The Call

What are the different ways in which God calls us?

Before we get the call, we have to know His voice.  I am reminded of 1st Samuel 3. Samuel did not yet know the Lord, the word of the Lord not yet being revealed to Him. (vs 7) Three times the Lord called to Samuel and each time he went to Eli the priest whom he ministered to the Lord under. The first two times, Eli said he did not call him. Then Eli realized the Lord was calling Samuel and taught Samuel how to respond. Samuel had to learn how to hear the voice of the Lord.

Later in John 10:27 Jesus says that His sheep listen to His voice, He knows us and we follow Him.  I believe that as new believers we need to be discipled, taught to hear his voice and that as we lean in to Him, talk wioth Him, pray to Him, read His Word...we will begin to hear Him when He calls.

One way the Lord calls us is through prayer. I remember numerous times in our life when my wife and I spent time in prayer and the Lord spoke specifically to us, calling us to new pathds we had not thought of ourself.  One time, while living in Croatia, my wife and I were praying about taking an outreach team to Macedonia and then staying there ourselves when the team departed. I came home one day and my wife was crying. She said the Lord spoke to her some specific things in prayer about our next steps. I wanted to see the list she had made but she said if it was from God, He would speak it to me as well.  5 days later, as I was prayer planning an evening event in another town, I felt the Lord calling me to grab a pen and He clearly spoke some "next step" things to me.  When I got home a couple days later our list matched exactly.

I also believe the Lord calls us through His Word. My call to Salvation came through His Word. I saw the Scriptures and how clearly it says that I had sinned and Jesus made a way for me to be connected to the Heavenly Father via His death on the cross. I eagerly responded to that call. Later, I felt the Lord calling me to missions via the Great Commission. I spent 4 years in missions ministry as a result of that call.

Finally I belive the Lord confirms His call through the consulting of others. Two specific times in my life, in the above story of our future in Croatia and later when we prayed about a move that brought us to Canada, we consulted a pastor and another spiritual leader, asking them to pray with us and for us and to see if what we felt the Lord speaking was also witnessed in their spirit. Samuel went to Eli when he heard the call and I believe we also need to seek the wisdom of others when we feel God calling.

In summary, I believe God calls us through prayer, His Word and the wisdom of our spiritual leaders.


One Word - The Tradition Continues

Back in 2009 Compassion began challenging people to seek the Lord for a word for the new year instead of making a new years resolution. This challenge has been sent out to their bloggers every year since.  I enjoyed the idea so much that in 2013 I joined the ranks of Compassion bloggers who write about their one word.  I have asked God for a new word each year since.

In 2013 I felt that word was PRAYER and pray I did.  Lots.  Things happened (concussions) which forced me to my knees in prayer before the Lord.  In fact I think I only survived that year due to prayer!

In 2014 that word was TRUST. Looking back over that year, I saw areas both personally and professionally where I had to learn to trust God more than ever.  I also saw God open amazing doors as I learned to trust Him more.

In 2015 I felt that the word He had for me was PEACE. A lot happened this past year and my peace was challenged greatly at times.  Yet through all of the ups and downs, I felt the peace that passes all understanding!  (Phillipians 4:7)

As we approached the new year I asked the Lord for a word for 2016.  That word is BEGINNINGS. 

I was drawn to this passage in Isaiah:

"Behold, I am doing a new thing, now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." (Isaiah 43:19)

As I read and reflect on that passage of Scripture I can't help but get a bit excited. I also get a bit nervous.  Beginnings can signify change.  Change is not always easy or comfortable. However, I believe the Lord is speaking this word for a reason. I don't know what 2016 holds but I know Who holds 2016!  I can makle plans but God can take things in any number of directions. I am usually suprised by how significant the word becomes by the end of each year.

My ultimate goal is to know Him and His will more. 

I am excited to see how this word applies to the coming year.

So what is God speaking to you for the New Year?