Calling

What is your calling?  Have you felt a pull on your life that is unmistakable and inescapable?  I did.  I was beginning my freshman year of high school when I spent a week at summer church camp.  That week was unlike any week that I had ever experienced.  It was like God blocked out everything else from my vision except why I was at that week of camp.  I saw only him.  He was my focus and he communicated to me.  I know that sounds a little Jesus Freakish, but it happened.  That week it was like God was stamping his name on my heart, not just for eternity, but that all my time would be used for him and his purpose.  It was at that week of camp that I gave my life to full-time ministry.

Since that time, that calling has been tested.  There have been a few times in my adult life where doubt began to creep in.  About four years after I gave myself to God’s call on my life, I was tested.  I had just started Bible college.  It was October and I was starting to get settled into my new life as a college student.  My parents called me home for the weekend to tell me that everything that my they worked for 20 years was gone.  My dad’s company was gone.  The bank was taking back the house.  Everything was gone in one bad partnership.  I made a decision that I wasn’t going back to school.  I would quit and move home to help my family.  When I got back on campus I went to tell the dean of students and a family friend of my decision.  When I got to his office he immediately, without me telling him a thing, said that I was staying in school and that someone had paid my year’s school bill.  Huh?  When I tried, for a very good reason, to abandon the call on my life, God wouldn’t let me become distracted from his purpose.

In 2003, I had been in ministry for three years and felt a struggle going on in my life to refocus my ministry.  I felt like my soul was a desert, dry and barren.  I left my worship position and entered the secular workforce to regain some perspective and find direction for my ministry.  The temptation was great to just give up on full-time ministry.  I could re-train and make more money and provide for my family in a greater way out in the world somewhere without being in the fishbowl that was ministry.  But, as I tried to get farther from full-time ministry, God pulled me closer to Him.  I was volunteering in our local church and the calling and passion on my life grew increasingly larger, burning white hot.  I entered seminary and God grew me even more.

Three years ago, I moved to Indiana to start a small group ministry at a local church.  It was that move that led me to the church planting opportunity that we have embarked on today.  When I look at the state of affairs in our world.  The state of the economy and the hard times so many people are in right now, I know that God has prepared me for “such a time as this.”  I believe with everything in me that God saw this moment in time when he called me to the front of that chapel service at the end of that week of church camp in 1992.

What is the calling on your life?  Do you remember the moment when God made an unmistakable mark on your life?

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2 thoughts on “Calling

  1. Was that the week that “The Basics of Life” was the theme song and James was taught? It’s been fun watching from a distance what God has done in your life.

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