MUST THE ONE IN THE PULPIT BE CALLED TO PREACH?
One of the confirming signs that God had chosen Saul to be king over Israel was that he would prophesy. Saul had gone to the prophet Samuel for help in finding his father’s donkeys. But he left with the prophet’s anointing oil dripping down from his head and the prophet’s words ringing in his ears that he was soon to be king. As he left, all the confirming signs that Samuel had given Saul took place, including the sign of him prophesying.
When others witnessed Saul prophesying, they wondered at how he had come into such a calling. Who was his father or master that he could be able to do such a thing? At which school of prophecy had he studied? Who had given him the authority? So it became a proverbial thing to say in Israel when an unschooled preacher was heard prophesying, “Is even Saul a prophet?”
We still have a tendency today to overemphasize which seminary a preacher attended and under which church he was ordained. It’s not that these things are unimportant, it’s that the calling and anointing of God are so much more so. Biblical education and the affirmation of God’s calling in ordination are valuable in establishing and confirming a preacher’s calling. But it is the calling and anointing of God that is paramount. Yes, the one in the pulpit must be called of God to preach.
PRAYER: Dear Father, we pray for the pulpits in our city, in our country and in our world. May they be filled with called preachers, anointed of the Lord and filled with the Spirit. For You have ordained the Church as Your Body and Bride and You have given her the gifts of the Spirit to accomplish Your purposes. Lord Jesus, You are the Over-Shepherd of the Church. Cleanse our pulpits of false shepherds and fill them with Your anointed, God-called under-shepherds. Give them Holy Spirit boldness to preach the gospel in season and out. In Jesus’ name, amen.