Monday, October 3, 2011

God's Commands and Calls

Chuckle: "A teenage girl had been talking on the phone for about half an hour when she hung up. "Wow!" said the father. "That was short. You usually talk for two hours. What happened?" "Wrong number," explained the girl.

Quote: "There comes the baffling call of God in our lives also. . . . The call of God is like the call of the sea, no one hears it but the one who has the nature of the sea in him." --Oswald Chambers

GOD'S COMMANDS AND CALLS

"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me" (John 14:21 NIV). "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching" (John 14:23 NIV). "The man who says, 'I know him (Jesus)' but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (I John 2:4 NIV).

In God's Word, there are many commands, admonitions, and teachings. God expects every Christian to live in close fellowship with him and to obey his commands. As a matter of fact, in 1 John 2:3, the Bible says: "We know that we have come to know him (Jesus) if we obey his commands." In other words, obeying God's commands is a sure sign that we belong to him -- that we have been saved by grace through faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

God's commands. No individual should ever expect some special call of God to do the things we are commanded to do in his Word. Here are a few things God has commanded every Christian to do: (1) Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; (2) Love one another as Jesus has loved us; (3) Go and make disciples of all people; (4) Be my witnesses at home and around the world; and of course (5) the Ten Commandments for living. For us to sit back and await for some special call from God to do any of these things is contrary to Scripture. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we should all be doing these things as we go about our daily lives because of our love and gratitude to our Lord.

God's Calls. Obviously, God does place special calls for specific purposes, but these calls are always within the overarching commands that we should be obeying. For example, God may call a person to be a missionary to a foreign country, but the person receiving that call will have already been given a heart for missions in obedience to God.

When Saul of Tarsus was converted on the Damascus road, he first became obedient and then God commissioned him as Paul, missionary to the gentiles. I believe that's why Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the "first and greatest commandment" (Matthew 22:37-38). God must know that if we love him in this way, we will be obedient to all his other commands and instructions. We will constantly allow him to cultivate the mind of Christ in us. If we are obedient to his commands and remain in close fellowship with God, we are prime candidates for him to place a special call on our lives to minister to people is a specific and unique way.

As we mature in our faith, and we become increasingly sensitive to the will of God, we can expect specific and personal calls from Him. These calls from God are heard only by those whose hearts are turned toward him and are anticipating his voice. God's voice comes to us in several ways: through his Word as we study it, through the Holy Spirit during our prayer times, through other people (ministers, teachers, etc.), or through circumstances in which we find ourselves. But we must be listening. . . .

Love, Jerry & Dotse