We shall be examining the three keywords, which in my opinion, are key in the heart of God concerningHis Kingdom on the earth, and His sons (servants).
If according to Apostle Paul, “the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance”; then, we need to take a close look at the deep meaning of the calling, gifting and ministry.
"For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord's money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them...
Matthew 25:14-30 - NLT
A lot of wisdom, instructions and mystery in those portions of the Scriptures above.
There was a man, his servants, his goods\property (resources) and his work – and a careful look at those embedded variables (four of them), can help us to gain firm grip on the deep meaning of calling, gifting and ministry; and thus, learn the wisdom of god on how best to relate with them.
Apart from people with mental illness, no one would call another person for no reason – I mean; people call other people for a purpose\assignment or request, which are best known to them. Thus, when a man or woman calls me, I assume immediately that he or she has a “good” reason for it! And do, when we come over to matters that pertains to God, we shouldn’t forget that simple fact.
God (although, the almighty) doesn’t call people for no reason – He usually (like most men) call people to either send them on an errand on the earth, use them to accomplish a great feat on the earth, or to teach them new things to provoke their mind or character unto change on the earth. Hence, God calls people (men and women) for a purpose\work on the earth.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all*the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
Genesis 1:26 - NLT
Before this verse (26), the Bible tells us about how God was doing all the work on the earth all by Himself – and they were usually seen or assessed by Him as good jobs; but that verse 26 reveals how God purposed and moved ahead to create man, and how He handed over the dominion or workmanship of the earth to man: For He said, “Let Us make man….let them have dominion….” And the implication of that simple Royal Decree was that God chose to be working henceforth on the earth through man (and the children of men). And if you would allow me to confirm; you are a son or daughter of man.
So, from then, whenever God wills to get a job done on the earth, He calls His choice men (vessels) to do it in His behalf; hence, in his authority. And really, unlike some men that give people responsibility without a commensurate authority, and yet demands accountability; God gives responsibility and authority (power\resources) to His servants, and He demands accountability from them.
After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money.
Matthew 25:19 -NLT
Friend, God will not come down from heaven to fix the mess in your home, workplace, city, nation or generation: For that will amount to a breach of His own law (Word) in Genesis 1:26; rather, He will call a man\woman (boy or girl) – His servant, to fix it. He simply calls one of His sons on the earth, gives them adequate resources and sends them to do any specific task for Him on the earth.
Now, if I may affirm, as much as you would not give a sensitive task to a lazy, careless, undisciplined or evil team member, the LORD wouldn’t commit some sensitive jobs to some insensitive sons – although, they might desire it.
And also, since you and I would not give 10, 000 naira or dollar to a servant to buy a 300 dollar or naira stuff (because of wastage); and we would not in our sound mind give 400 naira or dollar to a servant to get us 2, 000 worth of office wares – God would equally not under or over equip His servants; as He is committed to the needs of His servants (not their wants) and would never permit them to be stranded or ill-equipped in the pursuit of His assignment.
In the Scriptures that we read at the beginning, there was a master, three servants, resources (goods), and some assignments. And perhaps you are wandering how I saw the assignment; then see this:
"For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants…”
That man called his servants, and since he wouldn’t call them for no reason; I knew that he called his servants and he assigned responsibilities to them – and remember, they were his servants\ministers; For really, no one would just call anyone on the streets for a work; the people being called, needed to be his people – thus, he gave them different jobs to do. And when he had called them (assigned task to them); he entrusted his goods (resources) to them. Why does he have to entrust his resources to them? First, they were his servants; secondly, they have been given responsibilities by him. Thus, every calling is entitled to a gifting.
The master entrusted his resources (belongings) to them, and that shows that they did not work for those resources - it was simply giving to them as gifts in a trust, which they are to use in the accomplishment of their assigned duties and account for it\them later. Hence, just as calling is about a task to be done; gifting is about the resources to be used in doing the job given\assigned.
If a man’s calling by God is to heal the sick of his nation; then, God would not leave him to figure out all by himself, how to get the sick people healed; rather, God would give him the gifts of healings.
There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same*Spirit,
1 Corinthians 12:4-9
Friend, every divine calling attracts divine gifting; but you must note: no matter how much a man covets a gift, if his calling does not require it; such gift will never come: For the Spirit (God) gives the gifts to the people as He wills, not as the people wills.
In our story, the master gave the first servant five talents (dimensions\measures of gifting), the second two talents (dimensions\measures of gifting) and the third, one talent (measure\dimension of gifting). Thus, he gave to each one according to each one’s ability (calling). Indeed, divine gifting is never a function of a man’s desire; but a man’s calling – and if you may answer me, does a man with a calling to develop the mind of the people through the authoritative teaching of God’s word need the gifts of healings to be effective in his calling? You may say yes, but I believe that God knows the best. And He only decides what He gives to His servants.
But the good news is this, He never judges His servants by how much gifts they had; but how good and faithful they were in the discharge of their heavenly calling. (acts 26:19). He wants His servants to do a good job and be faithful with the heavenly resources at their disposal. Thus, no man pleases God by getting much resources and achieving little; but by accomplishing one’s calling with one’s gifting – no matter the size or scope of such gifting. And remember, those two servants (the first and the second) got the same reward, despite their varying gifting.
So, stop envying other people, start becoming faithful with your own gifts and good in the discharge of your duties as assigned to you by God your creator!
From that story in Matthew 25:14-30, we discovered that the third servant buried his own talent inside the hole in the ground, because of fear; hence, he was considered a wicked and lazy servant by the master. The servant chose to bury his talent within himself; he chose not to help others with his gifts in the pursuit of his own calling – just because of fear!
Friend, do not allow fear to cause you to bury your own divinely endowed gifts (talents, skills, abilities, etc.) within yourself. And remember, no one; and I mean no one is actually without divine assignment – we only differ in the dimensions (number)o of our gifting; and the difference is only because of the nature, scope and peculiarity of each one’s calling. So, no need to become afraid, envious or overwhelmed about your calling or your gifting!
Can you think, talk, dance, sing, write, joke, draw, design, programme, etc., more than me; then, that might be your own gifting; however, you will only move into other dimensions of gifting, when you have become faithful with what you have right now. (Matthew 25;29).
Now about ministry, your calling is not your ministry, neither is your gifting your ministry; but your ministry is the use of your gifting in the fulfillment of your calling. Hence, whenever you are using your gifts (ability to analyze complex issues, ability to express yourself verbally and by writing, ability to lead people, etc.) in fulfilling your calling (God-given assignment\mission); you are in ministry!