Ruth 1:16,17 – “But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!”
Have you ever met someone you felt you were called to serve? It is as if that person is tied to your destiny. You cannot shake the uncanny feeling that you were meant to be in that person’s life for a specific purpose and reason. It is as if you were called by name from your place of comfort to serve the life of the one you’ve met.
Ruth felt this way about Naomi. Her words to her mother-in-law were deep words of commitment and loyalty. Ruth was making an allegiance and covenant to Naomi that called for judgment upon herself if she ever left her. She felt obligated to stay, and she let her words prove it. This kind of loyalty is almost absent in our world today.
I like to think that God ordains our steps in such a way that we’re able to meet 3 separated groups of people: (1) those we’re called to serve, (2) those we serve alongside, and (3) those we’re called to pour into. I’ve had my fair share of encounters with all three. For example, I truly believe with all my heart that I have been called to serve alongside my wife. God ordered our steps to meet and marry so we can do what we do now—preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ together. I cannot argue that my destiny is somehow tied to hers and vice versa. There was a time when we broke up, and I could only imagine how my life would be today without my destiny-partner. This is important for us to understand. I can give anyone my money, but I must be selective with my time. I can make more money, but I cannot get my time back. To give you my resources is one thing, but nothing compares to the value that's found in giving you my life. Ultimately, those I spend my time around will determine the course of my destiny. If I hang around fools, I can only expect foolish behavior. Their corrupt behavior will poison my good morals, which will alter the direction of my destiny.
I have also encountered men who I believe I've been called to serve. I see them as elders—an elite group of men who devote themselves to a life of godly character and service. They are teachers and doers of the Word of God. I am able to learn from them. These relationships require a great deal of humility! The enemy tempts me to discount their words and live as if their leadership is not worth emulating. I see promise and strength in these men, and I am willing to follow them wherever they go. I feel as if God assigned them to me. Elisha saw this in Elijah. Elisha was called to follow Elijah (see 1 Kings 19:19). He spent almost 8 years as Elijah’s protégé. He served him faithfully, and he was rewarded because of it. What men and women have you been called to serve? Are you still serving them? If not, why? Consider the seriousness of your assignment.
What’s sad is when we purposefully end relationships with those we know we have been called to. I’ve had to kill my pride to contact elders in my life who I purposefully rejected with my words and actions. I tried to pretend as if I did not need them, but I could not stop feeling like I was making a big mistake. It was not easy to make those phone calls, send the e-mail, and text the “forgive me” message, but it has been worth it. My life is better because of those men, and I’m a better man because of them.
I also believe there are men I have been called to serve alongside. These are my comrades. We fight together for those things we’re passionate about, which is mostly the Gospel. We also join together to fight against those enemies that try to ruin our good name and tarnish the reputation of the Church. All in all, we fight together. Arguments arise amongst us and disagreements happen often, but we tend to find peace because we know we have been called to one another. I’ve found it helpful to let my brothers know that I have been called to serve alongside them. It reassures them that I am in their corner.
The last group is those you’re called to pour into. I have a few young men who I truly feel as if I’ve been called and chosen to pour into them. I see the promise in them. I see the desire in their eyes, the purpose in their life, and the passion in their heart. I am able to speak to the king in them while they only see a prince in the mirror. I see their destiny, and I call it out by name. Like a father, I bless and anoint their heads. I teach, encourage, and discipline them. I am a source of strength for them, as they are for me.
It is important that you do not allow the devil to convince you that those you’ve been called to serve are your enemies! Remember the commitment you made to those you’ve been called to serve, those you’ve been called to serve alongside, and those you’ve been called to pour into. While I do not believe a person can stop God’s plan for our lives, I do believe that He strategically orders our steps so we can encounter and befriend those who can help us achieve our greatest potential. God bless our friends for loving us at all times, but praise God for our brothers who were born for our adversity.
I challenge you to reach out to those you’ve been divinely connected with and reassure them of your relationship. Restate your loyalty, and reaffirm your commitment. Make your intentions clear, and fulfill your ministry.