An Insight into Calling vs. Burden

Perhaps every minister desires to be in the will of God for their ministry, and many have given interpretations of exactly how to determine what the will of God is for your life. The purpose of this [article] is to provide a little insight for those who may at this time be seeking a direction or validating/confirming a calling from the Lord.

The Bible is clear that God orders the steps of a good man. Many people in the Bible did things for God only after He had told them where to go or what to do. Jesus Himself was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness. Phillip was led of God to leave a red hot revival to go to the desert where he was led to the chariot of the Ethiopian eunuch. Ananias was led to a street called Strait to deliver God’s Word to Saul of Tarsus. The point is . . . God leads . . . we follow. On this I believe we would all agree.

But I want to add another few points that I believe could help someone today.

First… never go on a relocation or permanent life-changing move on a burden. A burden is not a calling. Sometimes burdens come so you can be led to pray, or to lend assistance, and so forth . . . but not necessarily a calling. If one goes and changes their life because of a burden . . . there will come a day when the burden will leave. A burden will come and go. People will disappoint or hurt you and you may hate where you are on any given day. So if you go only because of a burden . . . during times when the burden lifts you too will want to leave. However . . . when God calls and sends you . . . you will stay and do God’s will whether the burden is strong and present or even if it has left for a season. There is also an empowerment that comes with a calling . . . that does not come with a burden alone. A calling brings confidence and stamina that God will be with you at all times. It produces faith. Consider Nehemiah as an example . . . he heard the need, felt the burden, prayed and repented about it, received an opportunity to speak to the king, got permission for the mission, received letters of endorsement and empowerment, investigated the real situation, and shared the vision. He did not go because of the burden, but he went only after he received permission to be sent from the king.

Second… we often mistake a feeling of familiarity for our past with a calling. For example, many men at some time or another believe or think they may one day return and pastor their home church. Why is this so? Let me give a personal example:

I came from an incredible spiritual church. The moves of God there were so deep and rich. I have never experienced the same since those days in any church. That was my home town, my home church, I have family members there, and I have received much of the mantle of anointing that rests upon my pastor. I have sought God for this mantle and know it will come in its time and stages. But on top of that, for years I thought there was a possibility that I would some day return there and pastor that church. After all . . . I even still have a burden for my home town.

But that has never been and will never be my place of calling. Instead what God has done has called me to carry forth the bones of that place into other places with me. To carry the familiar . . . the things I love . . . the remnants of my heritage into the future. So instead of spinning my wheels waiting or hoping for that church to call me to return it is instead the will of God for me to never forget where I came from and to make that same thing happen wherever He sends me.

If I were to return to that home church today all is different. It is a different building, a different pastor, different people… same city but a different culture. So it would be the devil’s trap for me to “wait” to return there when all along God has me where He wants me to be at this time. It is here that I can work with God to create that spiritual environment and fulfill His will.

I encourage each of you to strengthen the things that remain… remember the things that you were taught… impart them to those you can impart them to… be sensitive to God’s voice and leading… and confirm any calling with multiple witnesses.

This article was written by a friend in the ministry, Dr. Fred Childs, pastor of GracePoint church in Granite City, Illinois. Dr. Childs is an internationally recognized leadership and organizational authority, author, keynote and conference speaker, pastor and evangelist. He has seen thousands of healings, miracles, signs and wonders in his ministry.


Leave a comment