King's Business - 1966-04

about your calling, it is time you became c onc e rned about what your giftt is. Suppose my wife gave me a gift which I never opened. If you asked, “What was the gift your wife gave ?” I would have to reply, “Why, I haven’t bothered to see.” We do the same thing with our spiritual gifts. God has given every believer a gift. It is your responsibility to learn what it is. A missionary nurse from Aus­ tralia felt concerned because she apparently had no gift. I asked her to study the gifts listed in the Word and pray about them. Also, I encouraged her to discover in what particular m i n i s t r y God was blessing her. The sudden revelation o f the fact that God had given her the gift of “ helps” meant much to her whole work. It sparked her Christian life and medical ministry. You may be concerned about the same thing this nurse was. If so, ask yourself, “ In what par­ ticular way has God blessed my ministry? What phase of it has He especially used?” That will probably be the cue to your call­ ing. God has given to every man certain natural capabilities. In addition to this He had given the Christian a special gift of the Holy Spirit. In determining God’s calling, you should first of all re­ evaluate your natural talents. If you have a strong inclination to­ wards music, for instance, it would be logical to assume that God has some purpose in giving you this talent and wishes you to use it for His glory. Your particular calling or gift will complement your personality.

where to use that gift. I am His workmanship c reat ed to good works, and I must learn His will and do it. I believe your calling and gift are identical. Your call is what you are to be, which is deter­ mined by the gift He has given you. Your direction is where you are to go. Your calling never changes; your d i r e c t i on may change at any time. Paul’s gifts were preaching and teaching. He used them not only in Jerusalem, but throughout the cities of Eu­ rope and Asia Minor. Wha t i f you f ee l cal led to China? When the door to China closes, does that mean you no longer have a call? No, because your call is what you are to be, not where you are to go. Your calling remains the same from the day of your birth in Christ to the time you reach heaven. After the Commun i s t s took over China, one of the missions maintained a policy that all work­ ers stay. One of its missionaries, restricted to her home by the Communists and not allowed to teach, wrote a letter of resigna­ tion to the board: “ I can remain no longer. Since I was called to teach, not called to China, I must go where I can do what God called me to do.” Some men fail because they en­ ter a work without being called into it. Phillips Brooks finally re­ signed from teaching school as he had no control over the students. But after three years of training, he went into the ministry and be­ came one of the world’s great preachers. He failed as a teacher but succeeded in his true calling. If you have been concerned

I w a s n e v e r called to China, al­ though I served there as a missionary for 18 years! Often as a young Christian, I heard missionaries from various lands talk about the need for a “ call.” They closed their messages by asking if we had been called to Africa or India or China. It seemed a sin for con secra ted young people not to feel the ur­ gency of a divine call to some foreign field. Despite all you hear of being called to the mission field, you will not find this type of call in the Scriptures. In Acts 13:2 the Holy Spirit said: “ Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” True, that speaks of a call, and someone wi l l r e p l y : “ The re , doesn’t that refute what you have said?” Notice it speaks o f a call, not to a geographic location, but to a work. Paul was not being called to Africa or Europe or Asia, but to the work of preach­ ing and teaching. Often the Macedonian call in Acts 16:9 is interpreted as a call to the foreign field. However, Paul was already a missionary when he heard, “Come over into Macedonia and help us.” This was merely further d i r e c t i on from the Lord. He had been preaching and teaching in Asia Minor and now he was being or­ dered to take the Gospel into Europe. He obeyed that direction. God has given me the call or gift o f teaching. It makes no dif­ ference whether I am in America or China: I am to use that gift for the edification o f the body of Christ. It is true that I must get my direction from God as to



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