The Call of God - Part 1

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"Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles." - The Apostle Paul

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Some thirty years ago I was reading Jeremiah 8:20, 21 which says, "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt . . ." The verses seemed to jump off the page, but at the time I did not know why. Several months later I was reading Luke 8 when I came to verse 39 - "Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. . . ."Again, it was as if the verses slapped me in the face, but why?

These were sacred moments for me so I will not dwell on them other than to say God was speaking to me by His Holy Spirit through His holy Word. He was setting the direction for the rest of my life. He was calling me back to the land of my people; to return to my own house and share the good news of Jesus Christ in the town where I grew up.

God calls each of us to a work that only we as an individual can do. No one else can do the work that God called me to do, nor can I do the work God called you to do. We each have an important task to accomplish for the Lord while there is yet time. Modecai tells Esther when urging her to follow the will of God for her life, ". . . thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?:

We think of the call of God as relating to full-time Christian service..So, you say, "This doesn't apply to me." My friend, if you name the Name of Christ, you are involved in full-time Christian service whether you like it or not. So where do you stand? Do you know what your calling is in life? Are you willing to accept it?

As pointed out in Esther, everyone is called of God to a particular task for a particular situation at a particular time. Esther's task was to save her people. This was her destiny appointed to and decided for her in eternity past. We all have a destiny to fulfill. Are you fulfilling yours? Do you know what it is? That is the direction we are headed in, so let's go.

The General Call

Many Christians today are frustrated, unfulfilled, and anxious because they miss the purpose for their lives. They do not listen to the still, small voice of the Lord, but rather try to achieve their fleshly desires in their own strength. Before you can realize God's specific will and call for your life you must come to terms with God;s general will. Isaiah 43:7 gives us His general will for every born-again Christian. We read, "Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him."

First things first - Is God getting the glory out of your life? Do you seek to honor Him in all you think, do, and say? Actions speak louder than words. Are you walking the talk, or just hypocritically talking? If God is not glorified in your life, you can forget the rest until you get things right with Him.

- Now, more of God's general will.

Colossians 3:15 gives us this command - "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful." We are all called to peace. This is God's will for every Christian. Notice too, that we are to be thankful. Not every situation may be good, but God works all things together for good (Romans 8:28) when we follow in His steps.

Romans 1:7 gives us this information concerning the general call of God's children - "To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." We also see in this verse that peace comes from God Himself. It is useless to look for it anywhere else. God is the God of all peace (Philippians 4:7).

The word saints in this verse means one that is pure, morally blameless. We could use the word holy. Peter gives us that same idea in I Peter 1:15 as he mentions that we are called to be holy. So, are you at peace with God, and are you living a holy life?

. . . Oh, is that so . . . No one can live a holy life until we get to Heaven? I hear the question, but that is the wrong answer. In its simplest form holiness means obedience. As long as you are obedient to the Lord, you are holy. At any given moment of any given day you can be holy or unholy. It is your choice.

Peter continues to uncover God's general call to all Christians in I Peter 2:9 as he writes, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light."

Source

You have been called into the marvelous Light of the Lord Jesus. Truly this is a blessing. Are you taking it for granted? Are you living in the Light? It is your destiny to do so.

Giving God the glory in life is wonderful! Possessing God's peace is wonderful! Living a godly, pure life is great! Walking in the Light is precious! But the general will of God does not stop there.

Mark 8:34 gives us this not so positive characteristic of the call of God, ". . . he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." Again, Peter tells us in I Peter 2:21, "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps." Each and every child of God is called to suffer. Do not fight it. Just accept it. If you are living for Christ, suffering will come: If you have never experienced suffering for the cause of Christ, it may be because you have not taken up your cross. You have not dedicated your life to serving Jesus no matter the cost.l

Luke gives us some very hard lessons as to what it means to be a disciple - "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple . . . So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:26, 27, 33). We live in a day when everyone wants to add Jesus to their life. My friend, Jesus is to be our life, not just a mere add-on. It will cost you something to follow Jesus, but this is what you have been called to.

We will examine elements of God's specific call next time so stay tuned.

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Comments 22 comments

glynch1 profile image

glynch1 2 years ago

I am afraid that many professing Christians do not take seriously the call to discipleship. Good start, my friend.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

I loved your ending thought Bill; as hard as it may be to do we cannot just add Jesus to our life as a safety net but make Him our life and live it around Him. Very good article; up and sharing.


Sky321 profile image

Sky321 2 years ago from Canada

Hi Lifegate, I've been struggling with some of this stuff. And I find it when my husband doesn't think the same thing. voted up-awesome and interesting. I've been praying about a decision I need to make and my husband doesn't think there isn't a decision to make at all. It has to do with my job. God's calling for basic things like discipleship is easier but what about doors being opened and knowing what to do. If you could pray for me I would appreciate it.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Thanks Greg, for reading and sending along your comment. Have a great weekend!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Happy 4th, Jackie. Yes, it is hard, but that's exactly what God calls us to do. We need His strength to do it. We're told to seek Him and we'll find Him. Thanks for the votes and enjoy your independence on this day!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Sky,

I'd be glad to pray for you - on one condition - that you let me know how it all works out. God will make his will known and clear if we seek Him. Is your husband a Christian? That could make a lot of difference in how things are perceived. Anyway, yes I'll surely pray for your situation and keep in touch.


Sky321 profile image

Sky321 2 years ago from Canada

Hi sure I will let you know. Yeah he is but never has been a member of a church and is still learning lots.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

This challenge by Marvin J. Ashton fits well with your article: "Give God the joy of loving you at your best."


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Thanks Perspycacious.


Sky321 profile image

Sky321 2 years ago from Canada

Hi lifegate, I updated my profile page, check it out if you have time.


Sky321 profile image

Sky321 2 years ago from Canada

Sorry, nevermind it didn't work.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 2 years ago from Southern Minnesota

Excellent exhortation Bill! I like your definition of holiness being obedience! I will remember that one. I also like your conclusion that Jesus should not be an add-on. We westerners are so trained to compartmentalize life that many times that is exactly what we do add him to a separate compartment in ways that don't affect and permeate the way we think and live. A blessed read!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Okay Sky, Let me know when you have it working.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Good Moprning, Tammy.

I;m glad you were able to read this one and find some meaning in it. That's a good point about we, as westerners, compartmentalizing. Never thought of it that way. Still Jesus should be in every facet of our lives. Thank you for bringing that out, and adding to the conversation.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

Bill, this article makes me put my feet on ground and stand at attention in response to the call of God on my life. "Do not fight it. Just accept it." Even the struggles turn up blessings in the end. (Safe and settling in the Caribbean now. Thanks for your prayers.)


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Glad your trip turned out okay. You're quite welcome for the prayers - anytime, just let me know! God is faithful.


Pamela Bush profile image

Pamela Bush 2 years ago from Alberta, Canada

Matthew 15:8 "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me."

Being called of God is by a still small voice speaking to one's heart, but His voice often is ignored by the hearer because the answering of the call would interfere with their carnal desires. Those who desire not to forsake all, but do not wish to miss His call frequently begin to pay lip service to the Lord. But eternal salvation is not granted without transformation. And transformation comes through the doing of His will and not by the hearing of His Word only. The heart of man must be regenerated and the baptism in the Holy Ghost is the necessary prerequisite for such heart reformation. It is impossible for one to accept the infilling of the Holy Ghost and not walk in His ways without conviction in their mind from grieving the Holy Spirit. Therefore, those who appear to have drawn near to the Lord through the words that they speak their worship is in vain if they have not the testimony of Him through a turning from their carnal ways.

For all must remember the first commandment that states: Thou shalt love thy Lord God with all thy heart and all thy soul and all thy strength and with all thy mind.

Christians then must love the Lord God even more than they love their own lives. 1 John 5:3 "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous."


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Pam,

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. There's a lot of wisdom in what you say.


imtii profile image

imtii 2 years ago from Dhaka, Bangladesh

Lifegate I really enjoyed reading the whole post of the part 1. Giving you a up vote. I will read the other 3 parts Thank you for sharing :)


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Thank you imtii.

I'm glad it was meaningful for you. Thanks for the vote. They're always appreciated.


sharetheWord profile image

sharetheWord 2 years ago from Kingdom of God

Hi lifegate;

Becoming a believer is only the first step towards overcoming the "self" world in those whom the Lord has called. After conversion by the baptism or infilling of the Holy Ghost faith must grow in the convert. Faith grows by feeding on the Bread of Life, the Word of God and doing all that He commands us to do. His desire for the convert is initially opposed to the "self" and brings tremendous suffering as we faithfully yield to the Holy Ghost, but it is the only way to die unto the "self" which the His elect are commanded to do.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Ben,

Thanks for the added thoughts, and for taking the time to stop by, read, and comment.

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