An excerpt from the book “Navigating Towards Success: In Pursuit of Fulfilment”; Your calling is specifically referred to as your God-given gifts, talents, potential and ability, but it is often used in relation to one’s ministry, as both are interrelated.
Every believer has been given gift(s) by God, which are known as the nine “spiritual gifts” of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:1-11).
1) Word of Wisdom
2) Word of Knowledge
4) Gifts of Healing
5) Working of Miracles
7) Discerning of Spirits
8) Diverse (or different) kinds of Tongues
9) Interpretation of (different) Tongues
These gifts are an endowment, or extraordinary ability, given by the Holy Spirit. They are given with the expectation that we use them to minister to others. Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits.
Outside of these nine spiritual gifts, which the Holy Spirit gives as He wills, there are certain individuals with a unique calling (gift) that God gives to them – some, apostles; some, prophets; some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers. These gifts are known popularly as the five-fold ministry gifts.
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ – Ephesians 4:11-13 NLT.
It is important to note that not all have these gifts, but some are uniquely called by the Lord to this esteem responsibility.
In addition to the above gifts, the book of Romans 12 also lists another “seven spiritual gifts” which are practical in nature and describe the inner motivations of the believer. They are considered as motivational gifts.
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness – Romans 12:6-8 KJV.
In my research and study, I found an article online written by Mary Fairchild that portrayed an interesting way that these seven gifts function, which I believe will give greater understanding to us:
1) Prophecy is the eyes of the body of Christ.
2) Service is the hands of the body of Christ.
3) Teaching is the mind of the body of Christ.
4) Giving is the arms of the body of Christ.
5) Exhortation is the mouth of the body of Christ.
6) Administration is the head of the body of Christ.
7) Mercy is the heart of the body of Christ.
These motivational gifts serve to reveal the personality of God.
Prophecy – Believers with the motivational gift of prophecy are the “seers” or “eyes” of the body. They have insight, foresight, and act like watch dogs in the church. They warn of sin or reveal sin. They are usually very verbal and may come across as judgmental and impersonal; they are serious, dedicated, and loyal to truth even over friendship.
Ministering/Serving/Helps – Those with the motivational gift of serving are the “hands” of the body. They are concerned with meeting needs; they are highly motivated, doers. They may tend to over commit, but find joy in serving and meeting short-term goals.
Teaching – Those with the motivational gift of teaching are the “mind” of the body. They realize their gift is foundational; they emphasize accuracy of words and love to study; they delight in research to validate truth.
Giving – Those with the motivational gift of giving are the “arms” of the body. They truly enjoy reaching out in giving. They are excited by the prospect of blessing others; they desire to give quietly, in secret, but will also motivate others to give. They are alert to people’s needs; they give cheerfully and always give the best that they can.
Exhortation/Encouragement – Those with the motivational gift of encouragement are the “mouth” of the body. Like cheerleaders, they encourage other believers and are motivated by a desire to see people grow and mature in the Lord. They are practical and positive and they seek positive responses.
Administration/Leadership – Those with the motivational gift of leadership are the “head” of the body. They have the ability to see the overall picture and set long-term goals; they are good organizers and find efficient ways of getting work done. Although they may not seek leadership, they will assume it when no leader is available. They receive fulfillment when others come together to complete a task.
Mercy – Those with the motivational gift of mercy are the “heart” of the body. They easily sense the joy or distress in other people and are sensitive to feelings and needs. They are attracted to and patient with people in need, motivated by a desire to see people healed of hurts. They are truly meek in nature and avoid firmness.
Because the word “gift(s)” or “calling” is often used in relation to “ministry gift(s)” or “ministry calling,” we have assumed that God wants those with these gifts to commit themselves to some sort of ministry in a local church for Him. However, not everyone with these gifts are called to minister in a local church [though they must be attached to a local fellowship for identification, impartation, equipping and mutual fellowship].
God’s divine call [or calling] upon our lives is not limited to just services at the altar of a local church or the four walls of a church assembly, but it is an extension of God’s divine purpose in Church, through Church, and beyond Church. It is an encompassing service to reach all people and all nations in every sphere of human involvement in order to bring all things to the obedience of the faith and in subjection to Christ and His kingdom.
Therefore, the performance and fulfillment of your ministry calling must be fully broadened beyond ‘church’ to ‘Kingdom.’ This means we must transition our mindset concerning the work of ministry from church to Kingdom. When you think ‘beyond Church’ and fully embrace the mindset of the “Kingdom,” you will become more effective, more productive and more relevant to the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose on earth.
You need to know your “specific gift or calling.” The best way to discover your unique specific gift, or calling, is to prayerfully consider this [with fasting, if need be] and ask the Lord to reveal this to you. The Lord may give you a vision, or allow you to experience an encounter with Him, or He may send true apostles or prophets to you to confirm your gift and calling. It’s His sovereign prerogative to determine how He wants to reveal and confirm that to you.
Another way the Lord leads you into your calling and ministry gift, is when you are faithfully serving in different ministry functions, both at the local church or at the market-place. It can come naturally as you give yourself to the things you love doing with joy. This is how your calling (gifts) become known, and you can go on to make use of them and be fulfilling.
People have asked me on different occasion, how did I know my calling into the apostolic ministry and the work that I do presently?
I have never attended a Bible School or Seminary, and I did not receive any supernatural encounter or strange vision, neither did anyone give me a prophetic word or say, “Thus Saith The Lord.” Funny enough, to the best of my knowledge and ability, I was so zealous for the Lord in the early days of my Christian walk. I was committed to every church activity that was entrusted to me by the leaders of the local church I was attending. I remember a good and reputable friend of the ministry, a man of God who is gifted as an evangelist by calling, came and was ministering to us. On one occasion we were all going home along with a young zealous brother, and the evangelist turned and began to prophesy to the young man, confirming his call and ministry, and how God was going to use him in several nations to spread the gospel, etc. It was an amazing experience. I was anxiously waiting for him to finish with the brother and for him to also prophesy to me and tell me what the Lord is saying concerning my ministry calling and future assignment. I was very disappointed that he never said any word to me. I felt like he didn’t even recognize my presence. But one thing was certain, I listened to all that he spoke, by prophecy, to the young brother and I desired it by faith, and I felt a leap in my spirit man as he spoke to the brother. Today, I can say all that was prophesied right there to that brother has become a reality of my walk. Maybe the prophecy was originally meant for me, but he gave it to someone else…. smiling.
I was nothing but just a committed young boy, saved at the age of about 15 years, who loved the Lord and served Him with zeal. From being an usher, church cleaner, intercessory team member, Sunday school teacher, and anything else that you can think of in a church life, I have done it all. We were sometimes the first to get to the fellowship and the last to leave. This was my lifestyle, and I considered it to be my practical ministry training, or Bible School, if you will. From doing this, I became the senior pastor of the local church where I got saved in Benin City, Nigeria. After a few years of pastoral ministry, I stepped out into the nations for missionary work on the first of February 1996. I went to the nations of Ghana and French Speaking Ivory Coast (Cote D’Ivoire) in West Africa, and from there to different nations, before finally settling in South Africa as a base from where the ministry operates from. Before I met my spiritual father I was already fulfilling my calling and ministry. People saw the hand of God upon my life and the function of the gifts and calling, which was recognized, years after, before I was commissioned as an apostle in 2007. It wasn’t about me knowing my title, but knowing my function and doing what God has called me to do.
Your Calling & The Kingdom of God:
One thing that must be very clear with your calling is your understanding and proclamation of the Kingdom of God.
If your life’s pursuit and call obscure the reality and purpose of God’s Kingdom, then you have missed God’s intent for your life, because the whole of His purpose for you on earth is centered on His Kingdom.
The primary focus of God’s purpose and destiny for your life is centered in Christ and His Kingdom. If the perception of your life’s vision and calling borders outside the perimeter of His Kingdom, then you’ve missed His intent for your life. This is why you must seek first His Kingdom – making it your utmost priority. This is the only path to fulfillment in life. Don’t play around with religion and wander away from the Kingdom!
The word “Kingdom” in the Greek is “Basileia.” In the New Testament it refers to the Kingdom of God, also called the Kingdom of Heaven. It is a spiritual realm over which God reigns as King, or the fulfilment on earth of God’s will. The concept of the kingdom is NOT more about a place, but primarily about the Spiritual Reign, Rule, Dominion and Will of God.
The Kingdom of God is an eternal and everlasting Kingdom – It is not of this world [neither is it patterned after the systems of this world’s way] – It is a spiritual kingdom of Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit. It’s a Kingdom that brings righteousness, justice and equality among all men through Christ Jesus.
Jesus Christ is the KING of God’s Kingdom.
There are many kingdoms in this world [both in the heavens and the earth beneath], but God’s Kingdom supersedes all kingdoms; hence Jesus Christ is declared as the LORD of all lords, and the KING of all kings. The Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of Power, Authority and Dominion.
Anyone that does not “continue” in the doctrine [teaching] of Christ does not have relationship with God, but if we continue in His teaching, we have both the Father and the Son.
What was the teaching [doctrine] of Christ? What was He preaching?
To fulfill your calling, you must be prepared and well equipped with the right message – the gospel of the Kingdom. Anyone who gets so progressive in his thinking that he walks out on the teaching of Christ, walks out on God.
Anyone who wanders away and does not remain faithful to the teaching of Christ has no relationship with God. But those who remain in the teaching of Christ have a wonderful relationship with both the Father and the Son. So if anyone comes into your fellowship claiming to be a true believer yet doesn’t bring this teaching, you are not to consider him as a fellow believer, nor should you welcome him into your homes. For if you welcome him as a believer, you will be partnering with him in his evil agenda – 2 John 1:9-11 The Passion Translation (TPT).
Christ taught many things pertaining to the Kingdom of God, but His teachings were summarized as “the gospel [GOOD NEWS] of the Kingdom of God.”
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people – Matthew 4:23 NIV.
But He [Jesus] said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent” – Luke 4:43 NIV.
One of the many reasons Jesus came to Earth was to teach us about the Kingdom of God, and He empowered His apostles to go preach nothing but “The Kingdom of God.”
Afterward Jesus went up on a mountain and called out the ones He wanted to go with Him. And they came to Him. Then He appointed twelve of them and called them His apostles. They were to accompany Him, and He would send them out to preach – Mark 3:13-14 NLT.
“As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near” – Matthew 10:7 NIV.
Let me chip-in this here, as it is very important – Your true calling is to be in relationship with Christ first, before people and to the world.” You can see this order, as Christ called His disciples to first be with Him, and then be sent out to preach – Mark 3:14.
The important question you must ask and answer is, what are you commissioned [sent] to preach? Anything outside of what Jesus commissioned is your own ambition and personal message, and not His. Anything less than the message of the Kingdom of God is not the Kingdom and it is not of God.
As important as the “Kingdom of God” is, most of our Churches, Bible schools, and Seminaries do not teach or preach the “gospel of the Kingdom of God.”
Your absolute pursuit must be the Kingdom of God – “Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God” – Matthew 6:33.
As you proclaim the “Kingdom of God,” it’s important to note that your revelation and belief must not obscure Christ, who is the KING of the Kingdom. Christ is the center of it all! Your gospel of the Kingdom must be Christocentric [Christ must be the focus and center of our message and preaching].
More so, we must translate this kingdom mindset to become a practical reality in every aspect of our lives to transform our world.
People are seeking for ‘spiritual direction’ and ‘a sense of fulfillment of purpose’ in understanding and walking in the reality of the Kingdom of God, and God has entrusted this great responsibility of destiny into our hands as gifted leaders, and we cannot afford to compromise this or fail in this mandate of our calling.
God places great responsibility on the leaders of His people, to lead them into the truth and not to destruction (Isaiah 9:16).
As Christ’s believers and leaders, it’s our utmost calling to be a light to a dark world as we live for Christ.
Focus On Your Gift/Calling:
Be focused on your calling and on your assignment, and walk in the anointing of your allocated grace. Don’t be influenced by the flesh to go beyond your limit, but labour according to the grace of God given to you.
If you want to walk in the true anointing, then walk in your divine purpose and calling. Stick to your call. Don’t be title-driven. Today you are this, and tomorrow you are that, and the day after you are something else. Know who you are. It’s not about bearing titles [even if they recognize and call you one, or not], it’s more about the function – doing what God has called you to do.
God is not going to reward you for bearing titles, but for bearing fruits that remain. It is your works that speak and not your titles.
God only anoints [commissions] those who are established in Christ, and for His purpose. He does not anoint foolishness! God only anoints purpose for the fulfillment of destiny.
The anointing comes with the calling. The anointing is the setting apart for the fulfillment of God’s purpose. The anointing is a divine seal wherein we are marked in Christ to fulfill a specific and unique purpose and calling in the Kingdom.
The anointing is not a feeling or some spectacular manifestation, but primarily the supernatural release and endowment by the Holy Spirit to fulfill your purpose and calling. It is a guarantee of the fulfillment of your calling and your purpose in Him.
A Borderline Personality Disorder:
In the Kingdom of God, there is no room for a “Competitive Spirit” [a desire to outdo others and be the best], or a “Copycat Syndrome” [a borderline personality disorder], trying to imitate and walk in someone else’s shoes. People with such a spirit or mindset are considered to be carnal and spiritually immature.
You lose the resolution of your authenticity when you duplicate another and compete with others. Be yourself and flow within your divine purpose. The saying ‘stay in your lane’ comes into play well here.
We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you – 2 Corinthians 10:12-13 NIV.
Paul the apostle goes on to say,
Our hope is that, as our faith continues to grow in our labour, our sphere of activity among people will greatly expand, and the gospel can be preached in the regions beyond (2 Corinthians 10:15-16).
Power & Authority:
As we saw in Jesus appointing His apostles, power and authority over sicknesses, diseases and demonic spirits go with the calling (Mark 3:13-15, Luke 9:1-2).
When you walk in complete obedience to Christ, in line with your divine purpose and calling, you have the power and authority to demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. You have divine power to demolish strongholds. You can cast out every demonic spirit and shift spiritual positions for God’s Kingdom to reign. You can heal all diseases, in Jesus name.
When you walk in line with your true calling, you can exercise the authority of Christ over demonic spirits and circumstances.
In the same way, the authority the Lord has given to you is for building up His people rather than tearing them down. Your ministry should be for the edification of the people and not for their destruction.
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Copyright © 2020 by Israel Onoriobe
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