‘Brother/sister, did you receive God’s call?’ That’s a common question asked whenever one aspires to go into Christian service. Be it becoming minister, missionary or even administrative worker.
It sickens me at the hypocrisy of it all. Let me explain. When I was young, my grandparents and parents warned me that if I don’t study hard, I would end up as a butcher or road sweeper. It was meant to scare me into studying more, but often did not work.
Then the next thing implied was that there were good professions to aim for. Namely, becoming a lawyer or doctor. Always these two, apparently there’s a parental conspiracy going around. There’s nothing wrong with being a lawyer and doctor, I think they are very noble professions.
But I want to highlight that the question of calling is not asked. If you want to be lawyer, well done, go ahead. If you want to be a doctor, well done, go ahead.
Then comes the crux of the matter. Let’s say you want to become a missionary to Iran/India/Indonesia (Three countries starting with I’s is coincidental). Your parents or pastor might take a few minutes to reply. And eventually the question pops up – ‘Did you receive God’s call?’ If you say no, they’d probably advise you not to do it.
Now, why is serving God as a missionary requiring such a crystal clear call from heaven than being a doctor? Why don’t people ask, ‘Did God call you to be a doctor?’
The Great Commission commands us to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
If that is Jesus’s command, do we need to ask if we are called? I believe God still calls today. Especially, when we are headed in the opposite direction and God steers us back to His divine plan. And His divine plan might even be bringing you away from being a missionary to secular work. Whatever the case, let’s not use calling as an excuse to prevent us from doing God’s revealed will.