Genesis 14:17–20, Hebrews 5:1–4, Acts 13:1–3
The calling of God is mysterious. The Levitical line produced the priests, but who would be called was something different.
The calling of pastors is equally mysterious (including to the pastors). How and why God calls certain people to be pastors and doesn’t call other equally equipped (or equipable) and faithful people remains a mystery.
In many respects, King Melchizedek is emblematic of the issue. He just pops into scripture as a priest of God, and then is gone again. The first person titled priest is a mystery. That is really part of the whole point. That the calling of a person to more directly and intimately interact and act (in particularly limited ways) in the place of God can often be hard to fathom.
The author of Hebrews does provide us a boundary, which is good. “No one takes this honor on himself…” One of the blessings of the current culture is that people aren’t pursuing ministry due to its cultural respect (yes, it’s a sad thing, too). In this culture people are making not just a financial sacrifice, they are also making a cultural sacrifice. In the Middle Ages, for example, the younger son or daughter would be sent into the church, providing the family influence (some security about inheritance fights). The younger son didn’t often have a choice. That being said, many of them became great blessings to the church through their faithful service and guidance. While people angled to use the church (and their children) to gain power and influence, many of them surrendered fully to God making a big difference. While those that were sent to the church may have been sent with deceptive or unrighteous purpose, the boundary that the author of the book of Hebrews made was still fulfilled.
While priests and pastors have a particular (maybe peculiar) call, all Christians have a call. Yours may not have been assigned. Sometimes the call can be within our work, our hobby, our friends, our neighborhood. In fact, in each of these places, we are “assigned” to work for the Kingdom. However, there are certain areas that God has more strongly called us to do the work.
One of the biggest clues is how you are wired, and what activities you enjoy. How we are wired and what we enjoy makes our work for the kingdom more infectious and effective. There are limits, of course, to the activities. Not all activities are a blessing.
1) What activities are you most joy-filled doing?
2) How can those activities be used at church, family, work, other social circles, to build the Kingdom?
3) Roles we are assigned or fill aren’t necessarily joy-filled. How can you take the activities and apply them to your roles? Be creative.