Identifying the Call to Ministry
Ministries of the Holy Spirit, Lesson 4

by 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 11:31,32)

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 Ministry Offices?” 

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 sincere.  

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. 

On the other hand if you perceive that you are called to Ministry but the very thought of it makes you want to run scared like a jack rabbit, you’ll want to read our article, “Called to Preach the Gospel But Scared as a Jack Rabbit.  Sound Like You?  Not everyone who is called to Ministry is exactly comfortable with it initially.

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 called death.”  

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.

You 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 14:28,29)

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 God.  

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 1:18,19)  

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 back.  

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.

Increase Your Word Intake

Romans 10:17 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.  

Make sure you balance your Old Testament reading with equal amounts of New Testament reading. 

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 others.  

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.

Be a Doer of the Word Not a Hearer Only

James 1:22 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. 

Eighty percent of 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?

Be 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 yourself.  

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.

Get 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.  

Ministers 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 Centre.  If 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 2:20,27)  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? 

Ministers who 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 deceived.  

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 2:15

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 pride.

Listen 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.  

You can 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 you. 

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.  

The Apostle Paul also refused to compare himself with others.  He knew it could cost him his Anointing.

"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 10:12)

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 of antichrist.  


There is no room in Gospel Ministry for the pompous or the intimidated.


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.


Go to "Minister's Prayers for Holy Spirit Utterance & Guidance."


Be Blessed in Jesus' Strong Name … John and Barbara Hamel 



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