Accepting the Call
Adapted from a Devotional by Gwen Smith
John 14:23 – Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. M y father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.
How many of you carry a cell phone?
How many of you know how to decline an incoming call?
How do you do it?
When do you do it?
Have you ever received a “call” from God? A prompting from the Holy Spirit? Maybe it sounded a little like this. A small hint… almost a whisper… saying…
Don’t go to that party.
Focus on me and my plan for you.
Do your work before you go play.
Relax. Take a break. Rest.
Read: John 14:15-27. In these verses, Jesus clearly and repeatedly states that if the disciples and we love Him, they and we would obey His commands and His teaching.
It’s a simple IF/THEN statement. If you love me – Then obey.
Have you ever received a call from God and promptly “declined the call?” Maybe the call was telling you something you didn’t want to hear. Maybe the call came at a bad time for you. Maybe you were already too busy, overloaded, irritated, or completely unprepared. Or maybe the timing was just right, you were in the right frame of mind, and you answered the call.
Read: John 16:7-14. In these verses, Jesus reminds the disciples and us that He will send the Holy Spirit to teach, guide in truth, convict of sin, remind us of what Jesus taught, help us and empower us.
A lot of people will say, “You should trust your gut” meaning trust your intuition. Intuition is that feeling inside that might say something like “This salesman is taking you for a ride. Even though the car looks great and seems ok, there is something really wrong here. Walk away.” As Christians, we not only have that “gut feeling” or intuition, but we also have God in our lives guiding us through the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit within is speaking to us. So listen up. And then obey.
The Holy Spirit will give you what you need for each task that God has called you to do as you answer that call. God will not call you up, tell you to do something, and then not show up to help you. He wants our willingness and our obedience even when his plans seem to interrupt our own plans.
I think the hardest part in all of this is obeying when his call interrupts our lives, pleasure, happiness, chaos, etc. I’m also learning that to obey quickly is a lot easier than delaying obedience. Is seems the task grows in magnitude the longer I wait to obey. If I just immediately respond to the call and obey, everything tends to work out much better and with a lot less stress on me.
When you hear the call, first pick up the “phone” and answer God’s call. Then listen to Him and obey.
Questions to Ponder:
1. Can you think of a time when you sensed that God was leading you to do something? How did you respond?
2. Is there something He is calling you to do today?
3. Are you withholding forgiveness from anyone in your life?
4. Are you aware of a need that God wants you to meet?
5. Does He want you to end a toxic relationship?