Derek Prince - When You're Saved You Are Also Called
This excerpt is from: How To Find Your Place
I believe this is a message which is important for every Christian. There are some messages from the word of God which only concern certain people, but I believe this message, How to Find Your Place, is of the greatest importance for every Christian. I believe the lack of understanding about this message often leads to great frustration in the lives of Christians. So, I just trust that God will enable me to present this truth in such a way that you’ll be able to receive it and apply it whatever way is appropriate in your own life.
I want to begin with a Scripture from 2 Timothy chapter 1 verse 9. 2 Timothy 1:9. We have to read the last word of verse 8, which is God, and then we go on with verse 9: ...God 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. So that Scripture says that if you are saved you are also called. Let me ask you a question tonight. Ponder on it for a moment and then respond. How many of you here tonight know that you are saved? All right. Now if I were to ask how many of you know that you are called I doubt whether... All right, how many of you know that you are called? That’s a good response. The fact of the matter is that many, many Christians who know that they are saved do not know that they are also called.
If you are saved you are called. You may not know it but you are called because when God saves us He also calls us. And Paul says with a holy calling. It’s very important to understand that God has a calling for you which is holy. It is something that you need to treat with the greatest reverence and respect. It is a treasure, it’s more valuable than any earthly treasure that you can ever possess. I remember when God specifically revealed His calling to me. I was saved as a soldier in the British Army in 1941. Then the army sent me to the Middle East and I was there for the rest of my military service, four and a half years. And in due course the army took me to the country that was then called Palestine which is now Israel. And there, in what was then a little kind of settlement, it’s now quite a major populated area called Kiriat Motzkin, north of Haifa, one day I was walking up and down amidst a lot of bales of medical supplies because I was in the medical corps and they were storing medical supplies, ready to take them into Europe when Europe should be liberated from the Nazis.
I was just walking up and down between these bales and the Spirit of God came on me and I spoke very clearly and forcefully in an unknown tongue. And then God gave me in English the interpretation of what I’d said in the unknown tongue. This was not the first time that it had happened. I would like to say in general God has spoken to me this way probably, over the years, several hundred times. And, I cannot recall a single time that it was not absolutely accurate. I have discovered that if we will hear the voice of God and let Him speak to us, He speaks with total accuracy. And this time the Lord said this to me, and He usually but not always speaks in what I call King James English, which is very elegant English, much more elegant than our modern English. Also, much more specific.
One reason being that in King James English, Elizabethan English, we have singular and plural for you. Thou is singular, ye is plural. And sometimes it’s very important to know whether it is singular or plural. It was for me in this case. God said to me, I have called thee to be a teacher of the Scriptures in truth and faith and love, which are in Christ Jesus for many.
Now, that was 45 years ago and as I look back on the 45 years that have elapsed since then I have to say, every word of that has proved totally correct. And, in those days I could never have had any idea of how many the many would be. I suppose today through the grace of God my ministry by radio, in cassettes, in the printed word and in my personal ministry, reaches millions every day. I don’t think that’s an exaggeration because it reaches mainland China seven times in four dialect every 24 hours. It reaches Soviet Russia in Russian two or three times every 24 hours. It reaches much of the English-speaking world in English. It also reaches Central and South America in Spanish. That’s the radio. My books and cassettes are in more than 100 languages in the hands of leaders and teachers. In more than 100 nations, thank you. And then there are the people that Ruth and I minister to personally. But I suppose we only see two percent of all the people who are reached by my ministry.
Now, if God had told me in 1944 that I would be reaching millions every day I think I would have had to say it just couldn’t happen. Because in those days they didn’t have the means of communication. Radio was not yet fully developed, there were no tape recorders and there was no television. And in general, communication was very limited. But God knew in advance what it would be. And so He declared to me then the central thrust of my ministry, which is to be a teacher of the Scriptures. Everything else in my ministry has been built on that foundation of teaching the Scriptures. God has given me other ministries. I have a ministry of healing, ministry of delivering people from evil spirits, and so on. But everything is based on the teaching of the word of God. And if I ever get away from teaching God’s word I get into trouble.
Actually, you probably heard the saying: a duck in water. When I’m teaching the Bible I’m like a duck in water. I mean, I’m absolutely free, I’m in my element. But you take a duck out of water and put it on land and it looks very clumsy. And that’s how I am if I ever get out of the scope of my ministry. And I give you this as an example because it’s true in some measure for every Christian. In your ministry, in your calling, you’re like a duck in water. When you get out of your calling, if you’re not in your calling, you’re like a duck on land. A duck waddles on land, it’s clumsy. You look at it and wonder how it could ever get around. But once it gets onto the water it’s altogether different. And that’s why it’s so important for every one of us to know the area in which we are called.
Another thing that I would bring out in those words that God spoke to me, He said: in truth and faith and love. And that again has proved progressive. Before I was saved I was a philosopher, I was a logician, I was a reasoner. So the first thing that I grasped in the Scripture was truth. And I sought to find the truth and fit the truth together and see what I would call the intellectual framework. But, people used to tell me I was very hard to approach. I was distant; I just presented truth and let people help themselves. And also, truth really can sometimes frustrate you if you can’t receive it with faith. Because, you can see what you could be but you can’t appropriate it.
So God led me into a place where I could minister in faith and I could minister faith to the people to whom I ministered truth so that they were then able by faith to apprehend and apply the truth. But that wasn’t the end because the end of the commandment, as it says in 1 Timothy 1:5–6, is love. And basically I have learned that we really cannot help people in the Christian life unless we love them. If you don’t love people you can’t really do much for them. And I have to give God the glory that gradually He has melted my somewhat austere, military, British exterior and today I really love people.
I love you people. I look at you with the love of God. I long for the best for every one of you whether I’ve ever known you personally or not. My desire is that you should be all that you can be in Christ. So I just give that as an example of the faithfulness of God in respect of calling. Now you don’t have probably the same calling that I do but you have a specific calling from God. And you will never be really satisfied, you’ll never be a duck in water, until you’re in your calling. There are many, many different callings.