Has God called you? Maybe you think, “No, God hasn’t called me. God hasn’t called me to become a missionary. Or to give away all my money. Or to move across the country and start a new church.” Does God always call us to do “big” things? Or does he sometimes call us to simple, mundane acts of service? Like visiting a lonely shut-in. Or inviting someone over for dinner? Or attending church every Sunday?
There are several examples in the Bible of times when Jesus called people. Let’s take a look and see what we can learn from them.
80-year-old Moses – This story is found in Exodus 3:1-4:17. Moses was called by God through a burning bush to deliver the Egyptian people from slavery under Pharaoh. Moses made one excuse after another as to why he wasn’t the guy. “Who am I?” “What if they don’t listen to me?” “I don’t speak well.”
Do you make excuses to God? Sometimes? Occasionally? Never? If you are a parent, do you make it a practice to ask your children to do things they cannot do? Probably not. Even more, our heavenly Father will only ask us to do things we are capable of doing. Or God will go with us and give us the strength to do what He asks. Did you teach your child to ride a bicycle? Remember how you held on to the back of the seat while they were learning? God supports and guides us as long as we need it. Once we know what we are doing, He lets us go on our own.
The Boy Samuel – This story is found in 1 Samuel 3:1-19. God called Samuel in a dream to speak for him. Initially, Samuel didn’t recognize God’s voice. He thought it was Eli, the priest, speaking to him. Three times in a row, God called out, “Samuel!” and finally, Samuel responded, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”
Are we listening for God’s voice? Do we ever take the time to turn off the world just to let God speak? Do we recognize his voice? Are we in tune with his promptings? God may be trying to get your attention, but the noise around you is so loud, that you can’t hear Him.
Jonah, the Prophet – This story is found in the book of Jonah. God called Jonah to go to the city of Ninevah to tell residents there to repent from their evil ways. Jonah flat-out refused to go. In fact, Jonah went on vacation by jumping a ship headed in the opposite direction of Nineveh.
Talk about thumbing your nose up to God! The story does have a happy ending with the people repenting, but not before some slimy, aquatic consequences.
After hearing God’s call, wading through excuses, be careful to not just flat out tell God, “No.” Jonah tried that and he ended up doing what God wanted in the end anyway. God may not deal with you the same way. Pray that He does! But He may choose not to and leave you to your disobedience. God is a good Father and wants what is best for His children. Check out Matthew 7:11 and remember:
- He may not call you to comfort, but He’ll call you to contentment.
- He may not call you to success, but He’ll call you to sufficiently.
- He may not call you pleasure, but He’ll call you to peace.
- He may not call you riches, but He’ll call you to righteousness.