by Tad Lindley
Did you ever hear someone say that they were called by God? How many times have I heard a preacher tell of being called by God to preach as a teenager? And the missionaries who were called even as young children to specific locations around the globe. How about you? Have you ever heard the audible voice of God calling you? Have you ever felt the call of God on your life? Even if the answer to all of the above is no, I am writing to tell you that actually, you have been called by God.
The call of God
Prophesying of the manner in which he would die, Jesus said, And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (John 12:32) He was foretelling that by dying on the cross, all men would be drawn to Him. That each and every person on the planet would have something within them that would slowly and gently nudge their hearts to God. You could argue that being drawn to God and being called of God are two different things, and perhaps you are right. Nevertheless, God has called you.
When did God call?
This is an important question, because if God has indeed called us, we ought to know. And if he hasn’t called us, we ought to be concerned. Look at this: On that last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried saying, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink, he that believeth on me as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”. This spake he concerning the Holy Ghost which they that believe on him should receive… (John 7:37-39) If you are thirsty for God, he called you, and that call still rings out almost 2,000 years later through the pages of the Bible.
I don’t think that call was for me
Perhaps you read the call of God above and thought to yourself, “Well that’s not me. I’ve been a hell raiser all my life, and I have not believed in God, I’ve never read the Bible, never cared for church.” Maybe you would tell me, “Brother Lindley, that’s good for some folks, but he wasn’t calling me when he said that, I just don’t fit that description.” You may well be right. That call from God above seems to be for a specific kind of person. And if you don’t think that John 7:37 was God calling you, read on.
Then here’s your call
Even if you have lived very far from God, even to the point of denying his very existence, and mocking his name and his word, he still called you. If you have ever carried a heavy load of sin. If you have ever gotten sick and tired of being sick and tired, he has called you. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29) If you fall into this category, called by God out of the weariness of sin, then read on, because there is a powerful promise for you!
Here’s the promise
On the day of Pentecost, in about 29 AD, about 120 followers of Jesus were praying in Jerusalem. Among them were the 11 remaining disciples, Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Jesus half-brothers (born of Mary and Joseph). And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4) They received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and they spoke in other tongues when it happened.
With the call comes the promise
Referring to what had just happened, the Apostle, Peter, told the people what they themselves needed to do to be saved, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, for the promise [the promise being the Holy Ghost] is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (Acts 2:38-39) Whoever God has called, he wants to give the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the fact of the matter is, God has called you, and he wants to fill you with his Spirit! He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (II Peter 3:9)
Rev. Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska.