Sunday, November 2, 2014

What is stopping you from answering the call?

When it comes to God's call on our lives, we have a pretty stock set of excuses why we can't respond the way we know we should. "I don't think I can do that," "I don't want to do that," "I'm afraid of what it would look like if I answer God's call," and even "I'm a Christian, isn't that good enough?"

No, it isn't good enough. God's call goes out to all mankind, and the first call that every person has from God is the call for salvation. God is not willing that any should perish, and He has given the call that "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." People have lots of excuses for rejecting the call for salvation, as well, but I want to focus on what comes next. Salvation doesn't occur in a vacuum. The Bible tells us that "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." Our salvation is accomplished through the Word of God working in our hearts to bring forth faith. Easy enough.

But what comes next? Next, God's call on our life continues. God's call to live holy, God's call to sanctify ourselves, God's call to righteous living. This call is resisted, fought against, and misunderstood. Some fear they will have no fun if they live holy. Some fear they might have to give up something they enjoy or love if they clean the house of their life to sanctify it. Some take this call and try to accomplish it through regulating themselves into some sort of holy-looking submission. Add a bunch of "Do this's" and "Don't do that's" into your life and try to look the part of holy. Between these fears and misunderstandings, it is a wonder that people ever choose to follow Christ. The truth is that sanctification comes the same way salvation by faith comes. It comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. "How shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy Word." "Now ye are clean through the Word I have spoken." All through Scripture, God's call to sanctification is accomplished through His Word. Get in it. Get it in you. Learn, and watch God do the work. "For it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure"

And our further call? Calls to service, whether as a husband, wife, father, mother, pastor, teacher, salesman, artist, musician, etc. God's call is always to do all to the glory of God. God's call is to make disciples of all nations. God's call is to serve where He has placed us. And it is accomplished the same way - through His Word. "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly. . ." is not just a nice way to spend a Sunday, it is the only way to live a life that please God. If faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, and if it is impossible to please God without faith. My logic skills from math tell me that it is impossible to please God without hearing His Word. Without being in His Word. Without studying and soaking in His Word.

The long and short of it all? We can throw out our Christian to do lists "turn every conversation to the gospel," "encourage depressed people," "say this," "don't say that," "do these things," etc. All of which produce guilt in us because we can't possibly do them all. Replace these lists with one thing: dwell on God's Word. Don't read it to check off a box. Really meditate on it. Read a different passage everyday, read the same passage every day, read a prophet, read poetry, read a gospel. Just read it. You will see God for who He is, you will feel the purifying effects of His Word on your life, you will hear his unique call in your life to service.

Just a few thoughts today, keep looking up!