Friday, September 21, 2012

Day 12 of 50 Days of Prayer- All Calls from God Are Not Equal

All calls from God are not created equal. Consider these three calls of God from scripture:
·         Abraham: “Now the Lord said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee.”(Gen. 12:1).
·         Moses: “The cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have seen [their] oppression…Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt” (Ex. 3:9-10)
·         Jonah: “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me” (Jonah 1:1)
All calls of God are not created equal. Abraham’s call was to leave His country for an unknown destination while Moses and Jonah knew exactly where they were headed. Moses’ call was to stand before the most powerful man in all of the known-world and demand the release of God’s people, Jonah’s call was to preach God’s message of impending judgment to a city completely given to evil and idolatry but Abraham wasn’t called to say anything. Abraham was called to go with his entire family, Moses was allowed to take Aaron along, but Jonah would be going alone. Moses received His call from a burning bush while Abraham and Jonah didn’t. All calls of God are not created equal.
When God calls there is only one right response: faithful obedience. When God called Abraham, he “departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him” (Gen. 12:4). After debating God about whether or not He had chosen the right man for the job, “Moses took his wife and his sons…and he returned to the land of Egypt” (Ex. 4:20). Abraham made it to Canaan and God multiplied His family just as He promised. Moses went into the court of Pharaoh and demanded the release of God’s people, and God brought deliverance to the people just as He promised.
Jonah took a different route. He went the opposite way- “Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa” (Jonah 1:3). One terrible storm and three nights in the belly of a great fish later, Jonah finally snapped to it. “So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord” (Jonah 3:3). Jonah made it to Nineveh, preached God’s message, and the entire city repented before God.
The only right response to God’s call is faithful obedience. Peter realized this important truth in a conversation he had with Jesus on the shores of Galilee. Jesus told Peter that when he grew older he would not enjoy the freedoms and the liberties he once had when he was young. Instead, He would be bound and led where he did not want to go (John 21:18). "This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he said unto him, 'Follow me'" (John 21:19). Jesus' call on Peter's life was to follow Jesus and give his life in that pursuit.
Peter sensed possible inequality in his call. He noticed another apostle nearby (John) and asked, "Lord, and what shall this man do?" Lord, are you going to ask him to do the same? Are you going to ask him to give his life for you as well? Is he going to have to sacrifice as much? Jesus' response was direct and to the point- "If I will that he tarry until I come, what is that to you? Follow thou me" (John 21:22).
Although all calls of God are not created equal, they are the same in two ways: 1) When God calls, He will be with you. If He asks you to uproot your family, go before Pharaoh, preach to a wicked city, walk into a fiery furnace, spend the night in a lion's den, build an ark, preach in some remote, unknown village of the world, pastor a church, serve as a greeter at the church, change diapers in the nursery, lead worship, serve as a deacon or give your life in pursuit of following Jesus- He will be with you. 2) The only proper response is faithful obedience.
The choice is yours. Stop worrying about inequality and focus on obedience. Disobedience will land you in the belly of a whale. Obedience will lead you to be what God has called you to be.

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