2. The Inner Witness of the Spirit
In his instructions for those called into ministry, the Apostle Paul declares, “If anyone aspires the office of overseer, he desires a noble work.” (1 Tim 3:1 CSB) Here he indicates that one of the traits of a God-called minister is a God-given desire to serve in the ministry. When God calls, even though there may be initial reluctance, He reshapes and “rewires” a believer’s heart so that “He will give you your heart’s desires.” (Ps 37:4)
This is admittedly a subjective and internal experience. One way to know that this is an inner working of the Spirit and not just a personal thing is that it persists—it’s inescapable and tenacious. This means that the inward call of the Spirit is not simply an impression one has only while attending a conference, a revival, or some other spiritual retreat. Rather it is an unshakable and certain sense that God wants you to say yes.
For us called to vocation ministry, there is an inexplicable joy that comes from fulfilling that role. Whether it’s preaching or teaching, counseling or directing, the Holy Spirit gives a deep sense of satisfaction. The ministry has more than its share of disappointments, weariness, discouragements, and anxieties. But despite and throughout these challenges there is also a profound sense, a confidence, that this is the will of God for your life.