Ministry begins with a call by God:
As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea — for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him. (Matthew 4:18-22)
We are called. Hearing that calling is important. How we respond is even more important. Notice how quickly the brothers joined Jesus.
The Apostle Paul was very zealous for God, but he did not understand what he was doing until he heard the call from Jesus Himself:
But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus. (Galations 1:15-17)
Paul did not immediately begin his ministry for The Church. He needed training.
Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days; but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord’s brother. (Galations 1:18-19)
We all need training if we are to properly respond to God’s call.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
Our call needs to be discerned by The Church who will then commission us:
Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the ruler, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. (Acts 13:1-3)
If we are called, then we are given authority and power by God. Without God’s gift, we should not attempt to fight the devil on our own.
He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them. (Mark 6:7-13)
We may know about Jesus, but we need to know Jesus:
Some Jews went around driving out evil spirits. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus to set free those who were controlled by demons. They said, “In Jesus’ name I command you to come out. He is the Jesus that Paul is preaching about.” Seven sons of Sceva were doing this. Sceva was a Jewish chief priest. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “I know Jesus. And I know about Paul. But who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on Sceva’s sons. He overpowered them all. He gave them a terrible beating. They ran out of the house naked and bleeding. (Acts:13-16)
There will be difficulties along the way. But if we continue to trust God He will transform us into the image of His Son:
We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:28-30)
How do we truly understand that we have been called? We must love the Word of God:
Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts. (Jeremiah 15:16)