“Moreover He said to me, ‘Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.’ So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that scroll. And He said to me, ‘Son of man, feed your belly, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you.'” Ezekiel 3:1-3
This is a passage that recounts the conversation that God had with Ezekiel when He called him (Ezekiel) into ministry. The “call of God” is an interesting subject. Most people believe that only those who working in what is known as “full-time” ministry experience the “call” of God. But, remember, Ephesians 4:11-16 relates the truth that ALL believers in Jesus Christ are called into ministry:
“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry.”
It goes on to say:
“Speaking the truth in love, (we) may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ–from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what EVERY joint supplies, according to the effective working by which EVERY part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”
Yes, some people are called into what Ephesians calls “equipping” ministry – assisting and training believers. But, everyone is called into ministry.
So, since you are all “called,” lets take a look at some specifics regarding “calling” that God spoke to Ezekiel:
God determines the where, when, and how of the ministry.
God told Ezekiel, “Eat what you find……….the scroll that I will give you.” You notice that God didn’t hand Ezekiel a scroll and then say to him, “Hey, Ezekiel, take this empty scroll and write on it what you are willing to do, where you are willing to go, and how much money you must make to accept my calling.” God handed Ezekiel a scroll that already had his destiny and calling written upon it. There was no room for negotiation. God didn’t give Ezekiel the option of changing what he didn’t like. God said, “Here it is, my son. Take it as it is given.”
Remember Jesus’ responses to people who felt “called” in Luke, chapter nine. One said, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” Jesus said, “Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Jesus said to another, “Follow Me.” The man replied, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” Jesus replied, “You go and preach the kingdom of God.” Jesus’ final words in Luke nine on this subject were telling:
“No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
I’ve personally had people come to me and say things like this:
“I’m called into the ministry but I’m going to need a certain amount of money to do it.”
I once heard a man of God say, “Never make a spiritual decision based upon money.” Guess what? If its a decision that affects your location, your family, your church attendance, your time, your well-being……….it is a spiritual decision!
God never hands us a ministry call with a blank for the amount of money in which we are willing to accept His calling. When I was called to go back to school and prepare for the calling God had for me, I reworked my budget to see how quitting my job, paying for school and bills, and working part-time would affect my “bottom line.” No matter how many times I put pencil to paper, I always came out at least $400 a month short. Finally, a wise friend looked at me and asked this question, “Do you really know that what you are about to do is God directed?” I said, “Yes, I know it is but the numbers are not working out!” He said, “If this is God and now is the time, then put away your pencil and paper and obey the Lord. He will pay for what He has ordered!”
I did and God took care of me every step of the way.
God is looking for people who prize His calling above everything else. Are you willing to receive God’s call just as it is given? Allow His call to “fill your belly.” If you feast on His calling, He will take care of the rest!