Friday, 5 March 2010

Have you been Called or Appointed

Appointment comes from God alone, even Jesus did not assume his place, but was appointed by the Father.

“…I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgement, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him. (Romans 12: 3)

It is my desire in this short blog to help people understand whether they are 'called' or 'appointed' by God to whatever position or realm He has decided. We are not looking here to discover the depths of how a ministry operates in its function, but simply how to be prepared in the positioning of ourselves within the Body of Christ. Only then will those in Authority be able to recognise that which God has imparted within us; which in turn releases us into our destiny.

The Difference between Called and Appointed:
The democratic society we live in is far removed from the definition of a kingdom, where a king rules because he inherited the throne! Democracy differs in that her leaders are elected and not inherited. A system where leadership roles are open to the talented and asserted, but as for the Kingdom of God, it operates on an entirely different premise.

“…I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgement, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him. (Romans 12: 3)

Jesus himself appointed offices of service, found in Ephesians 4:11, only Jesus himself through the Holy Spirit gives this authority to men. When we assume authority rather than receive authority we are on dangerous ground. Self-exaltation, is the promotion of self-purposes rather than seeking first the kingdom of God. Consider those who have been called but not yet appointed, who then commission themselves and who end up serving themselves; our commission can only come from the Lord.

Spiritual leaders, “…Chosen from among men” and are “…appointed to act on behalf of men in things relating to God…” Furthermore, “…One does not appropriate for himself the honour…but he is called by God…” Just as Jesus, “…did not exalt Himself…but was appointed…” (Hebrews 5:1,4,5 Amp)

Appointment comes from God alone, even Jesus did not assume his place, but was appointed by the Father. We may be called, but we also require appointment. Consider Paul who in Romans 1:1 in the NIV states that he was both “called” and “separated.”

The call comes first then the appointment! You may have been called before the earth began or while you were still in the womb but that was not when you stepped into your “office!” You step into your call [salvation] before you ever step into your office.

Note: Paul went through years of testing once he submitted himself to the leaders at Antioch. “They must first be tested; and then… let them serve…” (1 Timothy 3:10)

Separated actually means chosen, Jesus said “Many are called, but few are chosen…” (Matt. 22:14). Meaning that not many make it through those ‘testing’ periods, but the few who make it are those who have been successfully ‘separated’ unto the Lord! All ministries must go through a period of testing and preparation (this preparation varies from gift to gift) before we go through or move through into our assigned assignment, our appointed time!

There are ‘offices’ and ‘positions of service,’ mentioned in the bible, (1Corinthians 12: 28) “And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that … helps….” Paul during those first years in Antioch did not occupy a fivefold office (Ephesians 4:11) in fact he served in the ministry of helps, then was promoted to the office of a teacher (2Timothy 1:11; Acts 13:1).

John Bevere
in his book “Thus saith the Lord”, (p120, Published by Creation House) says, ‘Not only would Paul be tested in the realm of helps but in the office of teacher as well. When Paul was promoted from teacher to apostle we again see how God chooses and separates those that He wants to fill certain offices or positions.’

In Acts 13:1-2 we can see how Paul is listed along with other teachers in Antioch and how the Holy Spirit wanted them to be separated unto Him. The appointed time had finally come, the one who had been called to be an apostle all those years earlier on the road to Damascus in Acts 9:15 had finally, after many years of testing and loyal service now been separated unto God to be an apostle. First he was 'Called', then he served in ‘Helps’, later in the 'office of a Teacher' and then lastly in that of an 'Apostle'. Why? Because Paul was faithful, to promote the Lord and not himself (1 Corinthians 4:2).

Note: God used the established leadership whom Paul had faithfully served…

“Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, THEY SENT THEM away. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went…” (Acts 13:3-4)

God did not use anyone Paul was not already in submission to;
instead he used an established authority that had already been set up in Antioch. God will not undermine the leadership in the Body of Christ in order to raise someone up into a position of leadership. Why, because your character is far more important than your gifting.

God help me to rate my abilities with sober judgment, according to the faith You have given me, as directed in your Word in Romans 12:3. I want to walk out the destiny that You have mapped out for me in and don't want to walk by self assertion or ambition. I take my rightful place legitimately, with a humble spirit. Give me courage to continue in times of testing, so that I may serve You faithfully (1 Timothy 3:10). Father it is you alone who has called and seperated me, therefore I seek not to be 'self appointed' but to submit to Your ways. Amen

True leadership positions are positions of serving. Jesus said that to be the greatest amongst others is to be the servant of all. This is the route I choose, not that of self attained austerity but of God given authority. In all things I submit to God and resist the devil; who flees ONLY from those who have the power to resist him. True submission has that power! Neither heaven or hell must listen to rebellion! Therefore I confess my submission to God's divine order of authority in and through leadership... today! (James 4:7).


Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries


  1. Dear Dr Alan,
    Greetings in the wonderful name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Am so thankful for all the articles you send to me in your news flashes, they are so inspirational. Most of the time they come to me as an answer to my prayers.
    There is no doubt that you are God's voice to those who are open to receive.
    This is a special thanks to you for the teachings about faith, ever since you sent them to me I have gone some miles into learning more about faith, and am glad to inform you that my way of praying, talking and looking at things has changed drastically. I now know for sure that all things have been provided to me through Jesus Christ by grace, there is nothing at all that I can do to make God love me more or give me more that He hasn’t given me already through Jesus, what I need is to position myself well in faith to receive what is already for me. I remember in Uganda once, you said that we as God's children we don’t go to God to beg but to receive. I didn’t get it well then but now it gives a lot of sense. May the good Lord continue to manifest His blessings and favour on you and your family as well on the ministry.
    Last but not the least, greetings to Jenny we love you
    Yours Thomas Munoga

    Pastor Thomas Munoga, South Africa

  2. Hello! My dear pastor, how are you and the family? Hope all is well. Extend my greetings to your lovely wife. The kind of favour you will find this season will enter news paper. Stay bless in the name of Jesus.

    Prophet Philip Eta, Cameroon

  3. Dear Alan,

    I just received your excellent article on being called and being appointed.

    It puts into context what has been happening in my life. Years ago I had hands laid upon me (by the elders of the Church I got saved in and had attended and served in for 11yrs). I joined a missionary organisation and travelled to over 30 countries teaching, preaching and healing the sick. At that time the Lord showed to me that the calling was Apostolic. Upon my return to England I had further confirmation from several sources from those who knew nothing about me. The Church that originally sent me out got into difficulties splitting and one branch closed. God moved me on to fruitful ministry under a good Pastor both he I moved on but I never found a Church with an outward vision. Now of course after prayer I have found a Church with the same vision and so I have been involved in missions yet once again as the Pastor and the Church are very supportive and we have been going to Africa and India into slums and villages. It so good to be back under authority as I go out into missions again after a long absence. I knew I could not go without that covering as I had been well taught.

    Thanks for clarifying what I had believed.

    God bless you.

    Love in Christ.

    Alan Bowyer

    Evangelist Alan Bowyer, UK

  4. Dear Alan, I found your article very instructive. We run bible schools in India, Pakistan, Kenya & Zambia & we have made some poor choices at times with respect to administrators. Recently we decided to put on the 1Tim 3 filter to run their own homes debt free, & keep their kids in order & let them be proved for a while first. So your article was confirming much of our recent meditation on this subject. It’s also interested to note that your slogan for want of a better word is the same as we chose “A voice to the nations”.

    You are blessed Eph 1:3

    David Holland

  5. Dr. Alan, Shalom,

    Thanks for your lesson on the Truth for the Journey, where you make very clear on these Subject, Called and Appointment. God Bless You.

    Pastor W. A. Kienworio, Nigeria

  6. Wonderful and touching message. God bless you and your ministry. This one will be of a great help to us here as the body of Christ Jesus.
    God bless you continue proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom.
    Yours Pastor Thomas Okinyi, Kenya

  7. Great Article!

    Pastor Emmanuel Mukendi
    Moscow Russia

  8. Shalom Dr. Alan,
    Thank you for this piece.
    It is inspirational and enlightening.
    Sokoto, Nigeria.

    Apostle Martins Atanda, Nigeria

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  10. Dear Bishop Pateman

    Many thanks for the refresing and insightful scriptural reflection on calling and divine appointment. May the Lord richly bless you Sir.

    Pastor Olusesan Olatunde, UK England