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Will You Heed the Call of Jesus?

What exactly is a call? You might have a phone call, or a call to dinner, or how about a bad call during a ball game? Then there’s a call to action. No - here we’re talking about a call that requires obedience. A better way of saying it, is a calling.
God has a plan for each of us. There are as many different types of callings as there are people, but two things are common: God’s timing and God’s choosing. There are various characteristics that identify one’s calling. Take Abraham, for instance. He was instructed by God to take a giant leap of faith – one that included a perpetual blessing. God told him to, “Get out of your country, from your kindred and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1) That’s pretty vague in nature, but adventurous, nonetheless. Abram, (renamed Abraham by God later on), heeded the call that God placed on his life. You can rightly say it was “his destiny” in the LORD. Go to Judges 6 and take a look at a young man named Gideon. Jesus Himself, (the Angel of the Lord) sat down under a tree and appeared to Gideon saying, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” Gideon was a little indignant when he said that many bad things had happened to Israel, and no one saw miracles take place like they did back in the good old days. But now they were impoverished because of the Midianites. The Lord said to Gideon, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” After a little bit of tug-o-war and skepticism, Gideon finally surrendered to his call. Now jump ahead to I Samuel 3 and we’ll look at another call from God. Samuel was an answer to prayer, and a gift of faith by his mother. A few years after his birth, she dedicated him to God and left him with Eli the priest in Shiloh. One evening the LORD Himself called Samuel’s name. Little Samuel answered, “Here I am!” After running to Eli each of (3) times, and being told to go back to bed, Eli finally perceived that God was indeed calling Samuel to service for the Lord. The famous line, “Speak, for Your servant hears.” was the young boy’s eager response. His call was a tender Word spoken by God. One of my favorite examples is Jonah. God didn’t mince words with him. Chapter 1 of Jonah states, “Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” Doesn’t sound much like an invitation, but rather an assignment. That call to Jonah was God specific and God direct. After spending (3) nights in a hotel room full of seaweed and whale juices, he followed God’s directive. Jonah complied with God’s call, but only after much complaining. God then used a plant, a worm, and the wind to teach him a lesson in compassion. His calling became his worst nightmare until he surrendered completely. Nonetheless, it was a call to serve.

Now, fast-forward to Matthew 4. After John the Baptist had been put in prison, Jesus left Nazareth and dwelt in Capernaum, near the sea in Galilee. As He was walking, he saw two brothers, Simon and Andrew, who were fishermen. Chapter 1 of John tells us that Andrew, after hearing Jesus speak, began following Him. Jesus said to him (and the others) “What do you seek?” and later “Come and see.” Andrew immediately found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah.” Jesus simply asked Andrew a question, and then bid him to “come”. That was his call. In Acts, Paul (or Saul as he was known) encountered Jesus in a far different manner. One could say he was “knocked off his high horse” for Jesus, literally! Saul was blinded and given a hard question to ponder: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” After the Lord told him Who He was, he fell down trembling and asked Him what he should do. The Lord gave him specific instructions, and later told Ananias (of Saul), “…for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings… For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” Now that was a call that he wouldn’t soon forget! Jesus Himself calls out to us many times and in many ways. A vivid picture of this is in the book of Revelation, when in Chapter 3 Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” This call is personal and private. You must answer the door in order to see Him face to face. The whole of the matter is this: Will you heed the call of Jesus? Don’t expect it to come in a certain manner, but always be ready to answer … Your calling might be the very thing that brings someone else into the eternal family of God.
“There comes the call of God in our lives also. The call of God can never be stated explicitly; it is implicit. 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…God is working out His purposes.” (My Utmost for His Highest - Oswald Chambers)