Oswald Chambers says that “The need is never the call” in his devotional My Utmost for His Highest for March 5th:
“Lovest thou Me?” Then – “Feed My sheep.” There is no choice of service, only absolute loyalty to Our Lord’s commission; loyalty to what you discern when you are in closest contact with God. If you have received a ministry from the Lord Jesus, you will know that the need is never the call: the need is the opportunity. The call is loyalty to the ministry you received when you were in real touch with Him. This does not imply that there is a campaign of service marked out for you, but it does mean that you will have to ignore the demands for service along other lines.
Compare this to Bill Wilson, who started Metro Ministries in one of the toughest inter-city areas in the country which has become the largest Sunday School program in the world. He says this:
“The need is the call.”
Both men have been considered highly influential great men of God. Who is correct, since they appear to be in direct contradiction with their quotes?
I believe both are right in their own perspective in the message they are trying to get across. I believe the quote should actually be:
“The need can be the call.”
I back this up with the following scripture:
Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. (James 4:17 NKJV)
Let me explain. Some Christians have their calling clearly set in front of them. They are not to be distracted or veer from this form of calling. They are busy and are to stay busy, while maintaining course. Others are not as clear cut. These are the ones Bill Wilson is talking to. If you are seeking the Lord for your calling and you see a need in the meantime, don’t brush it aside. Do your best to fulfill that need until God summons you to a calling that maybe appointed for a certain time in your life. In other words, stay busy and do good works in the Lord’s name until He moves you on. Simply — occupy!:
“He said therefore, a certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy (Do business NKJV) till I come.” (Luke 19:12-13 KJV)
Many Christians waste most of their life waiting for ‘The Call’. They pass up wonderful opportunities to act in Jesus name, fearing they may miss their calling if they are caught up in ‘needs’. This is simply a lie from the enemy. Jesus assures us:
“This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.” (Matthew 10:41-42 MSG)