The Nitty-Gritty Question Between You and God

31 Days of Supernatural Encounters | by Jamie Rohrbaugh | free devotional series on FromHisPresence.comFor Day 30 of our 31 days of supernatural encounters (series index here), we are doing business with God by answering a question that will transform your life forever … if you let it.

Read: Haggai 1

Know:

It was summer of 2012, and I had just graduated from seminary. I had known for years that I was called to preach God’s Word, and I was so excited to have finished my seminary degree–the outer trappings of that call.

Don’t worry. I had no illusions that my call was dependent on seminary.

People all over the world preach the Gospel with barely so much as a Bible, let alone a seminary degree. A degree is not necessary in order to preach or teach the Word.

But I went to seminary because the Bible says to “study to show yourself approved,”–not study to GET approved–so I studied to show the world that I was approved, and a worker who needs not be ashamed.

The problem was, when I finished, there were no open doors for me to preach.

I gave this a lot of thought. I wondered things like:

  • Should I wait for my ministry acquaintances to let me preach, before trying to do so?
  • What if no doors ever open? Would I be content if nothing ever changed?
  • Is there something I’m supposed to be doing to open the doors I need opened?
  • What kind of doors ARE open to  me right now?

And after pondering these things, I realized several things that have shaped my life since that time:

  • God called me to preach and minister the Word. He didn’t ask other people to call me. He called me Himself.
  • Therefore, I am accountable to Him alone for my call.
  • If “people” give me opportunity to do what I’m called to do, that’s great.
  • But if they don’t, that doesn’t negate my call. GOD still told me to preach.

At the time, I had been reading and listening to a lot of inspiring material about the lives of people like Reinhard Bonnke, Charles Finney, John Wesley, Rees Howells, Kathryn Kuhlman, and more. And to a person, each of those mighty men and women of God knew that they answered to God for their call.

And because they knew they answered to God, they:

  • Preached on the street;
  • Played music until a crowd gathered, and then preached to the crowd;
  • Started their own missions in foreign countries; and more.

So I realized this:

God didn’t call me to wait on other people to give me permission. God called me to preach, and preach I must if I am to obey Him.

Whoa.

That is a pretty big revelation. Here’s why:

  • It meant I could no longer hide behind other people’s support of me or lack thereof.
  • It meant I had to take action and initiative. Me, personally. I, I, I, I, I had to act.
  • It showed me clearly that I am in disobedience if I do not obey God’s call, in whatever areas ARE open to me at any given moment.

So I looked again at my options. No preaching doors were open, but my pastor/seminary advisor had encouraged me to try to get a paper of mine (a huge, academic work about systematic theology) published. So I decided to look into that.

And as I researched how to get published, I learned about blogging.

I also learned about podcasting, Facebook, YouTube, and that a person can preach the Gospel around the world without being the pastor of a church.

I learned that there was, in fact, a door open to me–a door to write and teach online.

It would not have been my first choice, if you had asked me at that time. I would have preferred–at that time–to have become a pastor even at some little country church. I just wanted to preach and pastor!

BUT GOD. Papa had other plans, and the door that was opened to me was to write.

So I began writing. I Googled everything and learned everything I could about blogging. Nobody helped me. I bought books and tutorials and online courses, and I began to write and build my blog.

Related: Divine Alignment with the Right Things: Your Calling and Life Message

To reiterate: I didn’t particularly want to be a writer.

I have never felt like a writer who preaches. I am a preacher who writes. It’s just that writing was the only door open to me at the time, and I DID want to be faithful.

So I went through the door that was open.

Fast forward over 5 years, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Over time, it has become obvious that the foundation Father God built for me in ministry–using this blog–was a good one. God knew what He was doing when He hedged me in so I would start my own ministry.

For example:

As of the date I’m writing this, this blog has seen over 180,000 pageviews in this calendar month of October alone. We’ve seen over 1.2 million pageviews so far in this calendar year. We are preaching the Gospel all around the world, in nearly every country in the world.

This blog has actually resulted in my having open doors to preach, minister, and disciple people full-time–and sooo, so, so much more. I give God all the praise and all the glory. He has done it all.

But none of it would have happened if I hadn’t decide to be faithful to obey His call, no matter what.

So the nitty-gritty, major question I would like each of us to ask ourselves today is this:

Am I obeying God’s call on my life?

We are each called to something different, but we ARE called:

  • You might be called to be an accountant and demonstrate the light of Jesus through a successful corporate career.
  • You might be called to minister to children in a classroom.
  • You might be called to teach or preach the Word.
  • You might be called to become a nurse, ministering healing and encouragement to sick people day in and day out: the hands and feet of Jesus.
  • You might be called to carve tree stumps with a chainsaw, infusing art and beauty into people’s lives and thus expanding the Kingdom. (Yes, I’ve actually heard stories about a guy with that call.)

Every person’s call is different. But the big question is: Are you obeying that call?

Or are you waiting for someone to give you permission?

The apostle Paul wrote that we are to press on to the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-16). It’s the call of GOD, not of man; and we’re to obey God by pursuing it.

That doesn’t mean we walk in rebellion toward those in authority over us. I would never advocate rebellion.

But the fact of the matter is, most calls have nothing to do with submission versus rebellion. They simply have to do with whether you will be faithful to God, walking through whatever doors are open to you (even if you have to pioneer your own door) … or not.

There is never a time when you don’t have an open door.

Your open door may not look like you thought it would look; mine certainly didn’t. But there is always a way forward–even if that way is UP for a brief time, with you locked in a prayer closet prying open the next door in prayer.

There is always a next step before you. Always a mandate to pursue. Always some kind of opportunity to obey God.

Even if you have to be like Wesley, Bonnke, Mother Etter, and so many great heroes of faith and open those doors yourself.

Related: The Ministry of the Pioneer

So I ask you today:

Are you being obedient to God? Are you obeying whatever He has told you to do?

If not, it’s time to start today.

Pray this:

“Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name, thank You for calling me. Thank You for creating me for a purpose, and that You have good plans for my life.

Father God, please help me to have Your perspective on my call.

If anything unholy has been holding me back–such as fear, discouragement, control, intimidation, fear of man, laziness, or anything else bad–please break those things off of me. Please help me to understand what I’m called to do, and that I am accountable to You for that call.

Father God, I choose to step out today to obey You.

Please show me what door is open to me, for I know that a door is always open somewhere. If I’m to open my own door, show me how. Teach me the way that I should take. Instruct me and teach me in the way I should go, and guide me with Your eye upon me.

Father, please convict me this moment so strongly that I will never again waver from following You. Your Word says that he who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God. Father, I want to be fit. I want to be a worthy vessel for Your honor; a useful tool in Your hand.

So Abba Father, please give me the revelation from this moment on that I must obey You and You alone, Lord, and help me to do whatever You ask me to do.

Thank You, Father. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

Listen:

Listen to this encouraging word I posted recently on YouTube, about rising up to build your calling. I believe it will inspire you!

Have you been waiting for something before you answer God’s call? If so, are you willing to stop waiting and start answering? If this word challenges you today, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

Would you help me with my work of reaching people for Jesus as a domestic missionary? I need you; we are in this together!

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15 Comments

  1. Rebecca L Jones says:

    I’m calling this the Not About Me November after reading on another blog. I was a writer with a lot of rejections, that ends up with a blog and ministers to women, there was time I wasn’t faithful to write because it wasn’t going anywhere, actually it was and I didn’t know it.

  2. Norma Frizzell says:

    Thank you for this word it has made me stop and ask what my call is. My gifting is help and I sense that my calling is to come alongside my pastor and encourage and fill in the gaps as well a ministry to missionaries to encourage the leader with prayer and prophetic words. So thank you

  3. Thank you for obeying, thank you for your teaching, thank you for the great help you have been to me since discovering your blog just a few weeks ago. Thank you for being practical & real in your relationship with God & others, sans the ‘religiousity’. My story is similar in some aspects, as God lead me into recreation therapy for seniors for many years…… and I hadn’t known that such a field even existed! It is a very fulfilling thing to be where God wants you, doing as He has planned for you. I’m retired now & watching for His direction again in this new place/time. I praise God for the good work He is doing thru you!

  4. Paul Kaboggoza says:

    I thank God for using you. For you have brought this question in the right time for me. I have been suffering from greed and pride upon my calling. Waiting for God to first give everything required to do His work.
    But from today on wards I will never stand down from my calling. Thank you very much for being a blessing to me. May God continuously bless you exceedingly.

  5. Jamie your words always confirm to me what God is already speaking. Thank you Jesus.

  6. Praise God always! Thank you so much for the encouragement! He uses you powerfully!!!

  7. Oh Jamie… oh Lordie! I have been praying for hours and hours and hours every day wondering what in the world was going wrong! I sow and there is no harvest. I speak the WORD in power and with authority and nothing is moved. I prophesy in His Name and it turns to vapor when it leaves my mouth… but Haggai 1:6. He chose my birthday to answer my prayers of “why??” …because I have not fully obeyed His Call. It starts today! God bless you abundantly <3

  8. Linda Cusimano says:

    Jamie, once again the Lord has mightily blessed me through your ministry. I have struggled to move forward in what I knew was my calling. Too many thoughts to share in this space, but just know that your word today was a powerful one for me!!
    Linda C

  9. God direct me to my calling if it is to have my own consulting company please give me confirmation in Jesus name as I have been thinking about this for quite some time and I don’t know what is dragging me. Thanks Jamie

  10. Julie Filter says:

    Oh the Lord surely dropped you into my life RIGHT when I was ready to hear. Over 5 years ago my work was halted as the enemy dropped a sickness into our family that was completely unexpected. It through me for quite a loop and instead of continuing to share all the lessons I was learning from the sickness (my 22 month old son at the time had a sudden onset of a rare auto-immune disorder) as the Lord spoke repeatedly to my heart. I was overwhelmed, struggling with major inadequacy, and could not figure out how to blog in the midst of it all.

    Now, I’ve come full circle after 5 years of warring with my call to build a blog for a community of “keepers at home” to encourage, equip, and advocate for their heavenward call that is fortified at home. He continues to grow Me year after year and I’m trusting His encouragement that He will redeem the years the locusts have stolen. I’m trusting that even my weak state has not halted His plans for my life. Thank you for the very timely word! Blessings to you!

    1. He has definitely not changed His mind about His plans for your life, sweet sister! I am so glad to hear that you are still about our Father’s business. I am proud of you and am so glad to have met you also!

      By the way, there’s a Facebook status I posted last week, Friday I think, over in our Presence Seekers Soaring group. It might be right up your alley if you have not already seen it.

  11. Jamie,
    This is EXACTLY what I needed from God. I have been been called to share my survival story of incest, amnesia and recovery from drug addiction and suicide attempts. I hired a very reputable Godly woman to help and paid her thousands of dollars and she ended up having two major heart attacks, fell and hit her head and got a brain infection. Needless to say our work was compromised. When she finally felt better, she decided not to work with me any longer and I have felt lost since (that was March of this year). I received an invitation to join the Inner Circle of Kingdom Builders Academy working with Tamara Lowe but do not have the funds right now. I have one month of payments and wonder if God wants me to trust Him to provide the rest. Additionally, I am a people person and sitting in front of a computer all day working by myself with no support, guidance and encouragement feels very lonely so I often put it off until I can get some support and help. This message was very helpful and I am grateful you shared it! I will go back to building and continue to pray for support. Thank you!

  12. Jamie, Thank you for all the words from you… amazing and a lot to read! I like what you said here, but…. bear with me. I am a “do-er” in my make-up, and I would rather do than plan, see detail…. the typical big-picture/bottom-line person (a friend helping me said I am wired as a blue-print person?).
    Two years out of a job, living on my savings, etc… waiting on God. He has emptied me of (most of ) myself, and still busy…. removing about ALL of my friends. And…. here’s the thing…. I don’t know anymore what my passion/s are, or what I am called to do/my purpose. So…. I think MY “to do” now is to be quiet and wait…. not to go out and DO…. I need HIS purpose/plan for me, else I will go around another mountain again. Your thoughts?

    1. Hi Basie,
      Great question. God is not the Author of confusion, but of peace. He brings clarity and wisdom when He is present. The Bible does not support the theory that it’s ever His will for us to not know our calling. Instead, the Word of God says that He always wants us to know what we’re about. We are ALWAYS to press forward into the upward call of God in Christ Jesus, as the apostle Paul did. We are to make the most of the time, buying up every opportunity, for the days are evil.

      So, I would encourage you to go here: https://www.fromhispresence.com/destiny-and-calling/ and read all my posts about how to determine what your calling is, particularly the entire Dimensions of Destiny series. After that, I would encourage you to get alone with the Lord and work out the answers to the questions in Dimensions of Destiny, part 5. 🙂

      You can rest in God and reach your destiny at the same time. I wrote a 5-post series about that as well. It’s listed at the bottom of the page at the link above, about destiny and calling.
      Go for it!

  13. Excellent word! Thank you for your obedience! God is faithful when we are not and I am so grateful. God has allowed me to get a few things done that I wanted to do. God is now reminding me, that there are no more delays, go do what I have called you to do. Listen to my instructions. Trust that it is me. Thank you for allowing God to push us back into purpose and rekindling our fire. Blessings and peace for your overflow in your ministry, Amen!!

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