For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! (1 Corinthians 9:16 Esv)
Preaching or teaching? A question has arisen before me as of late. Some of those who read my work know the paths I’ve ventured and the goals set before me. Yet in and through it all something continuously spurs within me. Many know that my passion is to write and just the same to teach or at times to preach about various things. When I was little it was prophesied I would preach the word and since then it seems I’ve been on a constant battle.
We all know the saying, “We are our greatest enemy.”, yet what if you were going against God? That’s the position I seem to find myself. Let’s be honest for a second, I am but a man. I endure temptation and there may be times I make mistakes, I’m not perfect. I continuously pray to be renewed and for the spirit to fill me so I can reflect Christ. I’ve written about it before how the closer I get to God, the more “the call” to help, lead, teach, his people becomes apparent. There is a passion within me that comes about and in some sense I get a hint of the heart of God and yearning to come to his people, my brothers and sisters, to share in truth and love. And this is where things hit the fan, the choices we face in this world.
I remember the words my mother spoke to me, “preaching or teaching the Gospel will not pay your bills, they don’t earn enough.”. This stung me in the heart and truly til this day with the constant notions of people looking for high paying careers and etc. But then I recount the words from Paul, “woe to me.”. Everyone who knows my writing well enough knows I’m not too fond of money. Yes, I’m a writer but I blog or write articles, quotes, and within them are words to encourage and teach while also providing truth. Yet, I don’t get paid for it, I’m not saying I wouldn’t like to but my calling is much more than that. God has allowed me a platform through this ministry as well preparing me, I feel, to take on the pulpit, the stage so to speak.
I’m not going to say in full confidence that I will or won’t be a pastor. I love the word, scripture, teaching people. I feel content and satisfied when I’m with God and his people. I have people claim I’m wise and yet just like Paul, i boast not in myself but in Christ. Within knowing this I see the set before me, the choices just as the man asked to bury his father and jesus responded, “let the dead bury the dead.”. Yet as well I take in consideration that unlike the days of old I can’t just “go”. I have bills to pay and people I help support. But in these very situations, God continuously speaks to me, to follow him, and the calling remains, woe to me. There is a fires that burns, I love to write, I love to preach, I love God.
We all have these plans and we are all called to make disciples as Christians, but there is also a calling for teachers and pastors. God can use you in many ways. Yet for me, this I know to be true and since I was a boy I need it to be so. What I’m conveying is not just my views or what God is planning in me but also to see what God is calling for you. We have these dreams and things we would like to do cause it will help us live “comfortable” lives but let’s be honest, we’re not called to conform to the world and we are told we might be persecuted and die for our faith. Yet, we are also told that God will bless us and when we lean on him and wisdom we will be successful. This in turn creates a sort of wall in our minds. Should we pursue our careers? The answer is we should pursue God, in doing so we not only realize our gifts but use it for his glory. For me it is to preach, to teach, to write, all in one, leading his people and if that is a call to be a pastor may his will be done. I find that my mission field is in America where Christianity has become a stereotype and separate from actual biblical Christianity. Where we focus more on the big “church’s”, the entertainment, the look, keeping people comfortable, instead of Jesus. Where we’ve become susceptible to an open mind where we fall for anything, believe nothing while still claiming to be rational and it being true, yet cannot discuss an absolute truth because we are disrupting the freedom to speak or practice. It is true that we are free to be our “own” but I serve God not man and truth, the Gospel is commanded to be preached to the whole world. I will not be silent any longer and though it is a common struggle at times, serve God, not man, nor self, we find our richness or blessing in Jesus ultimately. Woe to me if I do not write, woe to me if I do not preach. Be blessed.