2009-01-16 - “CALLED BY GOD”
(From “My Utmost for His Highest” - Oswald Chambers)
Isaiah 6:8 (6:1-13) “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'”
God did not direct His call to Isaiah - Isaiah overheard God saying, “... who will go for Us?” The call of God is not just for a select few but for everyone. Whether I hear God's call or not depends on the condition of my ears and exactly what I hear depends upon my spiritual attitude. “Many are called but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14 - [22:1-14]). That is few prove that they are the chosen ones. The chosen ones are those who have come into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and have had their spiritual condition changed and their ears opened. Then they hear “the voice of the Lord” continually asking “... who will go for Us?” However, God doesn't single out someone and say “Now you go.” He did not force His will on Isaiah, Isaiah was in the presence of God and he overheard the call. His response, performed in complete freedom, could only be to say “Here am I! Send me.”
Remove the thought from your mind of expecting God to come to force you or to plead with you. When our Lord called His disciples, He did it without irresistible pressure from the outside. The quiet, yet passionate insistence of His “Follow Me” was spoken to men whose every sense was receptive (Matthew 4:19 [4:18-22]). If we allow the Holy Spirit to bring us face to face with God we too will hear what Isaiah heard - “the voice of the Lord.” In perfect freedom we too will say, Here am I! Send me.”
NOTE: I believe the above reading will be a surprise to a number of our readers! I often hear people say - I'm waiting for God to push me into the ministry He has for me. He will notdo that. Like Isaiah we must walk close enough to God to overhear His conversation as the Triunity of the Godhead converses together. Then - if we wish - because He will not coerce us - we can say like Isaiah - Here am I Lord - Send me!
This happened to King Cyrus of Persia (Iran) some 2400 years ago, following the 70-year captivity of Judah under Nebuchadnezzar. He felt inclined (not knowing it was of God) to have the Jewish Scriptures read to him one night. To his surprise he heard God saying that he, Cyrus, was God's Shepherd, and would restore Judah to their homeland and help rebuild their destroyed Temple through him. The next morning he said to His servants - “Let's do it!” He volunteered. Daniel had interceded according to Jeremiah's prophecy of restoration for Judah following 70 years of captivity. God let Cyrus know this - and he volunteered in line with the purpose of God!
In 1942 I overheard God when He was yet unknown to me intimately, speaking of His purposes to answer my heart's desire to know Him. I volunteered to join the Navy according to His suggestion, and in 9 months he ushered me into His Kingdom.
I was quite an ordinary seaman the first 9 months I was in the Navy. My fellow sailors thought nothing special about me. Then suddenly God showed me what to do to experience the New Birth from above, and in a moment my life was completely transformed - even I might say “Turned upside down - or right side up.” One sailor kept quoting to me - “Many are called but few are chosen.”Then he would ask me what that meant. Well - I was one of the many like Isaiah called by overhearing God's desire and invitation. When I voluntarily reponded, I was immediately chosen. Anyone who is called can likewise respond and then enter into the chosenstate.
Within months God dropped the unfinished work of Ivan Panin into my lap by a Russian Jew, and I have now over 60 chapters of Panin's Interlinear Greek Outlined New Testament ready to be posted on our Website.
Like Cyrus, God let a friend of mine in Canada overhear God's desire to document the world famous Kitsilano Boys' Band and its unique founder and bandmaster Arthur Delamont. He volunteered. I believe he has already written some 10 books on this subject, and hasn't finished yet!
God knows our hearts' desires whether we know Him or not, and can help us to volunteer to produce right decisions!
So - like Isaiah - let us each one have a heart attitude that keeps us open to the presence of God. Then when He speaks, or intimates His desires, let us be quick to volunteer and answer Him - “Here am I, Lord - send me oruse me.”
Like Paul Rader of Chicago fame we can then say - Such will be the beginning of “Life's Greatest Adventure.”- Jim Watt