There is the Call of God. It’s there. He calls. You’re sure. You’re geeked out and ready for it! Yeah baby! And then… And then… And then… (nothing).
Understand, God often places a huge PAUSE right after the Promise of the Call. There’s a reason for it. Keep that thought- we’ll come back to it.
Abram is told he and Sarai are gonna have a kid. She laughs. But I’m sure they both were hopeful, wondering, in awe of the Promise. And then…? Do you know how long it took for God to fulfill his promise? 25 years. Are you friggin’ kidding me? I get upset if the line at Walmart takes 5 minutes. Even more so if someone decides to write a check!
In the meantime, the old man becomes ancient. He’s pushing 3 digits. Yet he has to wait. And- get this- the waiting never nullifies the promise! I would have questioned God, too. By the way, if your wife offers her maid as a gift, don’t take the gift! It doesn’t go well. And…well, you’re just gonna hear about it for the rest of your life. (“Hey baby, you wanna go somewhere real nice for dinner? Maybe Applebees or something?” “You sure you wouldn’t rather take Hagar???” “Crap, woman- that was 13 years ago!” “Yeah, that’s what you say! How do I know you’re actually taking the camel to get washed? Maybe you’re washing something else!”)
David is anointed King. The Spirit rests upon him. And then…? Well, he goes back to keeping the sheep. And no one seems to remember that the Prophet anointed David King. His dad sends him to the front-lines of the battle bringing bread and cheese. He’s a friggin’ messenger boy. Then he fights Goliath and wins- cuts off his head. He’s the man! The people are shouting his praise: “Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands!” Yes! It’s gonna happen. And then…? David gets a part-time job as a music minister working for the old king. And he knows it’s time to leave the ministry when his boss starts chunkin’ spears at him. (If the Pastor or an Elder pulls out a Glock and tries to murk you, it’s time to find a new place to be an Assoc. Minister). He has to run for his life, get chased, pretend to be insane. All while the Call of God is still on his life. He waits something like 15 years!
Why? Why the PAUSE button? Because God’s not inactive during those times. He’s using the hardship, the good times, the waiting- ALL the circumstances- to make you who you need to be so when you receive the Promise of the Call, your character can sustain you in it.
Abram was a scared liar who allowed fear to cause him to pimp out his wife. He’d have passed that on. He needed molding, shaping, growth.
David was ready for the praise of men. He needed to understand that it means nothing compared to the anointing of God. He needed to learn that no enemy could stand against God- regardless of what things look like at the moment. And even then, David wasn’t perfect. But he was so much more than he would have been as a young kid becoming King right that moment.
I look back at what God has done in my journey- and how far I still have to go in this whole “growing, becoming” thing. I was called at 20. I didn’t pastor till I was 29. In the intervening time, I got some schooling. And that’s good. But I also experienced hard times and God’s provision. It caused me to learn to trust more. I met and married my wife. She taught me finances and learning to curb impulse buying and debt- important for Pastors to know. And I was discipled by the perfect guy for me. What he taught me about the dangers of the ministry has kept me in the ministry for 24 years now.
Maybe your Call is simply that of wanting to find someone to marry and share your life with. Or to have children now. Or…a career. Or…retirement? Maybe it’s more ministry-oriented. Regardless…
Don’t despise the time. Don’t despise the waiting. Don’t look down on the hardships and trials. God will use all of them to make you want he’s called you to be. IF you continue to turn to him and trust him. The Call hasn’t disappeared. It’s being worked out every day you draw breath…