The Lord called me into the prison ministry many years ago. For several reasons I told Him no, as I was convinced that He was choosing the wrong servant. Friends, God knows what he is doing, when He calls you to something, be sure that it is by His qualifications, not yours.
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are filled with the purposes of God. “God is the one who enables you both to want and to actually live out His good purposes” (Philippians 2:13 Common English Bible).
God’s purposes for you do not depend on your abilities. “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty” (1 Corinthians 1:27).
You need the Holy Spirit in you for the purposes of God to flow from you. “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Corinthians 2:4).
I applied to get a staff card so I could go into the prison yards unescorted and teach classes or preach at services. After applying, I met with the Warden’s Community Director who was in charge of religious volunteers, and he told me that they had checked my past and there is no way I will ever go into that prison.
It is by His grace our past is forgiven and it is for His purposes that we press forward. “…God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began” (2 Timothy 1:8-9).
When you are walking in the purposes of God, it is by His hand that you will prevail. “I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You” (Job 42:2).
I remember questioning God. Why did He call me to something I did not want to do, give me the desire and confidence to step into the calling, only to have it ripped away by the power of man? I was so depressed, thinking it was over before it began. My eyes were fixed on what man was saying.
The purposes of God are never dependent upon the provisions of man. “Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means ‘the Lord will provide’)…” (Genesis 22:14 NLT).
Every purpose spoken from heaven is fulfilled on earth. “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
A few weeks later I was called by the State Chaplain for the prison. He told me to come up to the prison and visit the personnel office so they could issue me a staff card for that prison. Oh friends, when God calls us to something, it is by His power that things will come to pass.
God’s Word is the revelation of God’s purposes. “…Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it” (Isaiah 46:11).
If God has called you to it, people need to just get out of the way. “For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?” (Isaiah 14:27).
For the next six years, I continued to get my prison staff card renewed every year. It was only when the Lord came to me late one night and commanded me out of that ministry that I stopped going into that prison. When God gives you a vision, let Him make the way by His power, not by yours.
If the Lord has given you a vision, then He will make a way. “…being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11).
You are either walking in the plans of man or the purposes of God. The difference is this: the purposes of God never fail. “But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth” (Exodus 9:16).
In whatever He is calling you to do, know that He can make it happen.
Blessings to you,
All Scripture is quoted from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. Please use the version you prefer to review the verses shown here. The best version is the one you read. An even better version is the one you live.