Bishop Joseph Garlington grew up in a preacher’s home. From a very young age, he wanted to be a preacher. He responded to that call. He has pastored the same church in Pittsburgh for many years, he is a musician—some of his songs are in the Contemporary Christian catalogue.
A TV interviewer asked him: “Did you have dreams when you were a boy?”
The Bishop responded:
“Sometimes, you have to see someone doing what you’ve been called to do to recognize that God has called you to do it—what I am supposed to do.”
The late C. Peter Wagner taught widely about Spiritual gifts. One of his instructions was to “practice—test” I was not comfortable with that until I realized he was counseling us to get around people who are doing what we suspect we are called to do and see how it resonates with our spirit.
Bishop Garlington heard a five-year-old preach and that affirmed what Garlington had wondered. Garlington was fortunate that his father affirmed and encouraged his search and questioned his thinking and decisions.
A four year old was in one of our concert-preaching events. She said, “Let me go up there with them—I can do that…I want to do that.” She will enroll this fall in college with a music major.
Put yourself in the atmosphere and environment where the work you sense you are called to is being done. What do you experience? Love it? Feel as if God has given you a more effective way to do? Repulsed by a shabby approach? How about signing on as support staff?
Questioning your vision? Dream(s)? Test. Practice.
©2017 D. Dean Benton