Answering God’s Call

by | Dec 8, 2008 | Purpose & Identity

by Bishop Eddie Long
 
Have you ever wondered what God wants you to do for His kingdom? If you haven't,
you're in the minority because each day, thousands of believers fall to their
knees to query Him. “Lord, what do You want from me?” they ask. Or, “What should
I do with my life?” And sometimes we wonder if He's called us at all: “Father,
did You really call me to this area of ministry?”

From Noah to David to John the Baptist and the apostle Paul, men and women
alike have bombarded heaven with these questions. Some of us–heaven
forbid–have even consulted psychics or tarot cards in a futile attempt to
search for purpose in life.

What are we actually looking for? Do we query for easy, pat answers that
require nothing of us, or are we really looking for the truth? Are we searching
for a heavenly lottery, or are we willing to do what God has called us to do in
life?

 

In our 21st-century technocratic society, we are so distracted that we often
miss the really important things in our lives. Computers keep us occupied from
dawn till dusk. Our families, DVDs, CDs, hobbies and a myriad of other
diversions take up the rest of our time. When do we have time to listen to God,
let alone respond to His call?

If Isaiah were alive today, he might have missed God's call. He could have
easily let the answering machine pick up, or he could have checked his Caller ID
and decided to bypass the conversation entirely.

As Christians, we can be certain of one thing: If we are truly children of
God, then we are called to His purposes. He is constantly talking to us. He's
gently pulling us–and sometimes even dragging us–from our comfort zones into
the “God zone.”

The question is, are we listening? And when we hear His call, are we
mistaking it for our own desires? Are we picking up the right line?

God calls every Christian into ministry. Some of us are called to preach,
others to teach or prophesy, and some to evangelize. You may be a parent, a
receptionist, a chef or a maid. God has called some of you to heal others
through medicine, psychology, nursing or dentistry. Your call could be something
fascinating or routine. But we are all called in a unique and individual way.

Even the way we are called will differ from person to person. God's call to
Isaiah came in the form of a vision or a dream: “'Behold, this has touched your
lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.' Also I heard the voice
of the Lord, saying: 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?' Then I said,
'Here am I! Send me'” (Is. 6: 6-8, NKJV).

Your call may come as a gentle prod, a frequent thought or in the form of a
person, a job or a project. You might have prayed for your call, or it may have
been thrust upon you. And yes, we have all been called to something beyond our
own lives.

If we choose to respond, it will require that we give up something. The
United States may be considered a free country, but as believers in Jesus
Christ, our commitment comes with a price. There must be an exchange in order to
enter into His kingdom. That exchange–the price–will inherently include some
sort of sacrifice.

Different callings require different sacrifices. Your sacrifice may not be
the same as your spouse's or your close friend's. You may be called to sacrifice
your pride, arrogance or ego, while others surrender their time, talent or their
finances. But make no mistake–you will have to relinquish something in order to
live the life God has promised you.

You must be willing to give up your will for His will, your thoughts for His
thoughts and your way of doing things for His righteousness. There is no way
around it: Freedom, in Him, has a price.

In these last days, God is looking for people who will rise to the occasion.
Not just ordinary men and women, but extraordinary people who are 100 percent
committed to His kingdom and the call of God on their lives.

This article is from the May
2001
issue of Charisma.

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