God brought Brother Vernon to China Yantai and gave us an extremely precious gift: confidence! Brother Vernon also taught us: “Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.” Hallelujah! Thank God, I would like to dedicate the rest of my life to God, let the Lord use it, and obey!
The above quote if from a comment I received on my web site upon returning from my trip to China. It was written in Chinese and since I don’t speak Chinese I used Google Translate for the English translation. I share this for the purpose that you may see just what goes into such a commitment. While I was in China at one of our share times, I was asked the question, “How do you know if you have been called into the ministry?” I answered him by telling him of how it happened for me, noting that it is not the same for everyone. When the Lord called me, I wasn’t sure that I was being called because there was nothing solid beyond the need. I had even gone to my pastor and asked him if the Lord might be calling me to the ministry. His advice to me both shocked me and became the advice I have given to many others. He said, “If you can do anything other than preach and be happy doing it, then don’t preach.” This is great advice because the Bible says, 2Pe 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: There are many that enter into the ministry without making their calling certain but then drop out of the ministry when things begin to be rough.
Upon hearing this advice I immediately thought, that lets me out as I had many interest and I knew that I wasn’t ready to make such a serious commitment so I gave up on the idea. Here lies an important point and that is that if God is calling you then you will ultimately find that there is nothing else that you can do that will satisfy your soul and you will only find peace doing that which God has called you to do. You will not run God off because you said no for he sees past your emotional response to His divine purpose.
Such a commitment in China come with an additional consideration. It is one that is present in all circumstances but is not always realized. For example, in America you may find a group of enthusiastic supporters and even a career where society will accept you and see you as an important part of the social order. In China, you will face great persecution that can ultimately cost you your life and all you hold dear. It may lead to severe hardship and social rejection. In short it will cost you and the path may be harsh, bringing suffering and rejection which may even include your family. This was all clear to this young man so why would he make such a commitment?
For the same reason that Moses rejected all that Egypt had to offer. Comforts, ease, the choice of life and position (he was in line to be the next Pharaoh), and choose to be identified with the Hebrews and a life of servitude. That reason is found in Heb 11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. Until this makes perfect sense to you, you would be well advised to wait on your ministry.
It takes courage to make the choice and it take courage to wait on God’s confirmation. Another way of saying the same thing is that it takes faith in the Lord to bring it to pass. That faith requires first that there be a call, second that you are willing to entrust yourself to the Lord for its fulfillment, and finally that it is up to God to put you into the ministry. Are you listening? Do you hear his still small voice? Do you trust Him? Would you do as David did and offer a sacrifice that properly represents true worship? 2Sa 24:24 And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.