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Calling and Profession
It was put upon my heart to write on this, to correct some of the impressions people had about it, and to bring about repentance (conversion) in the hearts of many who were wrongly called to their profession, knowingly or unknowingly. I believe these words will minister to your heart and mind as you take these words to heart. As believers we often get caught up in the act of “professionalism” to do the work that God has called us to do. We tend to replace spirit with commercialism and expect God to see the results of what we do. It doesn’t work that way.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a profession is defined as “a type of job that requires special education, training, or skill.” For example, an accountant is called an accountant, not because he was born an accountant, but because he has acquired the necessary skills to become one, which can be obtained by attending a tertiary institution or professional course (ICAN). The case of Nigeria. He is an accountant by profession as he acquired the necessary skills to become one. Business led to specialization. Specialization makes you better at what you do because you do it everyday.
Calling, as it relates to God’s eternal plan and purpose for man and His kingdom on earth, is to equip believers to function in some capacity on earth in relation to God’s plan and purpose for their lives. There are many examples in the Bible where God called people to do things to fulfill His plans and purposes. Let’s look at some examples; Samuel’s call in 1 Samuel 3:4-11 “Then the Lord called Samuel…” We can also see Gideon’s call in Judges 6:11-14. There are other passages in Scripture that speak of God calling man.
I must note that there is a difference between a calling and a profession. It is important that we know this. Calling is not business and business is not calling. If you study the scriptures, you will know that everyone whom God called had a vocation. In other words, they had a job. You will also notice that they have left their profession to follow the call. A calling is related to purpose but not vocation, it boils down to a desire to work in a particular field. There is a difference between a calling and a profession. Let us establish a scientific basis for this.
Matthew 4:18-20 “As Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon named Peter and his brother Andrew…they were fishermen. Come, follow me, Jesus said, and I will make you fish. Of men… They immediately left their nets and followed him.” Virtually all of Jesus’ disciples had a “business.” But they all left what they were doing to follow Jesus. Peter said to Jesus at one point “We have left everything to follow you” (see Mark 10:28).
The mistake that many believers are making today is that they are now trying to “professionalize” their calling. There is danger in doing so. The works of the flesh can never produce the results of the Spirit. Let’s look at one of the most important ministries that God has called us to do on earth – the ministry of song. There are believers called by God to work in that ministry.
There are those who surrender themselves to the Spirit of God and teach them how to work without anyone teaching them. You may ask “Is this possible?” Yes it is (see Exodus 35:30-33). There are others who resolve to “equip” the gift by learning. That is, they go to music school to learn to sing. A group of these individuals are so good at what they do because of the musical knowledge they acquire. When you ask them what they do, they say “I’m a music minister”, “gospel lyrics artist” or whatever they can name. Some stop seeing music as a calling, they start seeing it as a profession because they went to music school. They become accustomed to what they are doing because they do it often (specialization). The danger of this is neglecting the work and leading of the Spirit in the life of that believer.
For the believer who serves songs, going to music school teaches you how to sing and play in harmony with various instruments and the base and depth of the music but it will never teach you how to minister in and with the anointing. Abhishek makes a difference in the office you work in. I was in a meeting sometime back and a lady was singing and the power of God was in that hall. This woman was never part of any team that served in songs but served with power. Another woman came and took over the ministry and the whole atmosphere became void of spirit! This lady is part of the team serving in Songs! Well, she apparently flopped, blaming the drummer for not keeping up with her.
Perhaps this other lady feels that she has been with singers for a long time and knows her way around and thinks that she can sing the kind of songs that will impress people. Your knowledge of music has grown to such an extent that you are blind to the leading of the Spirit. You don’t sing songs to move people, you serve God to see the soul move. We are also caught up in this art of commercialism and it is hindering the movement of God in our meetings.
Just because you’re a good speaker doesn’t mean you can change your ways when it comes to teaching God’s Word by using the knowledge you’ve gained about how to give a speech or 101 Ways to Speak Effectively. It doesn’t work that way. It is the spirit that makes the difference. For believers, we are trained by the Spirit to depend on the Spirit but in a profession, we are trained to depend on the knowledge you get from the training. The problem is that we bring these principles into God’s kingdom to do His work and expect God-like results.
My point is, when it comes to doing God’s work, there are no rules, principles, or one best way to get things done. Church is not a place where you learn 10 ways to move the Spirit or 10 ways to anoint like, the Spirit is a mechanic. There are things that are taught in this world and believers are bringing these ideas to do God’s work and you expect to see a God-like result.
You cannot use the systems of the world to fulfill God’s plan and purpose, and every believer must realize this, otherwise, you may be built of wood, hay and straw. Galatians 3:3 explains “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, you are now trying to finish by the flesh?”
Some ministers of the word, because they want to be fluent in delivering God’s word to His people, take an online course on how to deliver a speech like you’re delivering a seminar or something. Your intentions may be good but your source is highly questionable. Who taught Moses, who stuttered, how to become fluent? I’m sure if we had preachers who stuttered, they would teach them how to Google effectively as a stutterer. Who taught the disciples of Jesus, who never had the privilege of taking a class on how to speak, how to minister the word that we still refer to through the centuries?
In Matthew 4:19 Jesus said “I will make you” (emphasis added). Have we so neglected the work of the Spirit that we now seek to provide for ourselves what only He can provide for us? The book of Acts records something profound in chapter 4:13 “When they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were unlearned, ordinary men, they were amazed and realized that these men were with Jesus” (emphasis added).
You can’t make an impact by learning principles, dos and don’ts, but how do you spend time with Jesus by spending time with Jesus? By spending time with the Word. When you spend time with the Word, you allow the Word to renew your mind and change your life. Quit trying to make your calling not a business. You don’t get used to the things of the spirit because there is no one way to get things done in the realm of the spirit. You don’t get used to the things of the Spirit, you become sensitive to the leading of the Spirit to do its work.
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