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
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.