Calling vs. Profession

Calling versus profession is the difference between submitting to God’s authority or doing what seems best in a person’s own understanding. This was especially true in Saul of Tarsus’ activity following his conversion on the road to Damascus. Paul explains his credentials to preach to the Galatians in this manner,

            “15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

            18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days” (Galatians 1:15-18, NKJV).

            Apostle Paul’s ministry was based strictly on the authority and call of God for him to preach the Gospel of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He recognized first of all that God was the One who had chosen him for salvation as well as being an apostle (one who is sent) of the Gospel. There were three and a half years spent in seclusion from everyone and everything to be taught by Christ himself in Arabia before going to Jerusalem to visit with Peter.

            I have heard this passage referenced to and used this passage myself when speaking with people about entering into full-time or part-time pulpit or missionary ministry within the body of Christ. This passage speaks to more than ministers in pulpit and missionary ministries in a tradition sense, but to all believers who are working in whatever fields of employment they find themselves in.

            It is clear from Scripture that whatever we do as children of God we must do it for God’s glory and as if we are doing it exclusively for Him. “17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him…23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:17, 23-34, NKJV). God does not call all His people to be in full-time or part-time ministry behind the pulpit of a congregation. He has called some to be truck drivers, doctors, engineers, dishwashers, cooks, excavators, clerks, accountants, factory works, farmers, as well as any occupation that children of God are found employed as in their life.

            Is what you are doing today what God has called you to do, or is it something you chose to do because it was good money, what was available at the time, or because someone said you would be good at it? God has a calling on the lives of all His people. It uses their spiritual gifts and natural talents to help them grow in their faith in Him both on and off duty. Paul took time to make sure that his calling into ministry was not influenced by others, but was what God called and equipped him to do in his life.

            Make what you do today your mission field. This does not mean that you become an outspoken evangelist on the employer’s time, but you allow your diligence and character on the job and off the job to be focused on honoring God in all that you do. I have said it many times and will continue to do so: Disciples of Jesus ought to be the most sought after workers and most diligent employees and business owners because they are not working for a paycheck, but striving to lift the name of Christ in all they do. When believers do this they are a blessing to their fellow co-workers, those they are employed by, and serve.

            Praying beyond the physical:

Father, correct my vision and attitude if I stop seeing what I do as a ministry onto You and only see a job I do.

Jesus, instill in my heart a desire to worship the Father in all I do in all my waking hours of life.

Spirit, empower me to work in a manner that reflects the Father’s character and the submission of Christ.


Pastor Tom

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