The Call of God and the God of the Call
Is the “Call of God” still relevant today? Ron Mahler looks at Moses’ experience with the call of God and compares it with the call of Christ on us.
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The Call of God
Of all the personages in the Bible, I tend to have the softest spot for Moses. You have to feel for a leader of his kind. He had a tremendously difficult calling and the LORD expected a lot from him. Most of us are familiar with His story. Moses was charged with leading the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt and into the promised land of Canaan. Though he never quite arrived there, Moses’ journey provides us with some great spiritual insights on what it means to rely on God when His promises are all we have to go on.
Just think of the career changes and transitions a guy like Moses had to make in his life. He went from a place of privilege as a prince in Pharaoh’s palace, to making a living as a rugged shepherd in Midian’s desert to being an oftentimes frustrated pastor of a nation-sized congregation that the Bible says was “stubborn and stiff-necked!” Moses lost his temper and almost his mind carrying out what Yahweh entrusted to his leadership of Israel! Yet that was the call upon Moses’ life that the LORD had been preparing his servant for, and Moses had to trust in the God of his call!
The Call of God and Life’s Assignments
Truth is, the assignments God calls us to in life, regardless of what area or capacity of His kingdom we serve in, can sometimes resemble a plank of obedience that we must simply walk and jump off, trusting that God, in His faithfulness, will use us for His glory and keep us afloat in our service to Him. The more we trust, the more we find God is trustworthy!
I like the words of F.B. Meyer on this topic:
“Be not afraid to trust God completely. As you go down the long corridor, you may find that He has preceded you and locked many doors that you would have entered in vain. But be sure that beyond these there is one that He has left unlocked. Open it and enter, and you will find yourself face to face with a bend of the river of opportunity, broader and deeper than anything you had dared to imagine in your sunniest dreams. Launch forth on it, for it leads to the open sea.”
At the end of his life, Moses found that to be true. He could stand atop Mount Nebo and bask in the afterglow of God’s faithfulness. His trust in the God of his call, from the burning bush all the way to the doorstep of Canaan is one of the Bible’s great depictions of leadership in all its seasons. To think that the patriarch once struggled to believe that the LORD could put His power in someone like him (Moses) and use him, while making a power like Pharaoh and Egypt impotent at the same time! Today, however, Moses is revered by many religions—especially among Jews as their law-giver, and Pharaoh…well, he became a footnote in history for his folly.
The Call of God on the Church Through Jesus
If there’s a New Testament parallel to Moses’ story, it’s Jesus’ risky call to His Church to retrieve those who are being held-captive spiritually and who could be lost for eternity; and the realm in which His disciples are to accomplish such a task, Jesus said, is characteristically hostile to the message of the Gospel. To state this pointedly, the Lord said He was sending His followers out like “sheep among wolves” (Matthew 10:16). No wonder God’s people so often hear the bark and feel the bite of culture’s intolerance towards their message!
This is where we could use a little reminder or two of just who resides and reigns in us as believers, and just what kind of presence and power we have at work in us as we endeavour to fulfill the call of Christ on our lives. We find such a reminder in John 14:12.
There, the Lord said this:
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
That had to have been a mindboggling revelation to the disciples. “We’ll be able to do even greater things than what we’ve seen Jesus do?” Yet just as Yahweh exhibited His sovereign power through His called vessel, Moses, Jesus promised the power of the Holy Spirit to equip us for and empower us in the call He’s bestowed on our lives (yours and mine) as servants of His gospel.
What Can God to With Us?
If you ask me, it’s not about what we feel we lack when it comes to God using us that matters; it’s about what God can do with and through our willingness to serve Him. We trust and obey and He does the empowering. We commit and God confirms His promises to us. Moses thought he didn’t have the right stuff when it came to accomplishing what God had him do—and he was right. It’s God that has the right stuff and Moses was the right vessel for Yahweh to showcase His power through at the right time; just like you and I with the call of Christ on our lives are the right vessels for the Spirit of God to do His stuff through right now.
There will always be Red Sea’s that need parting and missions Jesus calls us to that involve wolfish opposition. Here’s where we get the Bible’s newsflash: God has overcome both!
The Call of God is Christ’s Call
The onus is upon us, therefore, to trust Him with whatever kingdom assignment and ministry task He’s called us to, no matter how big or small it is, where it is, who it involves or what the outcome may be. The same God who enabled Moses to prevail over Pharaoh is the same One who conquered our worst possible enemy and fear—and I’m not even referring to the devil; but rather, to the reality of death. With a God like that on our side, we can obediently and trustingly take on the Pharaoh’s and wolves of our world for the sake of Christ’s call, and emerge victorious—whether in this world or in the one to come…but we will be victorious!
Can you disciple this?
More About Moses
Ron Mahler has pastored in various churches and ministries throughout Ontario for over twenty years. In addition to his current roles as a chaplain and speaker/preacher at-large, Ron is an award-winning author; his fourth book—The Banquet, will be published in 2018. As a man of many talents and interests, he’s worked as a graphic artist and is also a multi-instrumentalist. Like many, Ron juggles the demands of family, work and ministry, with trying to get in a little “play” and “me” time.
You can read his blogs, check out reviews of his books and find out news and information about events he’s hosting by going to: myfanaticalbook.wordpress.com
Crowded Subway – Skitterphoto
Burning Bush – jeffjacobs1990
Moses Memorial – Milei.vencel
Worship – jaeFrench
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