ne of the most nagging question I get from fellow Christians and many of my students is; how do I know my calling from the Lord? In other words, many born-again Christians have no clue what is it that the Lord Jesus Christ wants to use them for? Let's get this from the onset; your spiritual calling is your life. Let's rephrase and repeat that again; your spiritual calling is the raison d'etre of your existence; why you are here and your purpose in life. There is something your Creator has deposited in your life when you were conceived in your mother's womb which you must carry out or fulfill during your brief sojourn; 50, 60, 70, 80 or 100 years here on planet earth. The moment you close your eyes and transit to the Other Side, the first question that you will be asked when you appear before our Lord Jesus Christ is; welcome, did you carry out God's will for your life?" By the way, your spiritual calling is the same as God's Will for your life.
There are certain things about your life that have already been decided ever before you arrived here on birth day; your sex; male or female, skin color; black or white; your parents-even in rape cases, God didn't make mistakes; the family you will be born into; which part of the world you will live at birth and lastly, the purpose of your existence (Jeremiah 1: 5; Acts 17: 26). All these have been predetermined beforehand by the Sovereign Lord God Almighty right in your mother's womb (Jeremiah 1: 4-5: Your spiritual calling or life's purpose is conveyed this way: Luke 1: 13-15. "But the angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth…" Now here is John's purpose on earth in verse 17: "…and he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous-to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
But you say, "That was John." That is not true. There are plenty of people of God whose missions on earth were disclosed; Noah, Isaac, Jacob and Esau, Moses, Samson, Samuel etc. The Lord God is not a God of favoritism or partiality and He does this to all human beings, although some people's missions on earth may not be disclosed. When a person knows his/her calling before he/she is born as Jacob and Esau were known by their mother -Rebekah, (Isaac their father had no clue but Rebekah knew), such is called "purpose in election" or generally destiny.(Genesis 25: 21-23). But you still have a choice whether to fulfill it or not. You do not choose or determine your calling or God's Will for your life, but you discover it. I have written a lot about this in past articles in this column.
There are a total of 28 callings in all for every redeemed child of the Lord to discover for his/her life as revealed by the Holy Spirit in the Bible. Every child of the True Lord God and a born-again Christian should be able to discover-not choose like college/university courses-that will be confirmed by the Holy Spirit as your purpose in life. When you get to heaven, our Lord Jesus Christ won't ask you for the number of college or university degrees you acquired, the political appointments and offices you occupied, the number of wives, women you slept with, children you sired, the amount of money in your bank account, houses and mansions you owned while you were here on earth but one question: Did you know me as Lord and Savior while on earth and did you carry out the assignment I gave you? Period! Your calling is your purpose and it is also your assignment. Here is how the Lord put it in the Parable of the Talents in Mathew 25: 14-18: "Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money."
The talents, which are also referred to as gold here are not earthly occupations. I have heard people say; "My talent is to be a lawyer, or medical doctor, etc." The talents referred to here are what God Almighty has deposited in your life ever before you were born to use in furthering His kingdom on earth. You are either gathering with the Lord Jesus Christ-that is, spreading the Good News to bring unbelievers to the kingdom of God and assisting those already saved to advance in their walk with the Lord Jesus Christ-or you are working to advance the kingdom of Satan, willfully or unknowingly. Not until you are a witch, necromancer, voodoo man or woman are you working for Satan. When you live for your selfish self and all your preoccupations in life are money, food, clothing, shelter, sex, pleasure, politics, social entertainment, music, fame, stardom, sports, material acquisition, academics, debate, business and all those diversions that Satan, the god of this age has devised to take the hearts and minds of human beings away from eternity, you are indirectly advancing the kingdom of Satan. Our Lord Jesus Christ made this point unambiguously in Mathew 12: 30:"He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters." That is why none of these earthly pursuits and accomplishments is of any eternal value on the Day of Judgment and so we take none of it out of here.
The 28 Wills of God From Where You Should Discover Your Talents or Purpose in Life
The Holy Spirit is the One that shows you your talent or purpose in life. There are three broad categories namely: spiritual gifts, spiritual work and spiritual services as disclosed in 1 Corinthians 12: 4-6 "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men."
All the talents, wills and purposes of God for every human being on earth including born-again redeemed child of God can be graphically represented thus:-
Spiritual Gifts Spiritual Works Spiritual Services
1. Wisdom 1. Apostles 1. Encouragement Ministry
2. Knowledge 2. Prophets 2. Counselors
3. Faith 3. Teachers 3. Church Administrators
4. Healing 4. Workers of Miracles 4. Ushers
5. Miracle Working 5. Healers 5. Choristers
6. Prophecy 6. General Overseers/Bishops 6. Prison ministry
7. Spiritual Discernment 7. Pastors 7. Widows
8. Speaking in Tongues 8. Deacons/ Deaconesses 8. Youth Ministry
9. Tongue Interpretations 9. Elders 9. Janitorial Workers
10. Evangelists/ Missionaries
All these 28 gifts, works and services are talents that God Almighty has given to His redeemed souls through the Holy Spirit. These are not man-made but are revealed in the Holy Bible: 1 Corinthians 12: 1-31; Ephesians 4:4; 1 Timothy 3: 1-16; 5: 1-25; Titus 1: 1-16. If you are a redeemed, regenerated and born-again Christina-I am not talking about a church goer or one already baptized with water-you should be able to point to one of the 28 talents above and say: "Yes, this is what Jesus Christ sent me to accomplish here on earth." If you can't tell me in one sentence that your purpose in life is to exercise God's gift for the kingdom of God here on earth from one of the above 28 talents, then something is wrong in your Christian Walk.
General Comments on the 28 Gifts, Works and Services Listed Above
First, all the 28 talents above are gifts, period! In other words, none is far superior to the other. The remuneration of each one on Judgment Day will not depend on the number of the gifts, but the effectiveness and commitment you demonstrated to the gifts while here on earth. The pastor is not more important than the janitor as far as the Holy Spirit is concerned, and the miracle worker is not superior to the ushers, because the reason the gifts are given is to "… each one for the profit of all…" (1 Corinthians 12: 7 (NKJV).
Take for instance, Paul and Barnabas. We hear so much of Apostle Paul today because he wrote 14 out of the 27 books that made up the New Testament through the gift of teaching and other talents given to him. But many may not know that Paul's work could not have been possible without Barnabas' anointing. As a matter of fact, Barnabas had more anointing than Paul. Paul was called a man of God filled with the Holy Spirit but of Barnabas, he was full of the Holy Spirit (Acts 11: 24). I will respect someone full of the Holy Spirit than just being filled with the Holy Spirit. But Barnabas whose real name was Joseph from the Tribe of Levi was already working in the vineyard in Cyprus before Paul got converted (Acts 4:36). He was dubbed; "Son of Encouragement" because that was his ministry. Some Christians think because they are pastors and appear in all the newspapers and televisions of the world, they are more important than the leader of the youth ministry or the person called into widow ministry. Nope. As far as the Lord God Almighty is concerned, He is the One rewarding every one of His own and not through people's perceptions or accolades.
You will observe that some of the talents overlapped, like miracle workers becoming healers and so on. When you are a given a gift, it is not meant to be killed or hidden, right? Assuming your Dad, mum or spouse gave you a gift; you want to show it off, right? The same thing with our Heavenly Father; He wants you to use the gift(s) He has given you to benefit others in the church and also as a convincing tool to unbelievers thereby giving honor and glory to His Holy Name. When you begin to use His gifts, He will give you more. A person who has the gift of teaching for instance may soon be called to become a pastor. As you demonstrate your responsiveness and responsibility in the small gifts so you will have more gifts all in His service. After all, human employers give promotion to hardworking employees, so also the Holy Spirit.
How Do I Know My Talent(s) Out of the 20 Talents Listed Above?
First, ask the Holy Spirit as soon as you gave your life to the Lord Jesus Christ and are faithfully assured of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Without being baptized in the Holy Spirit-not water baptism please-you can't discover your talent. Remember, we have explained above through the Holy Spirit that, you don't determine your talent but you discover it. After Paul got converted in his Damascene Experience, the first question he asked was: "Lord, what do You want me to do?" Then the Lord said to him, "Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do" (Acts 9: 6). That should be your question to the Holy Spirit. Later on, the Holy Spirit told the congregation in Acts 13:2: "As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, "Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." Do you notice the progression here? Paul got converted, and asked what he must do. The Lord gave him direction and at Antioch, as they were praying and fasting, the Holy Spirit spoke and said, He had already called Paul and Barnabas and so the twain should be let go by the church. Follow the same templates here if you are serious to discover the purpose of the Lord Jesus Christ for your life.
Your ministry is also your calling and God's will and purpose for your life. If you are married, your spouse is likely going to be your Barnabas. If it is the wife that is called, your husband will be your Paul. Rarely does the Holy Spirit send only one person to accomplish some of the 28 talents listed above. Our Lord Jesus Christ laid the example in Luke 10: 1 thus: "After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go." This is what I tell Singles who come to me asking how to know which man or woman to marry. Once you discovered your talents as a single, pray along that talent for God to bring your partner, period! Another way is to find out your passion. What excites you in the body of Christ most? Whose pain do you suffer to quote Dr Mike Murdock of Texas. Wherever you are using your talent is where God Almighty will provide your needs. When you are exercising your talent, you have no rival. When you are exercising your talent, you are saturated with the joy of the Living God and your needs will be met. The Holy Spirit can also use other believers for you to discover your talent(s).
It should be noted that there are requirements and qualifications to be met as you advance in your Christian Walk in exercising these talents but space will not permit us to list all of them one-by-one.
This is huge! Something of global importance, an earth-shattering event and a cosmic occurrence is in the offing in the world. I don't know what it is but the Holy Bible has predicted it and we shall all see it with our very eyes soon. This event is part of end-time prophecy and it's about to take place very, very soon in the next 12 to 24 months. I don't know what it is; I repeat again, I wasn't shown what it is but again, it's HUGE. The whole world will be shocked; from the rising of the sun to the setting of the sun; from the East to the West; from the South to the North, the planet earth is about to witness a catastrophic event. The Divine Hand of God Almighty, the Creator of the heavens and the universe, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is about to intervene in the affairs of humanity. The world media, the commentariat, the scientists, the astrologers, the men and women of earthly wisdom and their ilk will be talking their heads out but will not be able to explain but those who know the True God will be unshaken and unperturbed. What is it? I wasn't shown but was only told (Luke 21:11 & 25).
I have been repeating the above prophetic words almost a year since this column debuted and as events unfold around the world, I will not comment on the unfolding drama in Syria. Also in the news is the current rapprochement between Washington DC and Tehran. The other day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Obama on the new tune being sung by the Ayatollahs of Iran on the sanctions crippling their nation. We will not comment on the recent U.S. Government shut-down too. Again, let's keep our fingers crossed as events play out in the most volatile areas of the world, but one thing is certain, biblical prophecies are being fulfilled right before our eyes.
Is Femi Aribisala, Vanguard Columnist an Apostate or For Real?
I have received letters and email from people about one Femi Aribisala who writes a weekly column in Nigeria's Vanguard newspapers every Sunday on Christianity whether he is real or fake. Some of the contents of the letters were unsavory and I have declined to print them. Some said he's a fake pastor and his column is anti-Christ and some unprintable stuff. First, I want to begin by saying I do not know Mr. Aribisala from Adam, except read his weekly Sunday column. Second, no one should judge any person, because only the Holy Spirit is competent to judge a fellow believer, but the Holy Bible commands us in 1 Corinthians 14: 26-29: "What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up. If anyone speaks in a tongue, two-or at the most three-should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God. Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said." The New King James Version put those three verses above this way: "How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge."
You see those two phrases: "a teaching" in verse 26 above which is what Mr. Aribisala does in his weekly Sunday column and the words: "…and let others judge," in the last verse 29 are what other anointed men and women of God are supposed to do. In other words, we cannot judge the eternal destination of Mr. Aribisala or a fellow Christian for that matter, but we can judge their sermons, teachings (writings), tongue, prophecy and interpretations. These are the two Biblical bases I am using to reply to the letters I received on Mr. Femi Aribisala's teachings (writings) in the Vanguard newspapers. I have read some of Mr. Aribisala's column write-ups; some are certainly off-the-mark while some are Biblically-based. He wrote some time ago condemning the paying of tithes and I replied him appropriately that he was clearly in the wrong. (This is the link to the rebuttal: http://nigeriaworld.com/feature/publication/fayemiwo/050613.html). Then few weeks ago, he wrote that some of Apostle Paul's writings were of his own and not of God and I was gob-smacked.
On the whole, he is on the mark and my overall conclusion is that, he has the Holy Spirit and thus knows the basic fundamentals of the Christian faith but has a lot of issues with doctrinal matters. He is caught up with the way Christianity is being practiced in his native Nigeria, which influences most of his views. Often times, he panders to his own side of the Nigerian Christian world and falls into errors. Apostle Paul warned in 1 Corinthians 4: 6 that, if what we read anywhere cannot be supported by the Words of the Holy Bible, such views are mere opinions and of zero-utility in Christendom no matter the wisdom it portrays. "Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other," because when you go beyond what is written, you rely on the letters but as we know, "…the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life" (2 Corinthians 3: 6).
I have applied this to me in this column through the humility of the Holy Spirit. I said it at the inception of this column nearly a year ago that if I wrote anything in this column and cannot defend it through the Holy Bible, do not believe it. If the Words of the Holy Bible were not the inerrant Word of the Sovereign Lord God of the heavens and the earth and all that are in them, if Apostle Paul was not inspired by the Holy Spirit as Mr. Aribisala claimed in one of his past column write-ups, then Genesis, Exodus and all the way to the Book of Revelation were not inspired. If the words of the Bible were the stories of men and women, we should have found the stories of Mr. Aribisala's families and grandfathers, including the stories of my own families and town in the Bible, but "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Timothy 3: 16-17). Mr. Aribisala needs to read more and allow the Holy Spirit to humble and teach him more. Candidly, we cannot rely on our university degrees-I have plenty of them- to understand the things of the Spirit. We need His wisdom, knowledge and inspiration and humility too so we won't lead many astray.
LETTERS OF THE WEEK
Good day Sir, I just read one of your articles about speaking in tongues and praying in tongues, as the last gift. Sir, I was blessed and I like to have a copy in my email because I loved to share it with other believers, to expose them to the serious truth and be free from Satan. My email: email@example.com. Thanks! I also liked the way you spoke about the issue of terrorist and that of Jonathan. God bless-
--Babarinde Kayode, Ibadan, Oyo State Western Nigeria.
Thank you for your letter. Your email has been added to our directory and you will receive subsequent column articles directly in your email.
Thanks Dr Fayemiwo for your thoughtful write up and response to the write up by Mr. Adun. There is even a bigger and deceitful writer, given a huge platform on Vanguard that some of us have tried to engage in the past few weeks. God bless and more grease to your elbow…Ayo Adetola, Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA
Here is link to the article on Mr. Adun that Ayo Adetola was referring to: http://nigeriaworld.com/feature/publication/fayemiwo/101713.html