Saturday, November 12, 2011

Choose Your Words Carefully - "Calling"

Whew!  This week was crazy busy for my family.  Revival services were held at our church this week, so my husband was with the evangelist for many hours of each day, and our evenings went past bedtime for the first half of the week.  My oldest daughter also caught a brief stomach bug first thing Monday morning.  I was so happy to have a guest blogger Wednesday because I didn't have time to write this week!

I'm happy to have the opportunity to write a little while now before getting some cupcakes into the oven for our church's Fall Festival this evening.

A major theme of this week has been about "calling".  Our Sunday School lesson this week was about God's calling to Moses using the burning bush, coming from Exodus 3:1-4:12.  Wednesday night, our evangelist shared about God first calling him into ministry and issued the opportunity for the youth to listen to God's call on their lives, possibly into full-time ministry.

I remember very well the summer I was fourteen.  God used that summer to call me into something, though I wasn't sure what.  That year, I took my first mission trip, began doing clowning, and had some great times of Bible study with my youth group.  During our VBS, my pastor gave an invitation that included the commitment to ministry.  I suppose he probably meant vocational minsitry, but all I knew was God was calling me to something.  Again, I wasn't sure what.  It might involve being a Sunday School teacher, but possibly might go so far as vocational overseas missions.  God didn't have to give me the full picture for me to feel as if He had some special purpose for my life.  I'm actually really thankful I didn't know it all at that time.  No wait.  I'm sure I still don't know it all as I'm only thirty now!

Flash forward three years later.  A young man in my church seemed to be called to preach.  On occasion, he would fill in for my pastor on Wednesday nights.  He was a good friend with more of a romantic interest on his end.  He was very persistent, with very thoughtful gifts and dates he planned out really well.  I knew God had a special call on my life, but not knowing what, and with this young man that might be called to preach or something along those lines really pursuing me, I thought maybe God wants me to be a preacher's wife! 

I had the preacher's wife part right, just the wrong young man!  It was also during that summer that I met my husband, and it wasn't long before God made it clear that the other man wasn't the one for me.  That fall, I stood in front of my second-grade teacher's classroom, and felt certain that teaching would also be part of my future, and I'd known for a long time where God would have me go for my college education. 

I did use that college degree to teach first-grade for two years, but God's calling on my life, as I came to discover, wasn't to be based on whatever feelings I was having during a particular season in my life.  It was to be measured against Scripture.  He does use events in our lives and other people's teaching to lead us to certain actions, vocations, and minstries, but ultimately he has some broad calling for all Christian women. 

  • "A woman should learn in silence with full submission.  I do not allow a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; instead, she is to be silent.  For Adam was created frst, then Eve.  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and transgressed.  But she will be saved through childbearing, if she continues in faith, love, and holiness, with good sense." -1 Timothy 2:11  God won't call us to a job that a man should be doing.
  • "Wives, be submissive to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord." -Colossians 3:18  Women are to go where their husbands go.  If his job moves you, you go.  We shouldn't attempt to live lives in two seperate places.  Nor should we worship in two seperate churches.  Go to church with your husband and join where you go so you can be in active service there.  If you're single, prepare your heart to submit to your husband as if to the Lord.  If you're not ready to do this, you're not ready to marry.
  • "Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to slander no one, to avoid fighting, and to be kind, always showing gentleness to all people." -Titus 3:1  'Nuff said.
  • "We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.  For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers." -Romans 8:28-29  This is the reason I think we need to be careful with the word "calling".  We are called out from the world.  As we grow more and more into the image of Jesus, we will understand better what God would have us do with our lives.  Teens and young adults, be careful what you say God has called you to do.  He may make it more clear to you over time, or He may just want you to trust Him and go where He leads you on a day by day basis.
  • I look at Hannah in 1 Samuel and Psalm 127:3-5 and know being in the home is a place of great influence, especially in my children's most formative early years.  I have more power in the world while being in my home than anywhere else.

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