“Now remember what you were, my brothers and sisters, when God called you. From the human point of view few of you were wise or powerful or of high social standing” (1 Cor. 1:26).
Is it not amazing that, when I was growing up I was called Mallam. Thanks be to God that I heard God’s call and now I am a minister of the Gospel of Christ! This is the most cherished treasure to me. I am deeply grateful to God for His call and promise to serve Him to the end.
In responding to the call of God, let us remember our past so that we can follow Him aright. God calls us by His grace and we need to respond humbly and gratefully.
According to the NIV Bible Dictionary, the word Call is used in the Bible in four senses:
- In the sense of prayer – “call to me and I will answer you” (Jer. 33:3).
- To summon or appoint – “I am calling the nations to come” (Jer. 1:15).
- To name a person or thing – “God called the light day” (Gen. 1:5).
- To invite people to accept salvation through Christ (Heb. 3:1; 2Tim. 1:9; 1Cor.1:26).
God is calling us to Himself so that we can participate in His redemptive work in our world. In other words, God calls us like Abraham, first to bless us so that we can become instruments of blessing to others (Gen. 12:1-3).
WHAT IS THE CALL OF GOD?
God is a person and as such a communicating being. He calls us into deeper knowledge of Him and His will. He calls us in the form of direct speech, in His written word, dreams, visions, persons or circumstances.
God has definite plans for His creation and therefore expects all of creation to do His will. In the call of the Prophet Jeremiah, God strongly made this point. He reminded Jeremiah that He knew Him before he was born (Jer. 1:5). Not only that, He had plans for him (Jer. 29:11). God’s call comes in diverse forms:
- God calls us from our sinful state.
- God calls us into a new life with Himself.
- God calls us to a life of faith and obedience.
- God calls us to participate in and to declare His redemptive works.
WHY SHOULD WE RESPOND TO GOD’S CALL?
We ought to respond to God’s call because:
- He has authority over us. For He created, redeemed and knows us by name (Isa. 43:1).
- It is the wisest thing to do. Remember your creator in the days of your youth (Eccl. 12:1, 14).
- Our freedom is found there. Come to the Lord and receive rest (Mat. 11:28).
- We fulfil our destiny through that. We shall inherit everything and called God’s children (Rev. 21:7).
THE DEMANDS OF GOD’S CALL
Our Lord Jesus is our perfect model. He responded to God’s call and lived a life of faith and total obedience to His Father and our Father. For this reason He knew and did His Father’s will always. No wonder He fulfilled His mission! He undid the works of the devil and ushered in the Kingdom of God. He brought wholeness and transformed lives such as that of the woman who was bound for 18 years. Indeed those who know their God will do exploits (Dan. 11:32)!
Nothing rejoices God’s heart like faith and complete obedience. With God, obedience is better than any form of sacrifice (1Sam. 15:22).
HUMAN RESPONSES TO GOD’S CALL
Our response to God varies and takes the form of hypocrisy, or selfishness or genuineness.
- Hypocrisy - There are those who appear pious but their hearts are far from God. An example is the ruler of the Synagogue. Instead him rejoicing over the deliverance of his congregational member he rather became angry with Jesus and the people. He decided to become God’s policeman instead of worshipper of God!
- Selfishness - we tend to respond to God with selfish motives (2Peter 2:10). Our first reading from Isaiah 55 portrays this selfishness which God could not countenance. God rejected the people’s fast because it sprang from selfishness.
- Genuineness – our Lord Jesus exemplifies this (Mat. 3:17; 17:5). Our Lord responded genuinely to His Father in every sense of the word therefore he was pleasing to God.
EXAMPLE OF REWARDS FOR OBEDIENCE TO GOD
- Adam responded to God’s call and was clothed (Gen. 3:21).
- Abraham responded to God’s call and became a blessing to the nations (Gen. 12:3).
- Moses responded to God’s call and freed his people from slavery (Ex. 3).
- David responded to God’s call and became the greatest king in Israel (1 Sam. 16:3).
- The wise men from the East responded to God’s call and escaped from Herod’s trap (Mat. 2:12).
- Paul responded to God’s call and became the greatest missionary (2Cor. 11:23).
- Our Lord Jesus responded to God’s call and became the greatest Saviour and Lord (Isa. 52:13).
- The bound woman responded to Jesus’ call and got her deliverance (Lk. 13:12f).
If we do not want to get confused and lost, then let us respond positively to God’s call. God’s call brings about freedom and purposefulness. There are now many voices screaming for our attention. Let us heed the redemptive call of God today so that we can experience His transformation. God calls us to undo the works of the devil. He calls us into His blessings so that we become instruments that He can use to bless others like our Lord Jesus.