planting a church where there are none… It is a good thing.
- Some people are called to serve God and make extraordinary public sacrifices for the cause of Christ… It is a good thing.
- Most people are called to raise a family, go to work….love the Lord…… IN OBSCURITY… and it is a good thing.
(Matthew 20:26-27, John 13:12-15, Romans 15:1-3, 1 Corinthians 10:24)
February 18, 2011 at 11:16 pm
I attended FBC from May 2009 to November 2009 where I became a member of the church and helped c0-lead a freshman lifegroup with the Johnsons. I just read this post have a couple of questions for you. How do I recognize if I have been called to ministry? Now I am not exactly refering to a pastor but a leader of soem type for God and how do I recognize if the obscurity is what God wants? Any insights or questions that you could offer that might help would be appreciated. To help direct/focus your questions. I would like to present a little background about my walk with Christ. It will be to the point.
I was introduced to Christ by the Navigators, accepted Christ when I was 13, but not baptised until I was 19. I was not raised in a christian home till I was 12. I was a major jock (football, mainly baseball and ran track in college) but after I was baptised my enthusiam for sports aren’t the same. They don’t mean as much to me as they once did. I started to forget my identity. I thought it was all about sports, sports defined me then Christ stepped in as said no, no they don’t.
In search for my identity I attended the Focus Leadership Insitute (started by Dr. James Dobson, Focus on the Family) knowing that I was going to basic two weeks after the semester was over. I joined the Air Force because I didn’tknow what I wanted to do and college was getting boring, pointless. After attending the institute, my brain went crazy from all the information my brain soaked up about Christ, apologetics, worldviews, etc. Things I had never thought about. All of a sudden my love for other things diminished and my desire for Truth grew. I couldn’t watch a movie without needing to know it’s worldview, or a song. God was refining me, challenging me. At the same time, I was in a practicum where I lead bible studies for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Ministry for two middle schools and one high school. It was great! After that experience I am forever changed. i can’t stop searching for the truth and the desire to encourage others about what I have learned. That God loves them and that they are important to him. Then in the Air Force so far, I ‘ve been told by peers t be a military chaplain. even by non-believers. I had difficulty in explaining to them that being a pastor is a calling. You don’t just become a pastor. Then I co-lead the group for the college freshman at FBC. I’m not asking you what you think I should do. I’m asking for things you noticed abot yourself that God wanted you in Ministry. People are the only thing that matter in this world besides obviously God. Nothing else. God has been doing things in my life but I’m not exactly sure what. I cna’t see it just yet. I know God has a way of keeping things hidden until the exact moment but what are things I can being doing / looking out for as I wait for him to reveal his plan for my life? I just feel my knowledge of the lord and desire to serve surpasse sothers. I care about it more. I feel superior in it. I say that humbly as I do not think I am better than anyone else. I just seem to know things even when I don’t know how I know. Thanks for reading.
February 19, 2011 at 12:07 am
Well said Hixon. Thanks for writing this, as it came at God’s timing for us to read this.