When God Calls...
A couple of summers ago, I was working with some high school students in a discipling and training role. At one point in the training we shared our testimonies within the group and I was reminded how God placed a specific call on my life at the age of 15. Now I know that may be abnormal, especially at that age, but I also think it was a good reminder to never discount young people and God's ability to speak to them.
God called me to outdoor ministry and I started pursuing it at age 15 and after many experiences and training, was in a full-time ministry position from age 23-30. It was a calling I was certain of, to which He opened doors to place me where I was needed, a calling I was terrified of because I was sure He would ask me to do things that I didn't think I'd be able to do and the responsibility was so great; which He did and I learned to trust in His goodness, provision and sufficiency through it all.
Being reminded of my own story again got me thinking about other examples of believers who were specifically called by God for various tasks. We have Biblical accounts of Moses, Joshua, Jonah, Mary and Paul (then Saul) just to name a few, and these accounts also included the responses of each person. For example, Moses had the excuse of not being a good speaker, Gideon was found hiding and wanted to test God, Jonah ran away, Mary sang a song, and Paul was zealous in pursuing what God called him to. For those who had excuses, God challenged each of them, he provided Aaron for Moses, was gracious to allow Gideon to test Him with the fleece, and caused a fish to restore Jonah to the path God had set Him on.
It can be so easy to come up with excuses as to why we think we are not qualified or adequate for the job God calls us to, but then He gives us some wonderful verses that really challenge us on our excuses.
“Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God” (2 Cor. 3:4-5).
“Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass” (1 Thess. 5:24).
Paul recognized this working of God in us when he said “For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me” (Col. 1:29).
When we look back at our Biblical examples, we see that God truly did accomplish the work. I don't know about you, but I find such great comfort in knowing that I don't have to try and do His work in my own strength, it would be exhausting!
But, that's not to say that we don't really factor into this equation... there is some work that God requires of us.
“Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things you will never stumble” (2 Peter 1:20).
“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you – unless indeed you fail the test?” (2 Cor. 13:5-6).
All we can truly do is be willing vessels to be used by Him, to be the clay willing to let the Potter work and mould us how He pleases. That doesn't mean we will never be worried or terrified of what we might be called to do, but it does mean that if we are, perhaps we've forgotten His faithfulness and need a reminder of how He has worked in the past.
Through all of this, I think we also need to remember the warning that Christ gave in Matthew 7:21-23. All of this only works if we are actually doing His will. If we just try to do good things for Him, we should and can never presume that He will 'show up' and do the work for us.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’”
Matthew 7:21-23 (NASB)
Are there things that God is calling you to that you're having a hard time trusting Him with?
If He has already called you to something, do you let Him do the work?
*Originally posted on The Eddy Blog 2016