What Is The Difference Between Being Called By God and Working A Profession ?

Having God’s Calling vs. working a Profession or a job, is the difference between being a true shepherd and a hireling.

John 10:12-13 ESV
He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. [13] He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

A spiritual leader will first and foremost, have a calling from God. His work will not be his profession or job, but his calling from God.

No-one can appoint himself as a spiritual leader. The appointment comes from The Father of lights, in whom there is no shadow of turning.

James 1:16-18 NASB
Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. [17] Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. [18] In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.

Hebrews 5:4 NASB
And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was.

This principle cannot be changed. The next verse goes on to say that even Jesus did not appoint Himself as our High Priest. The Father appointed Him.

Hebrews 5:5-6 NASB
So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, “You ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”; [6] just as He says also in another passage, “You ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO the ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.”

Therefore, this should be true, in your calling.

The tragedy today is that the vast majority of “Christian workers” are working to earn their living. It is a profession for them. They have not been called by God. There is a lot of difference between “a profession” and “a calling”.

Let me explain what I mean. Suppose there’s a sick child in a hospital and a nurse looks after it for 8 hours on her shift. That nurse then goes home and forgets all about that child. Her concern for that child was only for 8 hours of duty. Now she has other things to do, such as going to the movies and watching television, taking care of errands, and the home. She doesn’t have to think about that child again until the next day when she goes back on duty. But the mother of that child doesn’t work 8-hour shifts! She can’t go to the movies when her child is sick. The mother stays with her child. That’s the difference between a profession and a calling.

If you apply that illustration to the way you care for the believers in your church, you’ll discover whether you’re a nurse or a mother!

Paul said, in 1 Thessalonians 2:7, “We proved to be gentle among you as a mother tenderly cares for her own children. Having thus a fond affection for you, we were well pleased to impart you not only the gospel but also our own lives because you’ve become very dear to us”.

Paul not only imparted the gospel of God to those Christians but his life as well.

Any ministry that is not done, and carried out in this manner is not really a Christian ministry.

Paul served God like that because he had a calling to the ministry. He didn’t take it up as a profession. It was who he was.

It’s wonderful to serve the Lord. It is the greatest thing in the world. Nothing on earth can be compared with it, but only if you’re called. It cannot be reduced to a profession.

Being called of God will make all the difference in your life. First of all, it will not matter to you, what people think about you or your ministry, because Someone Else is your Master and you must answer only to Him, because it is He who has called you.

Secondly, you can trust God to stand by you and give you grace whenever you face any trial or opposition in your  ministry. This will happen often, so you must fully rely on God. He will never leave you or forsake you.

Thirdly, it will not matter to you whether you receive any money or not, or whether or not you get any food to eat. If you receive food and money, well and good. If you don’t get any food or money, that’s fine too. God knows your needs and He will supply them according to His riches in Glory. You cannot stop serving the Lord, just because you didn’t get any money or food, because it is God who has called you. You can’t get rid of your calling. Your not a salaried employee who can stop working when your not paid or fed!

It’s like the case of the mother and her child. A nurse will stop working if her salary is not paid one month. But a mother can never stop. She doesn’t get a salary in any case! And she’ll look after her baby even if she doesn’t get any food or money.

That’s how the apostles served the Lord, with the exception of Judas.

What a glorious thing it is to be called of God! You can never do the Lord’s work, the way God wants you to do it, if you do it as a profession or take it on as a job. It has to be a calling from God or nothing.

Every other job in the world can be done as a profession. But not a mother’s, or a father’s, or that of a servant of the Lord!

All these are the result of a calling. Paul told the Corinthian Christians that even if they had 10,000 teachers, they still had only one Father (1 Cor.4:15).

Paul was both a spiritual father and a mother to his flock. His was not a profession but a calling.

Exodus 2:5-10 NASB
The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the Nile, with her maidens walking alongside the Nile; and she saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid, and she brought it to her. [6] When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the boy was crying. And she had pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.” [7] Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women that she may nurse the child for you?” [8] Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go ahead.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. [9] Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. [10] The child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. And she named him Moses, and said, “Because I drew him out of the water.”

When you take care of God’s children God is the One Who is responsible to give you your wages, not man.

If you serve men, then look to men to pay you. But if you serve the Lord, then  look to Him alone to provide your needs, in whatever way He sees fit.

And let Him also decide how much you should receive each month.

There is a dignity about a true servant of the Lord. But it is possible that an elder or a Pastor, feels no such sense of responsibility for the people in His church. He may content himself with teaching the Bible every Sunday. But He may get a surprise when Jesus comes again and evaluates his ministry and he may discover that his entire earthly ministry was only wood, hay and straw, fit only for being burnt (1 Cor.3:12,13).

Think of the tragedy that will be! If you take this warning seriously now, it could reduce your regret at the judgment seat of Christ.

O Lord help us and remind us all of what you tell us in your Word.

Matthew 6:24-34 NASB
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. [25] “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? [26] Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?
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[27] And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? [28] And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, [29] yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. [30] But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! [31] Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ [32] For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. [33] But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. [34] “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Thank you Lord, In Jesus Name…Amen.

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