Have you ever felt God calling you to something and you wondered if it was really Him calling you to do that something? Have you looked for evidences of His calling? If so may I suggest a few evidences based on scripture that may not be the evidences one often looks for when desiring to know if something is the will of God or not.
The call of God is never to a place (literal or figurative) you think you want to go:
- Noah–“Build a boat and go float in a giant body of water you know nothing about.” (Genesis 6-8)
- Joseph–“I’m not telling you where you’re going, just follow the slave in chains in front of you.” (Genesis 37 & 39)
- Moses–“Go back to the place they wanted to kill you.” (Exodus 3)
- Daniel–“Enjoy Babylon.” (Daniel the entire book)
- Peter–“You’re going to go with Me until you eventually die on a cross like I did.” (John 21)
- John–“You’re going to write a great book on an empty island after being placed in a pot of boiling hot oil and surviving.” (The book of Revelation, writings of the Reformers and early church writers)
The Call of God ALWAYS requires leaving something behind:
- Abram (aka Abraham)–“Leave your homeland; okay that wasn’t enough now leave your family too.” (Genesis 12)
- Elisha–“Leave a lot of wealth and a good job, oh and kill some of that wealth while you’re at it.” (1 Samuel 19)
- Jeremiah–“Leave your pride at the door b/c your feelings are definitely going to get hurt.” (Jeremiah 20)
- Israel–“Leave your dreams of home behind, go to captivity and enjoy it.” (Jeremiah 29)
- Simon, Andrew, James, & John (and other disciples too)–“Leave your jobs and your Dad, we have no place to lay our head, and you’ll literally leave everything for me, but you’ll be okay.” (Mark 1; Matthew 4; Mark 10; Matthew 19)
- Rich Young Ruler–“Leave your stuff with poor people.” (Matthew 19)
- All followers of Jesus–“Leave it all, including your family (or at least be willing to)” (Luke 14)
The Call of God usually involves doing something that seems ridiculous/impossible/or makes no sense:
- Noah–“Build a boat for 120 years with no water around” (Genesis 6)
- People of Israel–“Take Jericho by just marching, no really it will work.” (Joshua 4-6)
- Rahab the Harlot & Ancestor of Jesus–“Hang a red cord out your window and when the entire city falls down your piece of wall will be spared.” (Joshua 2, 3, & 6)
- Gideon–“Only fight with 300 dudes that like to smash pots.” (Judges 7)
- Ezekiel–“Eat human feces…okay, it doesn’t have to be human, I’ll let you eat cow dung instead.” (Ezekiel 4)
- Esther–“Don’t worry about the previous Queen that was banished, you defy his laws too. It’ll all work out.” (Esther 5)
- Hosea–“No you don’t need to clean your ears out, you heard me correctly: MARRY a PROSTITUTE! (The entire book of Hosea)
- Peter–“No really, water is as sturdy as cement!” (Matthew 14)
- Paul–“They only thought you were dead, now go back and preach some more!” (Acts 14)
The Call of God usually comes with just enough evidence to build your trust, but not enough to give you all the answers:
- Noah–“Build a boat I’m sending a flood. Okay you don’t get any evidence you just have to trust me.” (Genesis 6)
- Abram–“Leave all your family and I’ll make you a great nation. Actually you don’t get any evidence right away either, just trust me and I’ll help you trust more along the way.” (Genesis 12)
- Abraham–“Yes you heard me right kill your son, the evidence is that I wanted this boy in the first place.” (Genesis 22)
- Joseph–“Slavery, imprisonment, yeah you don’t get any signs either, just trust me!” (Genesis 39 & 40)
- Moses–“You’ll deliver them, trust me! I already gave you a burning bush and a snake stick. What more do you want?”
- Gideon–“It was wet, it is dry, will you just go already.” (Judges 6)
- Jonah–“Really you still don’t understand, didn’t I deliver you from the belly of the whale?” (All of Jonah)
God’s Call sometimes leads to prosperity after tragedy:
- Abram–>Abraham–>Many nations–>Many lands–>Many livestock, leads to much power!
- Job–“I know it was rough but here you have back more than you had before.”
- All God’s people–“Yes I said all the storehouse of heaven.” (Malachi 3)
- The People of Israel–“I promised you the land.”
Of course God’s call can ultimately result in death too:
- Moses death just outside the Promised Land.
- Samson death by self amongst his mockers.
- John the Baptist death by beheading at the bequest of a bitter queen.
- All the disciples minus 1 were martyred: Death by hanging, stoning, beheading, crucifixion, burning. They just wouldn’t stop talking about Jesus!
- Paul death by beheading. He went to Rome to witness even if it meant death.
- James White death by exhaustion (okay this one isn’t in the Bible).
Evidence of God’s call in summary:
- You probably will not immediately want to go.
- You will have to leave something you love behind.
- You will be asked to do the impossible/uncomfortable/ridiculous
- You will receive just enough answers to trust, but never enough to be fully satisfied (b/c the call is all about continued trust).
- Temporal life on this earth may in the end may turn out good or bad; in other words, you have no earthly guarantee that it will all be okay.
The Call of God cannot fit neatly on a list of pros and cons, or in a box defined by humanity.
The Call of God is however the only safe place ultimately for the Christian to walk in!