Converts Guide – By John Hames

Chapter 17

How to Determine Our Calling

“Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee” (Jer. 1:17).

In the chapter before us we have one of the most delicate subjects in the catalog of a Christian’s experience. The question, no doubt, arises from the heart of the reader: How may one know for a certainty that he is called to the work of the Lord?

Some of the ways by which this can be determined will be seen in the following lines.

1. When the Lord calls one to a certain work that person is generally the first one to know it. At times, the thought of the work will be so prominent in his mind and the drawing of the Spirit so great upon his heart that he will not be able to rest night or day.

2. Usually, whenever people are called of God it can readily be seen in their testimony. Nearly every time they get up to testify they will unintentionally drift into exhorting.

3. Those who are called of God are given a quick memory, a free delivery, a deep insight into spiritual things, a love for prayer and a passion for souls.

4. One who is called of God to the ministry does not have to be hired and promised a stipulated amount, but the burden is resting upon him so heavily that he sometimes exclaims with St. Paul, “Woe is me if I preach not the gospel.” He is willing to take the job on any terms and thus throw himself into the breach and head someone off from going into the flames of everlasting damnation.

5. Again, those who have the call upon their hearts can not make themselves satisfied pursuing any other calling in life, neither will they be successful at any other occupation. The holy oil is upon their heads and the call and responsibility will follow them to the grave. No matter if they fly the track and run away from God, yet they will never get away from that peculiar anointing and strange conviction. We believe, even if they go down to hell they will be and feel different from all other human spirits.

6. Persons who are called of God to preach the gospel can never keep an even, victorious, satisfying experience by pursuing any other occupation. It is true they may become book-agents, solicitors, financial agents, deans, orphan home managers, etc., but there will always be an aching void in their hearts.

If preachers who are now filling such offices would tell the clean judgment-day truth, they would acknowledge that they do not possess the degree of joy, peace, sweetness, clearness and deep soul satisfaction that they did while devoting their whole time to the ministry of the Word and the salvation of souls. Many of them are placing the blame of their spiritual condition to ill health, domestic trouble, financial pressure, etc., but if they would return to the ministry for just one year there would be as much difference in their spiritual temperature as there is between night and day.