God’s Call – Part 1

I love questions. One of the things I love about what I do is that I get to answer and ask people questions every day. One of the questions I get asked a lot is “How do I know what God is calling me to do?”

I love talking about that question with people because it was one that I asked when I was searching for what God wanted for my life. I felt like God was pulling me toward working full time in the ministry, but I was unsure and just needed to talk to someone who had been there before. So I went to talk with a guy that I trusted and that had also followed God’s call into the ministry. His name was Jimmy Bamberg, and I still talk to him a lot about questions that I have (He also let me marry his daughter, and I really appreciate that). He led me to the answers I was looking for.

I still remember that conversation with Jimmy and I want to pass on some of what he taught me many years ago.

What does it mean to be called?

The word call can mean a lot of things to people. Lets clarify that first.

“Call” – to utter loudly; announce; proclaim; attract or demand the attention of; summon; give a name to; designate; characterize; shout; make a short visit; an invitation (Webster)

Scripture also says some things about what it means to be called…

Jeremiah 1:4-5 – the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

I love to look at definitions of the word “call” and consider passages like this because I think it clearly illustrates the main point of all of this which is God initiates a call, we obey. God has a call on our lives. And once we hear that call, we respond. We don’t have to design or create what we are called to do. That’s God’s job. He has something he wants us to do on this earth besides take up space and convert oxygen into carbon dioxide. God has amazing plans for us if we will trust him…plans that are far beyond anything we can ask for or imagine.

I firmly believe that every Christ follower is called to minister to others wherever he or she lives and works. I believe that God is setting up divine appointments for us every day for the people he wants us to encourage and help. There are hurting people all around us and it is amazing how people will open up and share their hurts if we will really listen to them and invest in who they are. God is crossing our paths with people that He wants us to minister to and encourage…and people that He wants to minister to and encourage us. Our job is to be open and respond.

God is calling you. To what? The specifics of that are between you and God. But I know this, God has called you to be a minister to those around you. And whatever the specifics of that calling is, God wants to grow you and stretch you and teach you to trust Him with your life. And most importantly, whatever God is calling you to; He is going to glorify Himself through it. God is speaking to us, we just have to listen. The problem is that a lot of times we listen for what we want or expect God to say instead of what He is really saying. God is calling us to be different from the people around us and to step out of our comfort zones and into the life of someone that needs to hear His truth and experience His peace. My prayer for all of us is that God will give us eyes to see the people around us that he wants us to encourage, talk to, and pray for. Who is the person God wants you to encourage today?

So the next question that comes to my mind is how do you sense and hear the call of God on your life for what He has specifically called you to? We will leave that conversation for next week.

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