My journey into ministry began innocently enough. I was a young mother of two when a good friend talked me into taking a Bible study called DISCIPLE. It was a year-long study that covered about 75% of the Bible. It also had a free nursery and like many young mothers, anything that came with a free nursery was pure GOLD. I immediately signed up. At that point in my life if a course on taxidermy had come with a free nursery, I would be the proud owner of many stuffed things right now.
The video presenter was a beautiful man named Zan Holmes. His resonant voice still echoes in my mind these many years later. I remember sitting spell-bound one day listening him say, “Always remember WHO you are…and WHOSE you are.” That struck a chord with me. It was during that year of intensive study that I discerned my call to ordination. God was directing me to the WHO by reassuring me of the WHOSE. I am a flawed and inconsequential child of God who is also the daughter of the great, high King. So if he decides to send me to seminary, I figured I would be alright.
God indeed went ahead and the rest is my history. The Holy Spirit acts as our on-site supervisor, available 24/7 for everything we are called to do. You can’t learn this from a bible study or a divinity school. You simply have to yield to God’s understanding and remember WHO God is.
Watch what happens to Peter:
Matthew 16 (The Message)
13 When Jesus arrived in the villages of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “What are people saying about who the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some think he is John the Baptizer, some say Elijah, some Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
15 He pressed them, “And how about you? Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter said, “You’re the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17-18 Jesus came back, “God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.
By the power of God’s Spirit, Peter had discerned that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah. He understood that Jesus was the Son of God. The three years of journeying with Jesus revealed WHO God is in a profound way to Peter. Then Jesus helped Peter understand WHOSE Peter was. He was a sinful man raised up to be the rock upon which the church would be built. In typical Messiah-transformation fashion, Peter the worst became Peter the first.
Imagine what he can do with YOUR life.
19 “And that’s not all. You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven.”
Where is God saying yes to you? And where is the no? We are all called to some form of ministry in the kingdom of God. Some will be bishops and some will be NICU nurses. Some will be dads and some will be Sunday School teachers. Who are you?
When we remember who we are, and more importantly whose we are, the kingdom is open wide to us. There are no barriers to God. There are no obstacles except our own disobedience and reluctance.
YOU are a child of God. Who do you say that he is?