Calling, Confidence and Ministry Exercise
Fredrick Buechner writes: “God calls you to the place where your deep gladness and the world’s great need meet.” This means that we shouldn’t blindly pursue our own ‘gladness,’ yet neither should we emotionally respond to going after the first of the world’s needs that strikes us. We should prayerfully seek to find the intersection of our gladness and the world’s need. That is where calling rests.
In the following Paul encourages Timothy to be reminded of the truest part of himself, the place God wants him to do life and ministry from... read the passage slowly...
Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. (1 Timothy 1:18-19)
1. Paul refers to a prophecy that was made about Timothy. Prophecy, very simply, is about truth--God’s truth. Someone had opened God’s true plan for Timothy to Timothy. Has something like this ever happened to you? Think about seasons when you have thrived. When you have experienced the ‘deep gladness’. Think about times when you’ve been encouraged by others, whether seemingly ‘prophetic,’ or a simple compliment. List some times below.
2. Paul gives Timothy an “instruction” (the Greek word is closer to “command”) to Timothy in light of his calling. Command and calling are connected. God doesn’t command us to live outside of the calling. Reflect on the list above, times people have encouraged you, times of deep gladness. Now put yourself in Timothy’s place. What would Paul be commanding you to do?
3. Spend a few more moments continuing to reflect on times when people have encouraged you, or said something ‘prophetic’ about you.
4. Paul commands Timothy to live in light of his calling so that he might “fight the good fight” or battle well. What is the battle in your life? Try not to focus on the constant hang-ups you have (pride, lust, etc.), rather focus on how God might be using you to push back the darkness for God’s Kingdom. How do your gifts intersect with the world’s need, as that need is expressed locally.
5. Prayerfully read over the above verse 2-3 times. Also read 1 Peter 4:10-11, and Joshua 1:9.
6. Write out some ways that you can respond to the command to live out of your calling locally.