A friend told me a story about two enthusiastic fellows. One said to his buddy, “God told me to run into that brick wall. Stand back. Don’t try to stop me!”
So he backed up so that he could gather velocity, and rushed forward with lightning quickness. He crashed into the wall at full speed and fell back in a crumpled heap. His friend ran to him and heard the sufferer whispering. “God spoke to me again.”
“What did He say?”
“He said not to do that any more.”
We’ve all heard a lot of silliness about hearing God’s voice and knowing His will for our lives. But just because some people are goofy or manipulative, it doesn’t change the fact that God does speak to us and He does call us to do things.
Not just pastors, either.
You’re no accident. God placed you on earth purposely. You here for a job that no one else can accomplish. It’s important that you get on with the task. Here are three things that God wants you to know about your life:
There are different expressions of that call, different ways we come to know what our purpose in life is. Sometimes it comes by “lightning bolts” and sometimes by still, small voices. It may express itself in a heart that gets mad at injustice (Moses seeing the Egyptian beating one of his people) or just simply a match-up between your gifts and the job at hand.
A calling stands the test of time. David Wilkerson once compared it to the burning bush—it just keeps burning and won’t burn out. At times it seems stronger, at times weaker but it stays. It’s not the emotion of a moment.
“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” (Jeremiah 29:11, The Message)
When I was in college, I was preparing to be a journalist but I kept sensing that God might be calling me to His ministry. Between my sophomore and junior years of college, I really sought God for direction.
If He had said, “Preach!” I would have left my college and went to Bible College. But, God was strangely un-talkative that summer. So, I went back to the college where I had been for two years—and met the young lady that God had planned for my wife.
Later, He spoke about the ministry. But, for what He had planned for me, I needed to go back to that college (and meet that girl!)
God’s timing is as important as God’s calling. Don’t try to force things. And don’t wait forever saying, “Well, it’s not God’s time yet!” Wanting God’s will forces us to seek Him, and that’s good. No, that’s EXCELLENT.
And while you’re waiting start preparing yourself. What would you do if someone said to you, “I’m going to be a surgeon. Lie down here and let me operate on your heart!” You’d run as fast as you could, wouldn’t you?
Often God touches our heart but He doesn’t open a lot of doors at first because we need to get ready.
Then, there’s God’s heart—
You can do the will of God without the heart of God. Jonah did. You can’t find a more sour evangelist than him but stewing awhile in a big fish’s belly helped him to see that God’s will is to be obeyed whether we want to or not.
Paul talks about this:
“For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me.” (1 Cor. 9:16, 17, NIV).
But, doing God’s will and staying attached to His heart, even when it’s tough, can change us. Moses started as an unwilling employee. His motto? “Send Aaron!”
At some point it became his enterprise as much as God’s. Moses would say to God, “Your people” and God would say to Moses “your people that you brought out of Egypt.”
Maybe that wasn’t just a hot potato issue between them in that neither God nor Moses wanted to own up to the fact that they were associated with that ornery bunch. Just maybe it was a statement of “joint-ownership,” ownership of the call and the work among the people.
I’d say that at this point you become more than an employee–a willing or unwilling employee–and you become part owner of the business.
Do you know why you’re here on earth? You can know. You better know.
“Missions is the overflow of our delight in God because missions is the overflow of God’s delight in being God.” –John Piper