After attending Southwest Baptist University and majoring in religion, I followed the call of man to pastor a medium-sized Southern Baptist church in a little town in Central Missouri.

It was a status symbol to be fresh out of University and already have a church. I referred to it as "my church"! They were "my people"! But the deacons were not "mine." I belonged to them.

It was very difficult to preach a good sermon in those days, mainly because I didn't have any. Each Sunday as the service ground to a close, I would call on one of the elderly saints to pray and I would quietly slip out while every head was bowed and every eye was closed, to the back door.

I took my position next to the coat rack and one by one I shook the hands of the farmers as they left and tried to make small talk. I was a city boy and I knew very little about farming. One lady, every week, made the same comment to me as she departed from the church. She would say, "Keep it up and one of these days you'll make a good preacher." I was overcome by the great encouragement I received!

When I would get to the car to leave, things didn't get any better. Loretta, my wife, loved me but she is full of the truth of God. I honestly feel that a lie has never passed over her lips. When I would ask her, "How did I do today?" there would be great silence.

While I was the young pastor of this church, I did the best I could, but I was nervous and scared but I did what I was supposed to do to fulfill the position that I thought I was supposed to have.

Decades later I'm the pastor of Walk on the Water Faith Church. I am the happiest man on earth. I love what I am doing and lives are being changed. Thousands are being affected through this ministry each week. I love going to the office. I love preaching and teaching. In short, I'm having the time of my life.

So what's the difference? The difference is this. Years ago I was following a pattern of what I thought religious men wanted me to do. It may seem strange, but you can do good things and still not be at peace if God hasn't called you to that work.

Today I am doing something God called me to do. I listen to Him. He's my boss and He treats His employees well.

So the conclusion is this: If you are in the ministry and the burden is heavy, it's not God. The task and the calling can be enormous and international in scope. But if you are in His will, the burden will be light and the yoke will be easy.

"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matt. 11:29-30).

Larry Ollison Ministries
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