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By Don Nori Sr.
Once upon a time I would to go to prophetic conferences and wish that the “big anointed” preacher would notice me and call me out for a prophetic word from God that would somehow show everyone there exactly how special and anointed that I was. That was supposed to confirm what I already felt on the inside and give me a little more respect in my life from the people around me.
The problem was that I was looking for approval and validation from the wrong place. This was a long slow process, but God began to show me that approval from man wasn’t coming. There was no green light from man that I would receive before I could get started “in ministry” as a leader.
I would have to begin to walk into my calling without any fanfare.
Being Faithful in the Small Things
God showed me that I would just have to begin serving people and loving people and ministering to people without a great big hoopla. We’re talking a whole lot of washing toilets, and very rarely ever getting to preach or do anything remotely “ministry like.”
I realized that “being in ministry” or leadership wasn’t about being the “big anointed” preacher on stage with a mic. It was about crying with those who are mourning. Having dinner with someone lonely. Making sad people laugh, sometimes. Holding a dear friend as she cries on my shoulder because her husband was unfaithful. Showing up early and praying. Quieting myself before God so He can refresh me. Washing a lot of feet. Serving people, equipping and edifying people. Loving the one person in front of me.
That’s been many years now. I quit waiting on some flashy approval mob and just started doing the work. Somewhere along the way, people noticed, but God showed me that even then, the main thing that mattered was that I was His girl and He was proud of me. Once I quit waiting on others to approve, I began to write (eventually I got a book published), I ministered to people and prayed for them, I gave people prophetic words, I loved and served people, we planted a church, I wrote a book, I finished Bible school.
You see, little things turned into bigger things. Now I’m tremendously fulfilled and completely blissed to be that preacher who gets to preach on stage. What an honor. But I’m still also that lady who loves to laugh and have coffee with people, and do life together. I will always be that lady who is willing to just love the one in front of her. Because I know that that’s what ministry is REALLY about.
Stop sitting around waiting on someone else to validate your calling. If God called you, get started. Recognition not required.
Chances are, nobody’s gonna invite you into your calling. It’s up to you to step into it. This process doesn’t happen in a loud, obvious moment, with fanfare and applause.
You just start doing the stuff day by day and then one day as a result of a series of little steps over the stretch of sometimes years, somewhere along the way it turns into something credible.
What does that Look Like for You?
Has God called you as a missionary but you’re in a season where you’re not able to travel yet to where you feel led? Begin to love your neighborhood as if it were the mission field you’re called to.
Has God called you as a pastor but you are home all day with little people who still poop their pants (AKA stay at home parent)? Enjoy the season you’re in. Relish their giggles. Encourage your children and teach them to pray. Pastor your babies.
Listen I know what it’s like to feel called to something enormous, to not know where to start, and to not have anyone in your life who believes in you. What matters is that God has called you and that your heart stays in the right place.
Don’t get bitter when a leader doesn’t recognize you. Be humble enough to not wave your big flashy future calling in people’s faces, but rather to just serve where you can in that season. Just because God has called you to a certain thing, doesn’t mean it’s the season to fully step into that calling.
Rest assured that one-day you will, but in the meanwhile, everything you decide to do is a service unto the Lord. You can have tremendous impact just loving the people God puts in your path.
Keep serving others and doing small things daily to work towards that big calling that God has called you to do. Years from now you’ll see progress and even months from now you’ll see that you’re much closer to your goal, simply because you took practical steps daily.