“What really is a call from God?” and “How can I know if God is calling me?” Although some may disagree with the term “call”, we cannot deny that the previous questions pass through the minds of many Christians and it’s something we many times missinterpret. In this brief study, we will see different thoughts to make us more aware of “The Call” and what God wants from us.
- The Call to Every Child of God
- Mt 28:19-20 – “Go ye” – we all have the same command from our Savior: to go. Listen to this quote made by William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army: “‘Not called!’ did you say? Not heard the call,’ I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face — whose mercy you have professed to obey — and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.”
- I Corinthians 15:34 – “For some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” If we are God’s ambassadors (I Cor. 5:20), and it is our responsibility, than we must not only go, but we must go now.
- Martyred missionary Jim Elliot said, “Why do we need a call when we have a command?” The command is to go!
- The Receiving of the Call
- As Christians we are His hands, His voice and His ambassadors here in this world. He has given us the great privilege to be used by him. “But how can I be used of God, He hasn’t called me to be a missionary or a pastor?” Without a doubt God places something special in a person’s heart and places His hand upon them, but we see in the Scriptures that many people simply volunteered to go.
- Isaiah 6:6-8 – Hearing the conversation that the Lord was looking for someone to go, the prophet Isaiah said, “Here am I, Lord, send me.”
- I Timothy 3:1 – Giving the prerequisites about a pastor, the very first verse says, “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.”
- The Location of the Call
- When the Lord calls someone, he/she usually begins to pray where God would have him or her go. Not only be praying, but making oneself aware is also very important. Being aware of what is going on in different areas of the world will spark an interest and from that interest will come a burden, and from that burden will come God’s direction to where one may go and labor.
- Make yourself aware of what is going on, visit the mission field, pray for specific areas in the world, specific works and specific missionaries. In this way God will be able to more clearly show you where He might have you go.
- The Call of Responsibility
- If I don’t go, who will? Who will tell the 1.3 billion in China if I don’t? Who will tell the 1.2 billion people in India if I don’t? Yes, all can be saved by calling upon the name of the Lord (Rom 10:13), but “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (Rom. 10:14). Who will be the one to go? Will I listen to the Lord and say, “Lord, I’ll go and let the unheard hear your Word?”
- I Corinthians 15:34 – “For some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” Every child of God has a responsibility, an urgency to take the Gospel. One need not wait around for God to write in the sky that he must get off his seat and move. Our attitude should be, “Lord, I will stay only if you want me to stay, but I am planning to go take the Gospel until you tell me otherwise, … because it is my responsibility.”
- You may say: “But I have responsibilities here and don’t desire to leave now.” Jesus was not very “easy going” on the disciples. After telling them to take up the cross and put their hand to the plow without looking back (Luke 9:62), he also said, “Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:60). Did God call me to comfort, to stay home and attend the “blue light specials” at K-mart or did he give me a responsibility much greater? He has not only given me a privilege, but a great responsibility. Have we forgotten that we are debtors to our Savior? Have we forgotten the love we once had to share the Gospel with everyone? Every one of us must realize and decide: “It is my responsibility and though I may not have money and comfort, I will go, for I have a call to responsibility.”
Here to Serve,
General Director of Vision Baptist Missions