I'm working with a rather liberal definition of week here. Also, I don't feel like keeping an accurate record of the number of posts in this series. So get over it.
Face Punch Word of the Week #47:
As in: "I feel in my heart that God has called me to serve His Church."
As a called and ordained servant of the Word, I believe in the divine call. I am certain that God has called me to be a pastor. However, the reason I'm certain that God has called me to be a pastor is because God instituted an actual office and calls actual men into that actual office by calling them to do actual things. Those things being this. And this. And this. And since an actual congregation (and a new one, hence my posting drought during the move) has asked me, according to God's Word, to do those actual things in her presence, I know that God has called me to be a pastor. So, in a nutshell, my call to be a pastor is based entirely on God's Word and institution and not at all on what I feel in my heart.
But surely you must also feel this call in your heart, some might think. If God has really, truly called you, shouldn't you have to feel it, even a little bit?
And to this I respond, "No, pietistic and slightly enthusiastic hypothetical person! In fact, if God has really, truly called me, it's most likely that I will feel the opposite of called. After all, that's what happens pretty much every time God calls someone in the Bible.
You see, when God called Moses, Moses felt that God was not calling him. When God called Isaiah, Isaiah felt that God was not calling him. When God called Jeremiah, Jeremiah felt that God was not calling him. When God called Jonah, Jonah showed God how much he felt that He was not calling him by running away. Even Jesus didn't feel particularly great about being crucified, per God's calling. And this was a smart system to set up on God's part. Because when You call men to do things that they don't really want to do, it shows that Your Word, and not their heart, is the thing at work. And, likewise, when those men side with the Word of God over the feelings of their hearts, this shows why they actually are worthy of being called by God in the first place.
And so, when people use the term "calling" today in a way that is completely divorced from any real, actual, verifiable call of God and when they strangely really, really, really want to do the things that God has supposedly called them to do, this reveals that they are in need of a good face punch because they have sided with the feelings of their hearts over the Word of God.
So when the Word of God tells a man that he has been called to endure scorn and rejection and hatred for preaching the Gospel, and he preaches a false gospel that earns him praise and adulation and lots and lots of dollars instead, he does this because he has rejected the true calling of God that says "suffer" in favor of the false calling of his heart that says "I want a yacht." Likewise, when the Word of God tells a woman that she may not be a pastor, and she pretends to be one anyway, she does this because she chose the calling she felt in her heart over the calling God told her He has not given her.
So whenever people claim that God is calling them to do something that they are excited about doing and when they seek to substantiate that call based upon their own feelings, what they are actually doing is something quite simple. They are taking the name of God in vain. They're using the name of God to make their own desires seem holier. They're trying to sanctify their own will by covering it in the will of God. And this is always a bad thing to do, even if the things you will and desire are seemingly pure. Because, as God makes pretty clear, dressing up words He hasn't spoken as His own is a very bad thing, worthy of His own version of a punch in the face. Which is way worse than any face punches I can dish out. And not just because I have weak, girl arms.
My name is Pastor Hans Fiene. Thanks for reading.