A previous post stated the first sign that you are called into the ministry is an “intense, all-absorbing desire for the work.” Yet, what kind of desire should be present and growing in us? Basil Manly, Jr. captures, not just the desire of the internal calling, but how that desire should increase over time:
This steadfast and divinely implanted desire to labor for souls is substantially what is meant by “the internal call.” It may be distinguished from the early zeal, which young converts usually have, and which generally subsides into a calm principle of benevolent activity in their own particular sphere. In the man truly called, it grows, it increases. As he reflects on it, and prays about it, the great salvation becomes greater and nearer to him than when he first believed; the guilt and ruin of immortal souls weigh heavily upon him; he feels impelled to warn them to flee the wrath to come. Sometimes the thought presses on one, so that he cannot rest. The strongest promptings of self-interest, the greatest timidity and natural reserve, the most violent opposition of irreligious relatives and influential friends, and even the most serious peril, prove insufficient to check this holy ardor. The man is made to feel that for him all other avocations are trifling, all worldly employments unattractive. “Woe is unto me,” he cries, “if I preach not the gospel!” Jails, and fetters, and the stake, have no terrors for him comparable with the guilt of disobeying Jesus, and the frown of his redeemer.
Dear brother, if you find the desire is present, watch that it grows steadily. For as Spurgeon observed only a man who possesses this kind of “irresistible, overwhelming craving and raging thirst” for this fine work should be affirmed to possess an internal call.