God calls upon nations, God calls on tribes, God calls groups, God calls couples, and God calls singles. Whatever category we may fall in, the wholesome and clear calling can always be heard from God only individually.
God calls first to Repent – this is always an individual call. You may be amidst of hundreds of thousands of people, yet the calling reaches to the core of your heart. (Acts 2:38 – Repent and be baptized…). The Holy Spirit convicts you of your sins and you repent.
Then He calls us to live a life of Surrender and total Obedience (Matthew 10:37-39 – anyone who loves his family, his own desires or even his life and does not deny himself and bear for Christ is not worthy of being his disciple – paraphrased). By the enabling of the Holy Spirit we walk along.
If we truly take our salvation seriously and draw closer to God, we start hearing his ‘still small voice’ and also begin to feel what he feels towards sin and toward sinners. As soon as this happen, we do hear his call to Serve him (Matthew 28:19-20 – Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…). He assures us that He has all authority and power (Matt. 28:18) and gives this power to us (Acts 1:8) by giving His Holy Spirit to us.
Some of us keep focusing on becoming perfect before starting to serve, which is not logical. We are not perfect people, but as we surrender and become obedient; He brings his perfection in our imperfections and start using us. Some of us feel so timid or guilty of what they have done in their lives (or probably some particular temptation/sin which they are not able to overpower). Satan brings guilt, Holy Spirit brings conviction – so if you feel guilty, you are giving way to Satan; just be convicted of your sin, bring it before God, confess (agree with God) your sin and receive forgiveness by faith (1John 1:9). Jesus paid the price of future sins because he paid it for us 2000 years ago. He knows all; he wants a right heart (broken and contrite) before him and not a perfect one.
We know now that we have not been given the spirit of timidity and fear (2Timothy 1:7, Romans 8:15). Cast it out and hear your calling. I believe that God gives talents and God gives Gifts (of the Holy Spirit) to serve Him and edify his church. Talent is something He already kept in you, which can be identified by you or someone who knows you and you can start using it for His glory. Gift is something, which does not have to be available already (even in hidden form) but is given afresh by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12 and 14). If you don’t have it, probably it is because you never asked for it. Be passionate about it, ask for it and you will have it, to use it solely for the glory of God.
Let me show you through personal testimony how God leads sinners to become preachers.
Rajkumar Kataria, a businessman, an evangelist preacher, founder of a church-planting ministry (Shanti Marg) and pastor of a church, currently living in Delhi was not same always.
He was born of Hindu parents in an idol-worshipper family. He was sixth among the 7 siblings. He was showered unbounded love in his childhood which made him arrogant and mischievous. Later he joined RSS (the Hindu organization) and took a life long membership (which he still holds as per RSS rules). He learnt all types of self-defense fighting styles which resulted more in offending than in defending. As he grew older, he became notorious and finally landed in Tihar Jail.
As Rajkumar was growing worse in his youth, his elder brother, working in Indian military, got saved in an open air meeting of India Every Home Crusade. He persuaded Rajkumar many times to go to church. Only due to respect, he would go and touch the outer wall of the church and come back and say that he went, but he never attended a service. His brother did all his efforts to let the gospel reach to him and finally he succeeded. Rajkumar started attending a church in Delhi.
Once he got to hear a sermon on Revelation 2:17, which put a fear in him of losing his eternity. He repented and got saved. He started walking zealously in Christian life and was growing. Yet, his bad past was not leaving him and one day, he was sent to Tihar Jail. His family rejected him and friends deserted him. He was devastated. While he was in prison, Gideon’s International would pay visits in prison and share the good news. He heard of God’s love and knew that when everyone left him, God was still was there.
He says that by God’s grace, he was cleared off of his charges and he came out. He surrendered himself completely to God and heard his calling from the story of Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). He decided to live for Christ till the last breath and serve the lost souls as the good samaritan. This calling changed his life, turned him to gospel service with social work, which became a church planting ministry. God restored everything he lost – his family, his reputation, and his finances. He, now has small business(es) and leads a simple life. His zeal to serve the Lord leads me to thank God for what He does, when He calls His people. His ministry now is extended from slums of Delhi to various villages in Uttar Pradesh. This ministry has planted more than 5 churches and I am proud to be a humble partner in his ministry to serve our Lord.
Do you suspect that God can use you? Nothing is impossible by God. He can change lives, He can use us. It is not in our strength but by His Spirit.