We do what we do because of a sense of God’s call to serve in ministry. I was 17 when I received my call from God to preach the gospel. I have never doubted this call. The experience of God’s calling to serve changed my life. It was from this point on that everything revolved around the fulfillment of this call to serve.
We have in the Scripture another calling from God. This call is just as important as the call to serve. We can excel in following our call to serve but if we do not follow God’s other call, we greatly diminish our ability to serve.
God’s other call is prominent all through the Scriptures
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. John 17:17-19
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;
I Thess. 4:3
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. I Thess. 5:23
Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. I Timothy 2:21
They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. Hebrews 12:10
God’s other call is to a life of holiness. God’s call to serve is our response to utilize our life, talents and gifts for ministry. God’s call to holiness is about our character. The call to holiness points to who we are before God. Paul connected the call to serve as a leader with this other call to be holy or sanctified.
Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. I Timothy 3:1-3
This passage has one qualifier regarding the call to serve- able to teach. However, we have ten qualifiers that point to God’s other call to holiness. In other words, who we are is much more important than our skill set in ministry.
God’s other call to holiness involves struggle
We struggle with competing desires from the Spirit and the flesh. We live in a fallen world surrounded by evil from without and within. We struggle when it comes church life and working with others who can be difficult at best. We struggle when it comes to leading others to a better place.
Everyone is in need of encouragement in this battle to become more holy in our conduct and lifestyle. None of us are perfect. None of us get it right all the time. We are in constant need of the grace of God that not only saves, but keeps us.
We are in constant need of encouragement. Isolation from others is the worst place to be in this struggle. We need others around us who will encourage us.
See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Hebrews 3:12-13
Still Waters Renewal is a ministry of encouragement. Here’s an excerpt from a letter received from our November retreat:
“Thank you for creating such an amazing thing as Still Waters Renewal. Our week was incredibly refreshing and renewing. It gave us peace and purpose to reenter our ministry. May God continue to bless your ministry.”
Sign up today for one of our 2022 retreats. Space is limited. We would love to have you.