And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him. Mark 1:17-18
Though America tried to remain neutral, she faced big problems on the high seas with the British during the few years leading up to the War of 1812. Britain and France were at war with each other, so they each attacked American merchant ships headed to the other country. Dealing with France was bad enough, but the British took it a step further. They began boarding American merchant and naval ships looking for British “deserters.” The problem was, they “found” many more deserters than they lost. They began to accuse American sailors of being British deserters so they could impress them into the British navy – that is, they forced them to work aboard the British war ships. America finally had enough and resolved the conflict via the War of 1812.
Many young men feel like those American sailors when it comes to serving God with their lives, forced to leave what they were familiar with to work in a place they did not want to be. Perhaps it is because some who are in the ministry have painted such a negative picture about what they have had to give up and how they have had to suffer that makes young men feel that God is forcing them to serve Him against their will. Nothing could be further from the truth. I answered the call into the ministry as a young teenager, and when I entered the ministry just out of college, I was not impressed into God’s service. God was not forcing me to serve Him. I felt compelled to give my life to Him out of a love for what He had done in saving me from a life of horrible sin. After spending over fourteen years in the ministry so far, I can honestly say I would make the same decision if I had to make it over again. Life in the ministry is not an endless barrage of problems and heartaches (although there are some); rather, it is a continuous relationship with a loving God Who meets all our needs and shows us how it feels to live on the mountaintop.
Far from being miserable, life in service to God is joyful. God is not going to come down to earth in visible form and do the work He wants to do on this earth. He depends upon us to be His feet to spread the gospel; He depends upon us to be His hands to share the good news; He uses us to be His eyes and His ears to see and hear people in their need and have compassion on them. No, God will not force us into His service, but He sure has many that He is calling who are not answering His call. Answer that call today, and you will not be disappointed.
Read also: Mark 1:16-20
Quote of the day: "Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” – Corrie Ten Boom