October 9, 2019
From the beginning of humankind, God has given each of us a job to do. Our assignment. When Adam and Eve were put in the garden of Eden, their assignment was to care for and dress the garden. We don’t know what their work was after they sinned and were banished from the garden. But we do know that God said they would have to make their living by the sweat of their brow.
My grandmother, Pansy Plumley, often said that work was one of the best blessings God ever gave to mankind. She worked at several jobs all her life until she was simply too old to work. She had been a farmer’s wife, a mother (of nine children), laborer at a basket factory, and finally, worked most of her career as a nurse in a hospital. That was her most satisfying job, other than rearing her children, (and some grandchildren).
The Bible speaks several times about God’s knowing people while they were still in their mother’s womb; God knew everything they would do and become. And God promised to help each person fulfill their destiny.
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, a preacher in New York, was a prolific writer. His most famous book was The Power of Positive Thinking. (I’ve read it three times.) The book was first published in 1952 and was on The New York Times best seller list for 186 weeks. In this book, Dr. Peale said it was his belief, according to scripture, that God would not call anyone to do or become something unless he also gave them the power to achieve their dreams – their goals. And I’ve preached that truth all my career.
I talked to a dear friend of mine last night on the telephone who has been a lawyer ever since he got out of law school and passed the bar in Arkansas many years ago. He has been in Dallas, Texas now for thirty years, practicing law there. I had not spoken to him in many years, but it was sure a pleasure to catch up on news of him and his family. It had been his dream since a child to become a lawyer. And now he’s living his dream and helping many people.
Not everyone is called to be a lawyer, a doctor, an engineer, a rock star, actor, athlete or some other highly paid and/or glamorous profession. But God calls everyone to do something. Something to provide for your family. The Bible says that a person who will not provide for their family is worse than an infidel. It also says if you don’t work, neither should you eat.
I was at a public forum many years ago in Arkansas where the Governor sent out representatives of his office to solicit support for a very large public school teacher’s raise. This raise was needed, but was going to be very expensive to taxpayers to fund it. Many people were opposed to the raise due to the expense of funding it. That was the purpose of the forum, to see how to overcome the objections.
I’ll never forget one man’s comments during the public’s opportunity to speak either for or against this raise. The man looked to be in his late seventies. I knew the man, but not very well. He said, “I have been a pastor all of my life and just recently retired from the ministry. He said he knew he would never make much money as a pastor when he felt God calling him to preach, but he answered the call anyway. He said he had no retirement or health insurance other that social security and medicare. Then he made a very profound statement. He said teachers should consider their profession a “calling” like preacher’s do their profession. Teacher’s know, or should know, before they start their training in college, that they will never make a lot of money as a teacher, and the same is true of a lot of professions and jobs. He said his daughter was a nurse and didn’t make much money, but that was her calling. Then he said that was all he had to say.” Then he sat down.
Not only do I believe that God has a calling for you, but I also believe God has a place for you to serve humanity. John Wesley, the key founder of the Methodist Church, often said, “The world is my parish.” It’s always been my philosophy in my preaching career that one should bloom where they’re planted. You can be of use to God wherever you are.
John Osteen, the founding pastor of Lakeside Church in Houston, Texas, wrote a little book called A Place Called There. It’s a great little book. Everyone should read it.
Remember the Bible story of the many bad things that happened to Jonah when he didn’t want to go to Ninevah, where God wanted him to go.
Yes, you DO have an assignment. It’s up to you to find out from God what it is and where it is. He will tell you, and he’ll help you achieve success.
God Bless You,