This is a brief testimony of how I learned I was called to intercession and teaching. The events of these situations taught me much about walking with God, and still does to this day. This is only one example of the many testimonies I could share. But, I think I'm supposed to share this now; for some who may be in that place of learning the voice and guidance of the Lord for their own lives. The Lord wants us to test the spirits, and will not be angry if we do. Being cautious and waiting for confirmation is the best way to go. When we receive this kind of assurance of His leading, it gives authority to our calling.
1jo 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
I was not dedicated, or baptised as a baby, I had no formal church background.
I didn't come to the saving knowledge of the Lord until age 25, and did not have any impression of a calling from Him until I was 30.
By the time Jesus found me, saved and delivered me from alcoholism, and several other things, linked to occult and sorcery; I had come to the end of myself. When I started picking up the bible, and spending every free moment I could find in it, I was like a starved child. All I wanted to do was know more of God, of Christ, and all I could of His nature and His heart. For the first 5 years, I could not get enough of it. Every opportunity I had to listen to a good teacher, preacher, evangelist, I went; as well as regular services. I spent many hours alone studying and praying. I still do today.
The first time I knew I was called of God was in late 1983, at a Women's Aglow meeting on a Monday night. I had been an active member for two years, and a new group of leaders were about to be voted in. As I walked to the front of the room, to take my seat, a voice in my spirit began to speak to me; "I am calling you to be the prayer chairman in this chapter, into intercession, and as a teacher. In years to come you will teach my word in many places." I thought it was the devil and under my breath in a quiet voice I said "In the Name of Jesus, I rebuke you, and command you to leave me!" As I reached my seat and began to sit down, the voice spoke again, "This is the Lord, not the devil my daughter. I am calling you to serve me in intercession and as a teacher."
I silently prayed "If this is really you Lord, I'm asking that you would confirm it to me before this night is over at least 3 times by people who do not know anything of what I've just heard." Within a very few minutes the woman who was going to be the next president of our chapter came right to me and said, "Would you be praying tonight about taking the position of prayer chairman, I feel in my heart God has called you to it." In another half an hour, someone else came to me and said almost the exact thing. I did not answer them, but I thought "That is two, only one more to go."
The guest speaker that night gave a powerful testimony. She had been healed of stage four cancer of the stomach. At the end of the meeting she said anyone who wished to, please come forward and she would agree with them in prayer. I stood up, and said to myself I would not tell her what I wanted prayer for, but would just ask her to pray with me for guidance. When I walked toward her, she took my hand and started praying before I had a chance to say anything. In her prayer she said, "Lord, you've set this woman apart for your service. Use her for your glory, sanctify her, and protect her from the attacks she will endure. Give her strength, wisdom, and boldness to teach your word with courage and power. As she wages war in the heavenlies for you, give her the guidance and protection of your angels." (I remember every word, even though it was over 30 yrs. ago.) I opened my eyes, and we looked at one another but said nothing, we embraced and parted. I look forward to meeting her again in heaven.
During the next several years, there was occasions when I had opportunity to teach bible study, prayer meetings, and special services. But, I was not ambitious about going forward with this. I did not want to pay the costs. I had already seen much of the adversity that bible teachers endure, even from the "brethren", I knew if I was going to teach His word, it would have to be without compromise, and already knew it would not be accepted by many.
Fast forward 20 years to the early spring of 2001. I was attending a church service in my local area, and the guest speaker at the end of the service opened the alter up for anyone to come forward for prayer. My daughter and her future husband went forward, and when he prayed for them, they both went down under the power of the Holy Spirit, together and holding each other's hands. They were married a short time later and he now is the Director of Teen Challenge here in my state.
But, then the speaker turned around and saw me, and started walking toward me. I stood still, he held up his hand but did not touch me. He said "God has called you to teach, and with power. But, you will do so in great adversity. Many will oppose you, even those you love the most. But, God will be with you and you will glorify Him." As soon as he was done, I went to the floor, he still had not touched me, only pointed in my direction. This was spoken to me by someone I did not know, had never met before, he didn't know my name; nor did I know his.
For several years, I resisted being obedient, again. I knew the bible enough to know that what I was being "called" to do was not going to be easy, and there would be prices to pay. I am not proud of admitting I have been much like Jonah.
When opportunities opened, I obeyed. But I did not seek them, God moved the circumstances, and the people.
The warnings given have also come to pass. Adversity arose, and prices have been paid, within my own family. Jesus faced it, we will face it.
Teaching the word of God, is a very serious matter, I tremble at it. We who teach the word of God will be held accountable as to how pure we are in heart and how we handle it. But, we do not call ourselves, it is He who appoints who He wishes.
Update: I've reposted this as a reminder to myself, and a recommission of what God has called me to do. The focus is keener, and narrower now. From this point on, the focus is the harvest, with both eyes fixed on Jesus, and Jesus alone.
Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.