Call to Ministry
Ministries of the Holy Spirit, Lesson 4
Pastor John Hamel
"And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son,
and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's
wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees,
to go into the land
of Canaan; and they
came unto Haran,
and dwelt there. And the days of Terah were
two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran." (Genesis
It would not be
proper to close this series on the Ministries of the Holy Spirit without
first answering the question, “How do I know if I am called to any of the
No one can tell
anyone else whether they are called to the Ministry or not. This is
the job of the Holy Spirit alone. Yet there are some things that you
can do to determine whether or not you are called. These are things
that have worked for me and they will work for anyone who is honest and
The Holy Spirit will never leave you wondering if you really
want to know.
Before going to our
text Scripture and our lesson, I want to share some things with you right
up front. If you could find happiness in any area of life besides
Ministry, you might want to go and pursue that area. If you do not
desire Ministry over and above the material things, the status, the prestige
and the comforts that a secular occupation can bring, you would probably
never make it in Ministry.
Ministry is exceptionally difficult.
I did not say that it was not good or satisfying if you are called to it,
because it is. I did not say that it is not rewarding, financially
and in other ways, because it is. But it is difficult and it takes a
definite calling and a definite anointing. If you are unwilling to
suffer persecution, rejection, false accusation, jealousy, hatred and
hardship, you will never find joy in true Charismatic Ministry.
The preaching and
teaching of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is the most important job
in the world and it must be pursued with excellence. People who are
truly anointed for Gospel Ministry are consecrated, uncompromising and
completely sold out to it.
Jesus is not looking for individuals who
are desirous of incorporating Him into their lifestyles. Jesus is
looking for true Ministers, liberators,
deliverers who are willing to lay down their lives and their pet projects
in order to develop their Gifts.
Jesus is not looking for
opinions. Jesus is looking for obedience.
If you are not turned off by what you have read yet, but rather your heart
is being stirred, read on.
Let us now look at
our text. You will notice that Terah,
Abraham’s father, determined in his heart to go to the land of Canaan.
He traveled over six hundred miles towards his goal and suddenly stopped four
hundred miles short of his destination. He was more than half way to
his goal and he stopped in a place called “Haran.”
The Hebrew definition of “Haran” is “the place
Terah was so impressed with Haran’s cool springs,
pomegranates, figs, shade palms and such that he allowed it to stop him
from reaching his destination.
The road to Canaan
was so difficult that he actually stopped at an oasis well beyond the
halfway point and quit.
Terah was not
willing to go all the way at all costs.
Must Be Willing to Go All the Way before You Start
Apparently Terah had not made up his mind to finish the journey
before starting it. Somewhere beyond the halfway point he came to a
small oasis in the desert and allowed himself to be lulled and deceived by
its creature comforts. He took off his sandals, ordered up a fruit
smoothie with crushed ice and one of those little paper umbrellas in the
glass, put up his feet, put his head back and died.
If you are
unwilling to go all the way before you even begin, you may as well quit now
because you are already finished. Even Jesus said to count the cost
before you start, making sure you have what it takes to finish the job.
“For which of you,
intending to build a tower, sitteth not down
first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he
hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it
begin to mock him,” (Luke ,29)
Terah did not count the
cost. He did not go all the way. Adam and Eve made the same
mistake. Esau, Eli and his sons all made the same mistake.
Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu
all made the same mistake. They simply refused to go all the way with
The entire Nation of Israel traveled more than halfway to their
destination only to yield to rebellion because they were tired and
unwilling to go all the way.
I do not believe
you will ever get clarity in your spirit as to whether you are called or
not until you first make up your mind to go all the way no matter what the
cost. The Holy Spirit will only work with willing vessels. (Isaiah
Possibly you thought you had made up your mind and you have blown
it already. Well, repent. God will have mercy on
you. He knows that you live in a society that is bent on
quitting. We are surrounded with individuals who quit their jobs,
quit on school, quit on marriages and quit on everything else they say they
will do. You have not blown it so bad that God will not take you
The call of God upon your life is there permanently. (Romans
11:29) God is not counting how many times you fell. He is
counting how many times you get up. You made up your mind to go all
the way, now get up and hit it again. Make up your mind that this
time you will not quit.
Your Word Intake
Romans says that faith comes from
hearing the Word over and over again. Start reading entire books of
the Bible if you really want to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit
concerning your calling. I am not talking about chapters and verses;
I am talking about entire books of the Bible. Go back and read First
and Second Samuel, First and Second Kings, Genesis, Exodus, Acts,
Galatians, Ephesians, etc. This will unclog the spout where the guidance comes out.
you balance your Old Testament reading with equal amounts of New Testament
The Old Testament
covers the dispensation of condemnation. The New Testament covers the
dispensation of righteousness. People who spend all their time
reading the Old Testament and not the New Testament just end up confused,
condemning, judgmental and always finding fault with themselves and
Spend equal amounts of time with the easy books of the New
Testament, the Gospels, Peter and Paul’s Epistles, etc. These books
are the Holy Spirit talking to you. Tackle books like Deuteronomy,
Leviticus and Revelation later.
Read extensively in the “Message”
Bible by Eugene Peterson if you have difficulty sticking with the King
James. The Message Bible is not a true translation. It is a
paraphrase. Although I do not preach out of it, I do use the
Message Bible when I want to read extensively. I study and preach out of the
King James. If you will do this, you will discover that the fog will
immediately begin to dissipate and what the Holy Spirit is calling you to
do will come clearly into view.
a Doer of the Word Not a Hearer Only
James says that individuals who
hear the Word refusing to do what they hear or read just end up in even
deeper darkness and deception. Do what you read. If you see
something as you are reading that you have not yet begun to apply to your
life, begin to apply it immediately. You do not qualify for guidance
to rise up out of your spirit until you first learn to obey the guidance
that comes out of the written Word.
When you read about tithing, start
tithing. When you read about love, forgiveness and prayer, start
walking in love and forgiveness. Start praying. When you come
to the laying on of hands, casting out unclean spirits and living morally,
start doing those things.
all your guidance is going to come from the written Word of God. How
can you expect the Holy Spirit to give you more specific forms of guidance
when you refuse to obey the owners operating manual? You are simply
not going to talk the Holy Spirit into giving you a Harley Davidson until
you first show Him that you can handle your training wheels and that you
will wear your helmet without argument. Would you let your little
lamb skip the tricycle stage and give him or her a
Harley Fat Boy?
Aware of Inner Promptings & Growing Desires
As you begin to
spend time in the Word you will begin to notice yourself wanting to operate
in certain areas. You will notice your attention going towards things
that you will discover are easy and comfortable for you even though these things
may appear to be difficult for others.
As you begin to step out in
these areas you will begin to recognize a flow. By that I mean, the
more you do what the Holy Spirit shows you to do, the easier it becomes for
you and the more you fall in love with it. A true Gift of God will
prosper wherever it is put into operation. (Proverbs 17:8)
Whatever desire the Holy Spirit puts on the inside of you, it will
bring joy not misery. If you find yourself operating in an area that
makes you miserable and does not bear fruit, stop and re-examine
Do not try to force something, particularly to be seen of
man. You will end up rejected and you could die prematurely, even as
Saul did. (1Samuel 13; Proverbs 25:14)
If there is no fruit being
born, if there is no evidence of a gifting, do not continue in that
area. It is possible that the Holy Spirit had you there as
preparation, a stepping stone into something else. However, He will
not keep you in an area that frustrates you and robs you of satisfaction.
Specific Training in Your Area of Ministry
One of the first
things I noticed after I was saved and began to get around other Preachers
was how so many Preachers saw no need for specific training. Doctors
do not just decide to start opening folks up and fixing them. They
get medical training. Lawyers do not just show up in court looking
for someone to defend. They get legal training.
cannot just throw on a necktie and give it a whirl. Ministers need
training in their profession as much as any other professional. This is why
we have built the tuition-free JHM Online Bible Training
you could not afford to go to Bible School, now you can. If you had no
way to get to Bible School, now you do. If you were not able to make
time for Bible School, now you are.
Also, I have always been
one to target individuals who are already excelling in what I am called to
do. I stick to them like white on rice. This is good advice for
any Minister. Find someone who is succeeding at what you believe God
is calling you to do and hook up with them. Do not break from them. What they
have will get on you.
Keep in mind, however, that there are seeds of
error in every human being. All human beings, including the most
anointed human beings, make mistakes. Be watchful and never imitate
your mentor’s mistakes.
Ministers must also
be careful to never believe the lie, “I don’t need anyone to teach
me. The Bible says the Holy Spirit is my Teacher.” Yes, the
Bible does say the Holy Spirit is
your Teacher. (1John ,27)
That simply means that the Holy Spirit will teach you His plan for your
life. He will reveal it to you from within. You do not
need anyone to tell you what you are called to when the Holy Spirit is
telling you. However, if you did not need Teachers to teach you the Bible, then
why did the Holy Spirit set Teachers in the Body?
resist being taught are easy to identify. They think they are
anointed but everyone can see that they are not, particularly when they
preach and pray. They have deceived themselves into thinking they are
helping people while their pride is only hurting people. I have
watched them in operation. I have tried to talk to some, to no
avail. They do not know they are deceived because they are
They are believing the lie that
just because they are called to Ministry, they do not have to study like
everyone else. The Bible says that only study will show people that
you are approved of God. Lack of study brings only shame. (2Timothy )
Get a Bible
education before making a fool out of yourself and
giving God a bum rap. If you are truly called to help people, the
first thing you will do to help them is to rid yourself of Bible-illiteracy and human
to the Voice of Your Own Spirit
Your spirit is where the Holy Spirit
lives and it is through your spirit that He will shed light into your
darkness. (1John 4:4; Proverbs 20:27) Do not go looking for Prophecy,
fireworks or visions to reveal God’s plan for your life. Stick with
what rises up from the inside.
Do not insist on dreams, visions and prophecies. They usually come
for one of three primary reasons. First, you are especially dull and
the Holy Spirit cannot seem to get you to listen to His inner
promptings. Second, there is particularly rough sailing ahead of you
and you are going to need something more than an inner prompting or urging
to hang on to in the days ahead. Third, dreams, visions and prophecy
accompany the Office of the Prophet on behalf of others.
Do not try to force
the Holy Spirit to guide you through dreams, visions and prophecies. Satan will accommodate you.
Do not try to force the Holy Spirit to guide you apart from inner
promptings, inner desires, inner intuition or inner perceptions. This
is the primary way He guides us into His plan for our lives.
click on “Supernatural Guidance” at our tuition-free JHM Online Bible Training Centre and
find all the teaching on guidance that you will need to get clarity.
If you really want to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit concerning your
calling, you will determine to read those studies. You will determine
to acquaint yourself with those studies until they become a part of
Show the Holy
Spirit how serious you are. The Apostle Paul said, “I magnify mine
office.” (Romans 11:13) By this he meant that he treated his Office
with the utmost of respect. He honored what he believed he was called
to and he treated his calling with dignity, discipline and sobriety.
"For we dare
not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that
commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and
comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." (2 Corinthians )
When we compare our Gifts to those of
others, it only leads to one of two things – pride or intimidation.
Pride compares and says, “I am better than you.” Intimidation
compares and says, “You are better than me.” They both are the spirit
There is no room in Gospel Ministry for the pompous or
Remember, these precious Callings of God
are called “Gifts” because we do not earn them or deserve them. They
are entirely a result of God’s mercy and grace.
Do these things you
read today and you will know of a certainty if you are called.
If you are called and you determine to go all the way before you even
start, you will prosper in your calling.