The Call of God - Part 3

A Quick Review

So far in our study we have seen the general call to believers. This encompasses five areas: A call to peace (I Corinthians 7;15; Colossians 3:15); A call to be saints (Romans 1:7); A call to be Holy (II Timothy 1:9; I Peter 1:15); A call to Light (I Peter 2:9); and a call to suffer (Mark 8:34).

In Part 2 we began to look at the specific call of God. We saw that Paul was called to preach to the Gentiles (Acts 3:46). Peter was called to preach to the Jews. Abraham was called to leave his home and travel to a land he has never seen before (Genesis 12:1-4).

We also looked at what the call of God is not. It is not a feeling or desire to serve God in a particular area, either spiritual or secular. It is not an emotional response to a man or a message.It is not a response to a perceived need, nor is it necessarily based on human logic or reasoning. It is not the same for everybody. Although these elements may be involved in the call of God, they in themselves are not the call of God and may or may not be present in recognizing the call of God in an individual's life.

Josh McDowell- Hearing the Call

So What Is Involved in the Call of God?

The call of God is you. We are told in Psalm 37:4, "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." This has wrongly been taught by the health and wealth crowd that Jesus will give us anything we want - whatever our heart desires. In reality, the verse is teaching that if we put the Lord first, His desires will become our desires, thus He will grant us those desires.

That being the case, the call of God is inseparable from the person. You were created to live out your destiny according to the divine plan, and as you respond to God's will, He will lead you in the way you should go. But more than that, His desire for your life is stamped upon your very being. It guides who you are, where you go, what you will do. As you follow the Lord in His plan for your life, you will be fulfilled and dwell in a sense of peace that is not present out of the will and call of God for your life.

One definition of the call of God may be, "What has been created by God and prepared by God to accomplish a certain destiny in time and space (Esther. 4:14). it could also be described as a compulsion. Jeremiah 20:9 tells us " Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay." In short, Jeremiah was compelled to preach his message. The burden was too heavy and the only relief he had was to continue to preach even (and especially) in the face of hardship.

Source

Six Stages of the Call

I believe the call of God is with us early on in life, but yet it is sharpened and focused as we go throughout life. Briefly consider these six steps on a developing call of God.

  • Recruitment - There seems to be an initial moment of recruitment. Jesus recruited 12 men to serve and follow Him while on earth. God recruited Moses at the burning bush. He sought out the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus. What has He sought you out for?
  • Character Development - Consider the life of Joseph and the hardships he faced as God was preparing him to rule over Egypt. See how God developed David's character beginning as a young shepherd boy and culminating with his rise to King of Israel.
  • Next, quite often there seems to be a time of isolation. Again, consider David as he took shelter at the Cave of Adullam, or Jesus' 40 days in the wilderness; or Moses 40 years as a shepherd in Midian.
  • The Crossing Experience - Very often there is a need for God to bring us to a "crossing" experience. Moses led the people to the Red Sea, but yet was surrounded on all sides. He, like us, needed to be brought to the end of himself for God to fully use him.
  • Problem Solving - study how Jesus met the needs of people. Someone is blind. Jesus solves the problem. Someone is lame. Jesus solves the problem, and in the process He becomes a person of influence, just as it is God's will for us to influence people for the Kingdom.
  • Networking - No I do not mean social media. God generally used a network of people to accomplish His mission on earth. God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were at work in Creation. Jesus used a network of at least 12 individuals, and a group of 70 to spread His message.Daniel interacted with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Land of Abram

Three Elements of the Call

As well as six stages to the call, there also would appear to be three elements to the call. In Genesis 12:1-4 we read of the call of Abram - "Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran."

This is especially true when a "full-time call is given, but let me remind you that we all are to be full-time workers for the Lord. The three "W's" come into play here - What? Where? And When?.

  • What was Abram to do? - leave his kindred
  • Where was he to go? - to a place God would show him
  • When was he to depart - immediately

The Preaching of Jonah

Source

Jeremiah

Source

Look at Jonah 3:2 -" Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee." Again we see:

  • What was Jonah to do? - preach
  • Where was he to go? -Nineveh
  • When was he to depart - again I think we can assume immediately

Take some time and study out the calls of God's men. You will no doubt see these three areas in their life as regarding the call God has placed on them. Now, can you see these three areas in your life? Take a good inward look. What do you see? Your call is at the point where all three areas meet.

These same three elements are also seen in the call of Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:4-10. We see that he was called from the womb (verse 5; when?). He was to go to all that he was sent (verse 7; where?). What was he to do? Root up, pull down, destroy, build, and plant (verse 10; what?)

Consider where you are in the call of God. How might the three "W's" be used in your life? Remember that your position in the army of Christ has already been determined by the Chief Commander. We all have different calls and what constitutes my call most likely will not constitute your call.

Follow your Head, as He leads the body. Trust Him in all areas, and when in doubt, wait for further instructions. Keep your attention straight ahead looking not to the left or the right. Stay true to your purpose.

Next time we will finish up with a look at refusing the call. I know of no other dangerous ground than to refuse your God-given calling and destiny. You will be lacking peace now, and rewards later. May we all strive to hear, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

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Comments 16 comments

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

Great lesson Bill; and I think most of us could never feel we are doing enough and no doubt we are not. It is so hard living in the world and making sure we are not of it. I know the closer we are to God though; the further we can stay from the world. ^+


Treasuresofheaven profile image

Treasuresofheaven 2 years ago from Michigan

I agree with Jackie Lynnley. Also, the six stages of the call is good teaching. I never looked at the call in stages. It is so important to stay close to God and His word to develop our lives. Good Hub!


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

I must not have been listening. I have not particularly heard a distinct call on my life. I have moments where I believe God called me to do a certain thing for a season, or in a certain situation, but not a call on my life. Or maybe I'm not seeing it.

I spent a lot of years making poor choices. Even as a Christian.

I think my problem is a lot of times when you hear people speak about a call on their life it is usually in reference to a vocation or ministry. I do remember back in the 1990's a specific call from God to start a prayer ministry in my church for the pastor and the church. It was a behind the scenes ministry for the most part and God moved. Then I hit a rough patch in life, actually a horrific patch, and God asked me to pass the baton. It was time, I'd done it for many years. But in my suffering in this life situation I was also making poor choices. I needed time to find my way and heal. So I wasn't fit for the position any more.

I still don't feel a specific call on my life, but just go along and try to hear God as I go along. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don't. He still uses me as I go through life, but I can't say it's a calling.

I hope you can speak into this for me LG.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Jackie,

Yes, i think anyone who is concerned about serving God feels they can't do enough. me included. But I also realize there is only so much any one person can do at any one time. That. in part is why individual calls differ. I hope to cover this a little more in a future hub - but probably not in this series.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Treasures,

It's so nice to have you stop by. I look at the call as a single call, but yet I believe it develops and is fine tuned over time, thus we have the six stages and the three elements. Glad you were able to visit and be a part of the conversation!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Good Morning Lori.

When I think of the call, I basically think of purpose - what is your purpose in life? I also think that when God calls us "for a season" it is within His call on our life.

Lori, how do you see your spiritual gifts? I think our call and our gifts are closely related. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to look at this subject in a hub soon. In the meantime, I wonder if God ever changes His call on our lives - maybe He does. Have you consider that perhaps your call is be a prayer intercessor. That's where you began, and certainly there are times when we need to get away, get some rest, heal, and go again. I know how faithful you are to pray for others including myself. Could it be that God has called you to a prayer ministry or is recalling you to one?

Just a thought. I have no way of knowing what God has for you, but I do know that God has a specific purpose (or call) for your life that only you can perform.

As far as the three elements, maybe you've found two of them. Where - in and around Seattle; When - now. You only need the "what". God will show you that as well. Hope you have a great weekend. I'm praying for wonderful services at Calvary Chapel tomorrow!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

I can always count on a fascinating discussion on your site, and this certainly did not disappoint.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

I'm glad, Bill. I don't want anyone to go away disappointed. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

Bill, this has personal application for me. I see the three Ws in my call, although I have been reluctant to accept the Where. This article is one of my favorites. Thank you for your obedience to your call.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi MsDora,

Glad it was meaningful for you. Just some unsolicited advice - follow the where, wherever it may lead. I know it will work out for His glory and for your good. Let me know how things go!


mylindaelliott profile image

mylindaelliott 2 years ago from Louisiana

The six stages of the call is very interesting. I have enjoyed these.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

I'm glad you enjoyed them. Thanks for being a part, Mylinda.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 2 years ago from Southern Minnesota

Inspiring read Bill, and I really liked the video of Josh McDowell's example of his call.

I also appreciate the Old Testament examples of Abraham, Jonah, and Jeremiah and how they exhibit the three W's of what, where, and when.

Looking forward to the next part of this series. God bless!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Thanks Tammy, Part 4 should be done soon. I'm hoping for tomorrow, but who knows? It's that busy time of year, just before the Fast in September, and there are so many things I'm trying to juggle. Glad yo9u were able to stop by.


sharetheWord profile image

sharetheWord 2 years ago from Kingdom of God

Hi lifegate;

It seems as though many believers desire to know the call or will of God for their life but they remain uncertain as to just what God may be directing them onto. I have discovered in my own experience that all Scripture is profitable and true. Therefore is it written "seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all "other things" (understanding) will be added unto you." If we as believer are confused about what God is directing us to do, we need to overcome the "self" a little bit more so we are more in tune to the Spiritual frequency of the Holy Ghost that dwells within the human vessel. Perhaps for many the call from God at this point in their Christian walk is exactly that - to seek to know His Kingdom on a deeper Spiritual level by further overcoming, dying to or crucifying, the self.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi stW,

Thanks again for more biblical wisdom. Jesus is to be our all. Some people try to add Jesus to their life when Jesus is to be our life. They will never find the peace of living in the center of God's will until they first give themselves away to this life. Glad you were able to stop by!

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