- Religion and Philosophy
The Call of God - Part 3
- The Call of God - Part 2
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
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.
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
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."