Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hearing God's Call

Soren Kierkegaard once wrote in his journal, “The thing is to understand myself, to see what God really wants me to do; the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die.”

Though his statement is fraught with theological pitfalls, it is completely understandable to one who is actively pursuing God’s will for his life.  The call of God is a mysterious thing.  A universal question of those who are serious about their relationship with Christ is, “God, what do you want me to do with my life?” 

When I was 16 years old, I attended a Centrifuge camp at Glorietta.  It was there that God clearly called me into pastoral ministry.  At the time, I didn’t like the specificity of His call, so I diverted it—redirected it to a more personally preferable path.  I thought it would be a lot more fun to be a DJ than to be a preacher.  My plan was to be a DJ on a Christian radio station—that would be how I would fulfill my calling.  But that was not what God called me to do, so I failed miserably. 

For over 15 years, I ran from my call, to the point that I completely forgot it.  It was as if my experience at Glorietta was completely wiped from my memory.  It was not until I was placed in the middle of a Saudi Arabian desert that the Lord graciously regained my attention.  He reminded me of His call on my life without restoring the memory of Glorietta.  That memory was not restored until a protracted period of obedience, preparation, prayer and study. 

At the time, His calling was vague and unspecific, but nonetheless unmistakably real.  From that point, I began asking every man of God I could find, how they were able to discern God’s call on their lives.  I began to seek discernment on my knees and look for examples of God’s calling in His Word.  What I discovered was disconcerting for a linear thinker like me. 

I like to plan.  I like to know.  I thrive on consistency and systems and linear progression.  But God’s call is not so.  God’s call is very specific and linear and consistent—but He seldom reveals it to us in that way.  His plan, purpose and calling have been set since before the foundation of the world.  But He has chosen to reveal them only as we trust and obey Him each step along the way. 

Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”  It is a very familiar verse that we don’t often ponder the meaning of.  God’s Word is a lamp—but what does the lamp illuminate?  To keep us from stumbling over immediate obstacles or stepping in a hole, it lights our feet.  To keep us heading in the right direction, it lights our path.  It does not light up the whole field so that we can see everything that is behind, around and before us.  That would be overwhelming and would seriously diminish our need for faith. 

The more we see, the less we need to rely on faith, but the Lord loves us to walk by faith.  Trust Him to handle the plan.  Trust Him to reveal the call in His way and in His timing.  In the meantime, walk in the light He gives today.  Avoid the pitfalls of sin, worry and disobedience.  Place one foot in front of the other in the direction His Word leads.  And in time, according to His sovereign plan, God’s calling will become clear.

2 Corinthians 5:6-10


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