If some can mistake “the call” for reasons ranging between seeking acceptance to showing gratitude for their Salvation, then can anyone really be sure of their calling? Yes, they can by the evidence of “the call.” The Bible calls it “fruit.”
1.) “The call” is marked or produces the fruit of a surrendered life.
I love Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ definition of a surrendered life. “It’s a life that says “no” to self and “yes” to God every moment of every day.” One who has totally yielded their life to God understands that it’s not about them…it’s all about God. Like Paul, they also identify with Gelatins 2:20.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Paul could have been a great teacher or theologian because of his intelligence and education. He probably would have gotten great recognition as such. But he surrender himself to all that. Paul wasn’t compelled to have his name in print or be known for his eloquent speeches. Instead, he was compelled to do one thing—to know Christ and make him and his saving grace known to others.
A surrendered life causes us to do what we can’t do on our own.
A speaker and worship leader tells about a time she surrendered her flesh and experienced the work of God at a youth concert like never before. She had just given birth and had no one to watch the newborn. Like any mother, her flesh longed to cancel the event instead of leaving her infant in the care of a strange, new sitter. Compelled within, she decided to trust God and handed her newborn over to the stranger. That night a stream of teenagers came to the Lord. She played the same verse so many times she lost count. They just kept coming. To this day it awes her to think what might have happened had she followed her flesh and decided not to play. They would have canceled the concert and all those souls wouldn’t have met Jesus that night. It’s only through a surrendered life that this woman was able to deny what made sense to her and follow the Holy Spirit. And it’s only through a yielded life that the Spirit of God can woo the lost to His saving grace.
You and I know we are involved in God-sized tasks when they are tasks only God can accomplish. By surrendering to Christ, he is able to live his life through yours. You will then naturally separate from the world and its ways—taking on the attributes of God and fulfilling His dreams for your life. Is that your desire? Have you surrendered your dreams in order to fulfill His?
2.) The anointing (or power) of the Holy Spirit is also a fruit that gives evidence to “the call.”
“And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Helper [the Holy Spirit]” Acts 1:4
Zondervan’s daily inspiration reads, “If men [or women] can do God’s work in their own strength, then it is not God’s work at all. The Lord Jesus calls people who realize they cannot function at all apart from His grace and empowerment. Such an attitude results in complete dependence on God, and this is good in His sight. If we can accomplish tasks without God, then He will not get the glory. People will look at what we have done and give us the credit. But if we do something that is completely impossible apart from God’s supernatural intervention, people have no choice but to give glory to God.”
I use to wonder why Jesus told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Helper before they went out to minister. Up until now, the disciples had walked with Christ and were able to testify to who He was and what He could do. However, there is a huge difference between “testifying” and “witnessing.”
Christ was about to depart toward heaven. Therefore, the disciples would need the Helper in order to do the tasks assigned them by Christ. They needed Holy Spirit power. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Christ could do more through His disciples than what He could do in one human body while on earth.
We, too, have the promise of the Helper. Without Him, we can do nothing. One called of God is marked by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was anointed at His baptism before His earthy ministry began. King David was anointed with “power from on high” before he started his ministry. And Elisha picked up Elijah’s mantle and cried out for a double portion. God, indeed, anointed him with the Spirit and those around testified to the working power within him—power given from on high.
The fruit of a calling is the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s power at work in and through you. An important factor is others will testify to the power in your life. Have you ever heard a “powerful” speaker speak? How about one that seemed “flat” or “fruitless.” Those who are called will have a fruitful ministry. Transformation will be seen in those whom they minster to.
There will also be fruit on the inside, too—peace, joy, and satisfaction for the disciple. You will be refreshed and energized. You’ll have a sense of urgency about doing God’s work. You’ll seek to maintain a right relationship with God. You’ll love what He loves and hates what He hates. And you’ll see others come to surrender their lives because of yours. …all by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Is there a time that you know for certain that God anointed you for ministry?
If you haven’t seen evidence in your life, pray and ask God to reveal or clarify your calling.