St. Paul's Lutheran Church

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Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— and all the brothers who are with me. – Galatians 1:1-2

It is tempting to think that, because one has a talent for teaching or preaching, that he must be about the business of being a religious leader, clergy, or minister. He succumbs to the devil’s lie that his own abilities make him worthy or give him justification for being a pastor or church worker (this temptation is also what drives the false practice of women’s ordination, that because a woman possess an ability, she is therefore just in pursuing a position not meant for women because it improperly teaches God’s order in things). In doing so, one necessarily neglects the duties and responsibilities to which the person was truly called. A fireman who believes he is better suited to be a physician will surely neglect a forest fire while failing to save a person who suffers 3rd degree burns.

Paul the Apostle makes clear that his apostleship was not from himself or from other men, but from God. He did not defy what God’s Word plainly teaches in order to pursue what he believed would be best for him or would more fully engage his talents. But he instead waited on the Lord and responded to the Lord’s call.

Consider Jesus’ parable in Matthew 25, and particularly Matthew 25:14, “A man going on a journey…called his servants and entrusted his property to them.” He…called…them. Learn from our Lord to wait for God to call you. And should He never call you, go about your business fulfilling whatever call He has entrusted to you. If you are not called to spread the Word or preach or teach, avoid such a calling like the plague! Do not take on any such position of spiritual or theological leadership even if you have wisdom and understanding like that of Solomon himself. Simply put, if God needs you, He will call you. If He doesn’t call you, you will not explode from all your wisdom. And how unwise you are if you take upon yourself a spiritual role in the church that the Lord has not assigned. Only those whom God has called produce spiritual fruit in His kingdom, even if they don’t wish it. But those who teach and preach without being called risk everything in the church for the Lord is not with them.

Heavenly Father, keep me from falling into temptation and hindering Your Word among Your people. In Jesus’ name. Amen.