The call of God on our lives is irrevocable (that is, he will not recall it, will not take it back). It’s just that when we try to fulfil it our own way, it takes longer. That is because, while God has a plan for his creation, he respects our choices enough to work with and through them.
I’m reflecting on the early chapters of Genesis at the moment, and this is clearly seen in the life of Abraham. God reveals that the call on Abram’s life is to be the father of a great nation, but Abraham and Sarai are childless. They try to fulfil the call by fathering a child by Sarai’s maidservant. But this does not fulfil the call – the great nation will spring from a child whose birth defies the natural order, life from a barren womb. However, far from revoking the call, God expands it: Abraham will be the father of nations. And though those lines of nations will live in conflict, God will continue to work to reconcile peoples into the fullest fulfilment of his call on Abraham’s life.
I also see this in my own church history. Jo and I were part of St Thomas’ in Sheffield from 1991-2007, both serving on the staff team there at different times. The call of God on that church is to raise up leaders for the younger generations (a rolling age-group). This call was spoken, among others, through John Wimber back in the 1980s. The notorious history of the Nine O’Clock Service is an example of what happens when we try to fulfil God’s call in our own way. A community grew up which refused to be accountable and inevitably ended in scandal. But the call of God is irrevocable. Today, St Thomas’ is both a place of marital stability among young adults, in a wider societal context of heightened relationship breakdown; and a place that is producing leaders of godly character and experience for the wider Church, as well as equipping people to pursue the call of God in all walks of life.
The call of God on our lives is irrevocable. It’s just that when we try to fulfil it our own way, it takes longer.
So, what is the call of God on your life? And how have you gone about fulfilling it?
If you don’t know what the call of God on your life is, start with the general call:
to love God, and to love our neighbour (specifically, those who live alongside us who are different to us), in the same way that we love ourselves (that is, the community of people who are like us);
and to live lives that are faithful to such love (putting God first; balancing work and rest; honouring our parents; choosing not to murder, commit adultery, steal, bear false testimony, or covet what belongs to another).
And as you do so, to listen...