By Gisela Yohannan
Building God’s kingdom is just like building a house. Before you start, you need a blueprint, materials and a work crew. The work crew ranges from skilled professionals such as carpenters, brick layers, painters and plumbers to water carriers, cement mixers and load bearers. Each of these people is absolutely needed to be able to complete the building.
God also has a blueprint for building His kingdom . . . around the world. When you look very closely at the blueprint, you will find your name as a believer there. God has assigned a specific part of His kingdom to be built just by you.
You must realize that nothing—absolutely nothing—in your life is an accident. God created you with your specific part of the blueprint in mind. Everything in your life has been preparation for you to be able to fulfill this specific task in God’s plan.
Just think: your upbringing, your trials, your education or lack of education, your culture, your abilities, your brown or yellow skin, your citizenship, even your being born as a man or a woman—all this was necessary to make you into a skilled workman for your assigned task.
Looking at our lives in this way, we can truly say: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
I Am Called for My Part, Not Yours
It is very important for us to remember that whether we are in full-time ministry or placed as a full-time witness in our neighborhood or business, we are there for fulfilling our own part of the blueprint. We should not try to covet or do someone else’s job.
I remember a time when one of my friends visited me in my home. When she spoke of my husband’s constant travels, she commented to me: “I often think about you. I could never do what you do.”
My answer to her was this: “You are not supposed to do what I do. God has called you for something else. God gives each of us grace for our own calling.”
This is truly my experience. Whatever God has assigned to you on His blueprint, He will give you sufficient grace to fulfill exactly that. Remember, you have been prepared by Him to be a craftsman, skilled for your area of that blueprint.
“God gives each of us grace for our own calling.”
Full-Time Ministry versus Full-Time Witness
You might be ready to do your job, but in your heart you might feel that others, especially those in full-time ministry, have much better tasks assigned to them than you seem to have.
God has kept the distribution of jobs and calling to His own authority. We cannot change that part. But we can joyfully do whatever He asks of us with all our hearts. Jesus said that if we are faithful with a few things, He will put us in charge of many things (Matthew 25:21).
Let us look at a few people in the Bible who didn’t have a full-time call like Peter, James or John did, but whose service within their professions was absolutely necessary to fulfill God’s plan for His own Son as well as to fulfill many prophecies. If each of these people would have been involved in anything else than their regular job, they would not have been useful for God’s purpose.
· · ·
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the stable, his mother Mary had no place else to put her newborn baby than in a manger, a feeding trough for animals.
In the Christmas story and in our Christmas songs, we read and sing about the angels, the star, the shepherds and the wise men. But we never mention the man who made this manger. He must have been a professional carpenter or stonecutter, depending on whether the manger was made with wood or hewn out of stone.
All his life, this man worked hard at his job. Perhaps he often thought: “I wish I could be like the rabbi in our synagogue. If I had his job, I could really serve the Lord God of Israel, whom I love with all my heart. I just make these old mangers for other people’s stables. What kind of life do I have?”
But can you imagine the honor and the privilege this man had to make that manger to welcome the Son of God, the Creator of the universe, into this world? God chose this man, in his profession and at his workplace, to be part of the fulfillment of prophecy. The rabbi down the street, a full-time teacher of the law in that synagogue, never received that same high honor and privilege. . . .
· · ·
And then there was a simple weaver who made bath towels for people. What a boring job it must have been, day in and day out, weaving these towels. I am sure this weaver sometimes wished he could make those beautiful robes and clothes with nice colors and decorations worn by the rulers and kings in their palaces. But no, he was stuck at his job weaving those plain, ordinary towels.
Little did this weaver know that Jesus needed one of his towels to teach His disciples one of the highest principles of the heavenly kingdom: “But the greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matthew 23:11).
During the Last Supper, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet and dried them with the towel that this unknown weaver made at his daily job. If this weaver could have known that his towel would be used by the Son of God Himself, he would have been so excited and happy to be the one to make it possible, because of his profession, for Jesus to do such practical teaching.
· · ·
There was also a carpenter who must have felt quite depressed, because he had the worst job in the whole world. He was assigned by the Romans to make crosses for executing criminals. Surely, he thought, there couldn’t be a more awful job than the one he had.
I am sure he often wished he could make beautiful furniture for people’s homes instead. At least that would be something useful and appreciated. But making crosses was a very unthankful, cursed task.
As this carpenter did his work, one day he made a cross that was picked up by some Roman soldiers and laid on the back of Jesus, the Lamb of God, who was about to be slain for the sins of the whole world.
Jesus had need for this cross. The whole purpose for Him to come into this world was to die, so salvation could be given to everyone who believed in His name. This carpenter’s service was needed by God. . . . He was part of the prophecy in Isaiah 53 that described Jesus’ death, and he was also part of the triumph over sin, death and the grave.
· · ·
Dear friend, your name is on God’s blueprint for building His kingdom. He needs your obedience and faithfulness in order to fulfill His plan through you as a full-time Christian witness at your workplace or in your neighborhood. You are needed by the living God.
Excerpted from Gisela Yohannan, Consider Your Call (Carrollton, TX: gfa books, 1994), pp. 16-21.
Click here, to read more articles on Patheos by Dr. KP Yohannan Metropolitan.