GOD’S CALL IS UNIVERSAL # 15118

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The Bible says, “And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.” Matthew 4: 18-22. “The call of God is the expression of God’s nature, not of our nature. There are strands of the call of God providentially at work for us, which we recognize and no one else does.” O. Chambers.  The first disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ when He told them follow Me, they followed Him without hesitation. There was an immediate identification; they didn’t make an inventory of what they were leaving behind. They put aside what they were doing and with absolute certainty followed Him at that very moment, as if deep inside they had been waiting for this call and they already knew how they were going to respond.

However, the attitude of the first disciples was similar to ours in the sense that they did not know themselves yet. They were impulsive: The scriptures tell us this about Peter before the crucifixion: “Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times.’” John. 13: 37-38. They let themselves be carried away by enthusiasm, or by the anger of the moment: The Apostles James and John wanted to execute revenge on the Samaritans when they refused accommodations to the Lord Jesus Christ. They said to Him “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” Luke 9:54. There were moments when they felt capable of doing anything and wanted to act accordingly. We do that also, because we know the theory. However, we only know what we have experienced. Everything else is only intellectual information. The disciples made mistakes and the Lord Jesus was patient with them because He knew they were going to learn. He knew that in due time they would respond.  They were still developing their potential.

The power of the Lord Jesus Christ was the result of uniting His will to the Will of the Father, but He also knew that His disciples had not yet reached that point.  When He was arrested, all the love that the disciples declared to have for Him, their loyalty and the assurance they thought they had when they said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" vanished. They were overcome by fear. "’But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.’ Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled." Matthew 26:56. One would think, how could they! But the Lord Jesus Christ doesn’t make mistakes when He chooses his assistants, and God was in charge of the plan, so it was not a failure. The disciples returned and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, remembered what the Lord Jesus had told them.  They learned from their own mistakes. With the power of God they stood up strong and did the job entrusted to them.  From being Disciples, they became Apostles. A disciple is a follower. An Apostle is a person who initiates a great moral reform, or is the first one to advocate a belief or a system. In this case they became the Apostles of Christianity. What an honor!

As humans we will make mistakes, but if we correct them with God’s help, we will also grow even stronger. We need to refine our ears to listen to the call of God. His call is always personal; it is between God and the individual. Oswald Chambers said: "The call of God is not the echo of my nature; my affinities and personal temperament are not considered. As long as I consider my personal temperament and think about what I am fitted for, I shall never hear the call of God. But when I am brought into relationship with God, I am in the condition Isaiah was in. Isaiah’s soul was so attuned to God by the tremendous crisis he had gone through that he recorded the call of God to his amazed soul. “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’ Isaiah 6:8. The majority of us have no ear for anything but ourselves, we cannot hear a thing God says. To be brought into the zone of the call of God is to be profoundly altered.”  If you really want to hear God’s call, He will take you to the zone where you will be able to hear Him.

We need to keep in mind that if it is only fascination, when we are tested we will fail. And when we fail we feel ashamed thinking that even though we really wanted to do it, and we put our best effort forward, we still fail. However, that moment when we feel weak and defeated, when we believe that we have failed, it is not the time to give up and find a way to scape. That moment is there for us to recognize that we need God’s help. We must ask for help, right there where we are and just as we are. If we tried to make preparation for it, we would be interfering. If we give to God our fragmented life, He will mold us according to His plan. The acceptance of our mistake or our failure is essential, but it is only one part. The other part is asking for God's help. And it is then that His power begins to transform our lives. The first disciples of the Lord also failed and felt defeated, but with God’s help they stood up, and all the help they had is also available to us.

“The opposite of seeing through the body’s eyes is the vision of Christ, which reflects strength rather than weakness, unity rather than separation, and love rather than fear. The opposite of hearing through the body’s ears is communication through the Voice for God, the Holy Spirit, which abides in each of us. His voice seems distant and difficult to hear because the ego, which speaks for the little, separated self, seems to be much louder. This is actually reversed. The Holy Spirit speaks with unmistakable clarity and overwhelming appeal. No one who does not choose to identify with the body could possibly be deaf to His messages of release and hope, nor could he fail to accept joyously the vision of Christ in glad exchange for his miserable picture of himself.” Preface ACIM.

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all."  2 Corinthians 13:14

Ruth