Ignoring the Call

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!

  • 1 Corinthians 9:16

“Turn to me and be saved,
    all you ends of the earth;
    for I am God, and there is no other.

  • Isaiah 45:22

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.

  • Luke 14:26

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God—

  • Romans 1:1

“Beware of refusing to hear the call of God. Everyone who is saved is called to testify to the fact of his salvation. That, however, is not the same as the call to preach, but is merely an illustration which can be used in preaching. In this verse, Paul was referring to the stinging pains produced in him by the compelling force of the call to preach the gospel. Never try to apply what Paul said regarding the call to preach to those souls who are being called to God for salvation. There is nothing easier than getting saved, because it is solely God’s sovereign work— ‘Look to Me, and be saved…’ (Isaiah 45:22). Our Lord never requires the same conditions for discipleship that he requires for salvation. We are condemned to salvation through the Cross of Christ. But discipleship has an option with it— ‘If anyone…’ (Luke 14:26).
Paul’s words have to do with our being made servants of Jesus Christ, and our permission is never asked as to what we will do or where we will go. God makes us as broken bread and poured-out wine to please Himself. To be “separated to the gospel” means being able to hear the call of God (Romans 1:1). Once someone begins to hear that call, a suffering worthy of the name of Christ is produced. Suddenly, every ambition, every desire of life, and every outlook is completely blotted out and extinguished. Only one thing remains— ‘…separated to the gospel…’ Woe be to the soul who tries to head in any other direction once that call has come to him. The Bible Training College exists so that each of you may know whether or not God has a man or woman here who truly cares about proclaiming His gospel and to see if God grips you for this purpose. Beware of competing calls once the call of God grips you.”

  • Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

I have returned to Rev. Chambers for a day.  What I was thinking about writing, two things actually, both having a political bent, but with my style, both requiring research.  So I picked this devotion from Rev. Chambers at random and it struck a chord.

I have had notions of becoming a missionary or a preacher, both early in life.  My life became a big mess over my four years of college.  Determined to glorify God in what ever way I could as a Chemical Engineer-not really understanding what a chemical engineer was as an incoming freshman-and leaving college with a military commitment and a graduate school deferment.  By the time I got out of the military, I had a master’s degree in chemical engineering, a wife and two sons.  Obligations screamed louder than any vague idea of a call.  Thus, by Rev. Chamber’s description, I probably was not called.

On the other hand, my life after the military was a struggle, being used for my skills and never rewarded.  Some people hire former military for their leadership skills.  Others hire them for their drive to get the work done on minimal pay and no chance of promotion.  My bosses lied to me and I chose unwisely.

But I had a burning desire to write.  As the boys grew up, I worked 50+ hours each week and I spent a few hours on the computer writing each night.  Every night reviewing or writing.  Not ever publishing anything. Note: As part of my paid job, I published too many books to count that I wrote for 2-3 different companies, but all in-house, writing textbooks.

But when I felt the call to start this website, it was as Rev. Chambers described.  And to think that I had been doing all that writing for all those years as practice.  And putting in long hours was something that I was accustomed to doing.

Rev. Chambers makes the distinction about salvation versus preaching, but all, I feel, are called to witness to the Truth, that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead.  And being saved is so easy and hard at the same time.  The verse from Isaiah ties into a commercial on the local Christian Television Network.  The fellow says, “God is pursuing you.  All you have to do is turn around and fall into His arms.”

It is that turning around, that repentance of sin, and that 100% commitment and trust (part of the Greek word used for believe) that makes it hard.  But for those who have done so, they realize that trying to do it without God orchestrating it is impossible.  With God orchestrating it, it becomes the only logical choice.  But when you make that choice, God makes you a new person.

And there is no telling where your “calling” will take you.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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