Stop Waiting For Permission

You've been called by God to do something in the ministry. But when you go to the folks whom you thought would support you, you find something other than approval.

And so you question your calling.

Surely you must have heard God wrong.

But what if what you were actually looking for was permission from men? And not confirmation from God? Because the two couldn't be more different. Understanding this can be crucial to maintaining your sanity. 

Looking for permission can look like: quitting your ministry because a certain church does not accept you. 

Not writing your book because a publisher turned you down.

Or not starting your podcast because you couldn't get in with the 'in' crowd.

It can look like quitting your blog because you feel overlooked in your hometown. Or giving up on music because the record label turned you down. Looking for permission can look like waiting to be chosen by man for a position to which you have been appointed by God. 

Confirmation, however, looks different. Confirmation can look like finding the donkey and the colt that Jesus told you you would find. It can look like finding the piece of money in the fish's mouth that Jesus said would be there. Or like finding that your nets are filled with fish after Jesus asked you let them down one more time. Or any number of things. 

Confirmation looks, a lot of times like this verse: 'Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." (Is. 30:21) It tends to be a gentle leading and guiding that lets you know you're going the right way. It will always agree with scripture. 

Calling tends to be a direct commissioning from God. We see this with Moses at the burning bush and Paul on the road to Damascus. It tends to agree with your wiring and with the strong desires God has put on your heart. Your calling also tends to be something you can't accomplish in your own strength, but that will need the supernatural power of God to come through. 

Understand that when Moses went to follow the calling that God placed upon his life it was not because Pharaoh and his army approved. It was because God said so. He had confirmation from God when Aaron showed up as God said that he would. He didn't need permission from men. 

When Jeremiah was sent in to preach to the elders of Israel, it was not by man's permission. They got so angry they threw him in a well. Still, he was called. And so he went.

Sometimes folks won't approve of your calling because they feel threatened. Even Pontius Pilate understood that the Lord Jesus Christ had been handed over to him due to envy. Others won't approve, perhaps, because they do not understand. Or perhaps because God is calling you to other mission fields. 

When Jesus went to his hometown and taught in the synagogue, it says that the people were astonished at his wisdom and at his works. Nevertheless, they were offended because they knew his mother and father, his brothers and his sisters. Other scriptures testify that his own siblings did not believe in him and at one point his family was urgent to separate Him from the crowd because they thought he had lost his mind. 

He received near continual scrutiny from the scribes and from the Pharisees. They did not like who His followers were or that he performed miracles on the Sabbath. They did not like it that they took attention away from them. They tried to trap Him in His words that they might crucify Him. 

He was never approved of by the status quo or by the establishment. Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus were secret followers of Jesus for a reason.

Should the Lord Jesus have quit His ministry then? 


Though He wasn't given permission from men to do what He did, He was the Son of God and his ministry was from God. The Bible says that when He was baptized, the Spirit fell upon Him as a dove and that a voice was heard from heaven, saying, 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased'. 

Remember, too, that the Apostle Paul was commissioned by the Lord Jesus, Himself, and that along the way his path was confirmed by God in various ways.

If what we do is commissioned by God, then we do not need the permission of men.

It is especially important to understand this, because when there is an open door, there often are many adversaries. (1 Cor 16:9 'Because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.')

The apostle Paul received his calling from God and sought permission from no man. After a time, he sought confirmation from Peter and the other Apostles to make sure that he had not run his course in vain. In Galatians 1:1, he writes, 'Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)'. And later, he says, 

'But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.' Galatians 1:15-18

And so, If you have a God-given ministry that God has put on your heart, you do not need to wait for permission from men. 

Perhaps, God is moving you to another area to do your work. In Jesus' case, when his homefolk would not believe on Him, the Bible says that He went into the villages, teaching. In the book of Acts, though the persecution was severe, it served to move the brothers and sisters out of Jerusalem and to other lands to carry on the preaching work. 

It is always wise to seek confirmation that your calling is from God, but we must never seek to be pleasers of men. 

Just because a publisher said no does not mean that God is not calling you to write the book. It may be for a later time or for a different purpose. If God says to write the book, then write the book! If God says you are to lead in worship, then you are to lead in worship. If He says to sing songs, then that is what you do.

'For God's gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.' Romans 11:29

You must be aware that when God has opened a door to you, that no man can shut it. And though it can be confusing when no one wants to give you permission, in reality, permission is not theirs to give. Your calling is God-given and His is the only permission you really need. 

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SOOO good Rosa! I loved this: "But what if what you were actually looking for was permission from men? And not confirmation from God ?" - YES I'm guilting of that as well. Loved stopping by :) And loved meeting you at She Speaks Sarah
Such great truth and encouragement in this post Rosa! Thank you for sharing your heart and for linking up with #JesusandCoffee this week!

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