Called or Commissioned?
For many are called, but few are chosen. (Matthew 22.14 KJV)
In this passage of Matthew 22:14, the Lord Jesus contrasts those who are called by God and, those who are chosen (commissioned) by God.
Jesus Himself declares that many are called, in other words, it is not something difficult to be called by God; however He finishes this verse saying that however few are chosen.
So it is fundamental to understand what does mean to be called by God and what does mean to be chosen (or commissioned) by God.
What does mean to be called by God? God has a specific identity and purpose for each individual, and this can be proved through the Bible because in Psalm 139:16 we can read that in the book of God all of our days were already written, in other words, all the perfect plan of God for us was already written in His book in heaven. The call of God has to do with God’s invitation for us to know our identity and specific purpose in the Kingdom.
When we receive Jesus as Lord of our lives, many times we shall know our calling from high. One way of perceiving a call is to receive a ministerial gift from God. According to Romans 12:6 these gifts “differing according to the grace that is given to us” (KJV). These ministerial gifts are not a result of our natural abilities, but a result of a supernatural impartation of the Holy Spirit. They are supernatural gifts, and they are connected with the call of God in our lives.
For example, someone can receive an evangelist gift, others a prophetic gift, other a teaching gift, and so on.
However, an important point is that the gift is “imparted in a seed form”, as Pastor Bill Johnson says. When we receive a gift, we become called by God, and this call is an invitation to enter into a process of training, maturation and trial, so that one day we may exercise the fullness of that call.
If a person responds positively to God’s call, that person in a process that will continue for many years (or even decades) until the individual reach a certain level of spiritual maturity, and then, at the due time, can be released by the Lord to fulfill the fullness of His calling. This release is called commissioning.
The point is that we will have little spiritual effectiveness if we try to exercise the fullness of our calling without a clear commissioning from the Lord, because our commissioning will be given only after we endure the long training process (and tests approval) brought by the Lord.
The training process (which separates the calling from the commissioning) involves several aspects. One of them is to devote daily quality time to study the Word of God and other Christian materials (such as books, media, etc.) to help us to grow spiritually. If you want to get out from calling to commissioning, it will be fundamental to develop a routine this spiritual discipline.
P.S. (Important): If you want to dig into the subject of this article, we recommend reading our book Answering the Call – Knowing and Fulfilling God’s Plan, where we analyze four biblical characters from the same family (Abram, his brothers Nahor and Haran, and his father Terah), and their different kinds of response to the call of God. Further details on our website at the address below:
Copyright © 2017 by Rogério Clavello.