- Religion and Philosophy
The Call of God - Part 2
Read Part 1 Here
- The Call of God - Part 1
Do you know God's plan and purpose for your life? Are you fulfilling your destiny. God is calling you to greatness. Are you following through?
A Quick Review
In Part 1 of this series we saw the general call of God, those areas of life to which we are all called. Included in these areas are the
- Call to Peace (I Corinthians 7:15; Colossians 3:15)
- Call to be saints (Romans 1:7)
- Call to be Holy (II Timothy 1:9; I Peter 1:15)
- Call to Light (I Peter 2:9)
- Call to suffer (Mark 8:34)
Although we have all been included in this general call, we also has a specific call we must answer. Let us take a moment and examine that.
The Specific Call
In Acts 13:47 we read, "For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth."
The apostle Paul was clearly given a charge by the Lord Himself to be a light to the Gentiles. He had a ministry that only he could do. God was counting on him to perform and complete it. On the other hand, Peter's call was to go to the Jew.
What about Abraham? He was called to leave his homeland - Ur of the Chaldees, and go to a land he knew not. Jeremiah was called to be The Weeping Prophet (Jeremiah 9:1) and Ezekiel was given a forehead,hard as rock (Ezekiel 3:9). Jonah first failed in his call, and became the prodigal prophet (Jonah 1), but finally answered God's call and became the preaching prophet (Jonah 3).
Each of these men received a specific call from God. God had a plan for their life, and they were only successful as they fulfilled it. Can you picture God looking down from Heaven and saying, "Now, there;s that Paul. He's the kind of man I can use. I think I'll call him to be the light to the Gentiles."
So what about Abram? Maybe God realized that Abram, soon to become Abraham possessed much faith. He could be trusted to go sight unseen to a strange land.
The Weeping Prophet
Then God says, "There's that Jeremiah. He has such a tender heart. I'll use him to weep over the nation in compassion. Oh, and Ezekiel. I'll use him to withstand the nation. He has such a hard head, and he's stubborn."
It simply did not play out like that. Rather, Paul was created with the ability to be a light to the Gentiles. Abram was created with much faith. Jeremiah was given the gift of tears, and Ezekiel was made to stand firm against the opposition. God did not choose them to be what they became based on their natural ability. They were created with natural ability to fulfill the mission God had for them. They were uniquely created, one of a kind, to work out God's plan through their lives. The call of God on their lives was based solely on God's purpose, not their ability or desires.
Psalm 37:4 is a verse worth remembering - "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." The teaching here is not that God will give us anything we want, but if we delight in Him, if we find pleasure in doing His will, He will give us His desires. His desires will become our desires, and he will grant them to us - only if we delight in Him, only if we seek Him.
What About You?
So,what about you? You have been created with certain gifts, a certain temperament, with no doubt a certain purpose. What drives you? What excites you? When God calls, He also gives a drive and excitement pushing you toward your God-given purpose. None of this is without purpose. it is what you have been created for. It is your call. it is your destiny. Just like Esther, you have been created "for such a time as this." What will do with what you have been given? What will you do with what you have been entrusted by the God of Heaven?
More than anything else the call is that part of you that has been created by God and is driven by the Holy Spirit. The call is not just a feeling or a fleshly desire, but a desire that can be known only as an act of God. In the flesh it may be something we would never desire, but in the hands of the Holy Spirit, it becomes a powerful force in our lives. The prophets were said to carry burdens, weights. In your life that is exactly what the call will become. You cannot be satisfied with anything less. It keeps you awake at night and distracts you through the day. It will also line up with Scripture. If there is anything not scriptural about what you perceive to be the call of God on your life, you better stop, and rethink it.
The call is inseparable from your person. It becomes who you are. It is that part that has been created by God and prepared by God to accomplish a certain destiny in time and space. It becomes you. It becomes a compulsion. The weeping prophet tells us in Jeremiah 20:9, "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." Jeremiah had to finish what God started. Likewise, the call will drive you to complete your God-given mission.
The Call is Not . . .
The world, the flesh, and the devil seek to remove you from your God-given purpose. Satan most assuredly wants to get your eyes on other things, and off God's will for your life. He can (and does) take things that are good in and of themselves and tries to get us sidetracked. Let me list five things that God may use to get your attention, but be aware satan will use the same things to get you off course. These five things are not the call of God by themselves. The Holy Spirit who guides us into all truth,will let you know the difference between God's specific will, and satan's confusion if you are sincerely seeking God's plan for your life. Now, let us consider the following. The call is not . . .
1. A Feeling or Desire to Serve God in a particular area (spiritual or secular)
While a God-given desire always accompanies the call, realize that a desire in and of itself is not the call. There are many things we may desire to do for the Lord, but we must distinguish between His desire and our own desire. Even if it is good, is it what God wants? It may be, but it may not be. Pray it through until you have God's peace.
2. An Emotional Response to a Man or Message
Have you ever heard a message that gets you excited. You are ready to set the world on fire, and two days later the flame is out. It may be just be an emotional reaction. The true call of God will burn in your bones as it did for Jeremiah. Give it time to grow. If your passion grows, know it is from God.
3. A response to a Perceived Need
There are needs everywhere. You cannot possibly meet them all. Someone has to feed the poor, give them clean drinking water, clothe them, give them the Gospel etc., but it may not be you that God has in mind for the task. Discerning the will of God calls for much prayer, and perhaps even fasting. If it is your once in a lifetime chance to shine for the Lord, you need to be sure.
4. Is Not Necessarily Based on Human Logic or Reasoning
God's ways are not our ways. They may contain human logic at times, but that is not always a guarantee. Trying to reason and figure out the best path usually does not work. Rather, trust the Holy Spirit to lead you one step at a time. He will get you where you need to be when you need to be. In other words, do not try to force doors open, but definitely go through doors when God opens them.
5.The Same for Everyone
I Corinthians 12:4-7 gives us this information - "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal."
God uses a variety of gifts and administrations. You are a unique individual. You have your own gifts to be used in your own way at a specific time and place. There is no other like you. That is not an empty statement to try to build your self esteem. It is the truth. There is no other like you in the whole world. Only you can do the job God has placed in your spirit. There is no other person God is depending on to fulfill your destiny. You are it!
Next time we will look at the three major parts of the call. Until then, continue to seek God. He is faithful.