I sat across my mentor’s desk in that small office in a serene area in the city of Ibadan. He had been in full-time ministry for years. He was the first person that struck me when the Lord began to nudge my heart towards the ministry. 

It was like the moment Mary visited Elizabeth. After I narrated my call to ministry in the land of Eruwa, he did not say a word. There was silence in the room. He picked up a sticky note. He began to write on it. He slid it across the table to me. Those words were heavy but also encouraging- thirteen words I can never forget. 

My dear teacher and elder brother in the ministry said once, “The person who says ministry is hard is correct. The person who says ministry is easy is also right. The difference is what you know”. 

The first thing that a called person must build is his/her faith. Build your faith in three areas. I will mention the first today:

Build your faith in the caller. Who called you? If your answer is God and you know God has called you, you must build your faith in Him. Build intimacy with God. The call is first unto Him. Those who go for Him must go from Him. 

And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,

Mark 3:13-14 KJV

When He called the twelve, it was a “calling unto Him”. They came to him. If you do not know the person calling you, you will hesitate to respond. Build a solid relationship with the caller. If you hesitate to respond to His call, most likely you do not know Him. If you know Him, you would be glad to respond to His call. He is faithful. He cares for His own. It is a privilege to serve Him. 

The call was that “they should be with him and that he might send them out”. ‘Should’ and ‘Might’ connote priority and probability in that order. Being with Him is the priority. He will decide what and where He will send you and when he will send you. Do not joke about being with him. Everything else flows from there. 

My grandfather in the faith would say, “All I need to teach you is to pray. If you get prayer well, you will figure the rest out”. Intimacy is foundational. That is where you build faith in your caller. 

Without faith in the caller, you will become a beggar somewhere along the way. Without faith in the caller, you will fail the wilderness test. You will find and build alternatives. You will bow to idols. 

Without faith in the caller, you will become a man-pleaser. Your call to be a worshipper can become the talent to “praise men” for returns. Your call as a minister can become corrupted by survival antics- you will be led by fat envelopes. Your call as a pastor (shepherd) will see you abandon your sheep many service days to honour invitations so your bills can be paid. You will be more on the road than you are with the flock in the fold. 

Build your faith. Why? 

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Hebrews 11:6 KJV

If you are coming to Him, believe that He is (your Father, your Caller, Your Employer, Your Commander, Your Source, and Your Sustainer). 

Today marks 12 years of that journey of believing. Ministry is Hardwork but it is easy when you know who you believe in and believe in who has called you. 

© temilOluwa Ola, Eruwa

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