Has the Lord ever asked you to do something? If it’s something big or for a lifetime it could be considered a “calling.”
I remember when the Lord called me to be a pastor. I was 15 and I’ll never forget that experience. It shaped my thoughts and actions just as much as salvation. I made decisions and plans out of “I’m going to be a pastor.”
My calling determined who I was going to marry, where I was going to college, where I was going to work, and everyday decisions as well. I thank the Lord every day, as Paul told Timothy, “that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service” (1 Timothy 1:12).
I constantly ask Him to give me the strength and wisdom to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which I have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love” (Ephesians 4:1-2).
When I think about God’s calling on our lives I instantly think of Isaiah. He was just an ordinary guy the Lord called to do extraordinary things through. Isaiah 6:1-8 reveals this calling experience. Verse 1 says it was in the year King Uzziah died, which was about 740 B.C. This tells me Isaiah vividly remembers when he was called by the Lord.
Uzziah was the only King Isaiah had ever known as he served 52 years (2 Chronicles 26). We also know Uzziah was a good king but became proud at the end of his life. This probably ruined his legacy (everything good he had ever done) as he was just remembered for having leprosy and dying in isolation after entering the temple without proper authority from the Lord. He became too great in his own eyes and it led to his downfall.
Isaiah remembered this as he was being called and said, ““Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips” (v. 5). His humility made way for his calling.
Look at how vivid this calling experience was. Isaiah saw the Lord (v. 1), heard the sound of the angels voices (v. 4), smelled the smoke in the temple (v. 4), touched and tasted the coals from the Lord on his lips (v. 7).
All five senses were involved in this worship and calling experience! How could he ever forget it! After Isaiah humbled himself (v. 5) and the Lord made him worthy through His forgiveness (v. 6-7) the Lord called him. In verse 8 the Lord asks, “Who shall I send?” Isaiah says, “Here am I, send me.”He’s the only one in the room but can’t you see him? After this overwhelming worship experience, Isaiah is probably jumping up and down with his hands waving saying, “Ooh, ooh, pick me! Pick me, Lord!”
What if Isaiah had said, “Not me” or “I’ll put together a search committee to find someone for you Lord”? He never would have foretold the birth of Christ (Isaiah 7:14), told Hezekiah he would not die but live 15 more years (Isaiah 38:5), been witness to the Angel of the Lord destroying 185,000 Assyrians soldiers in one night (Isaiah 37:36), or being quoted by Jesus (Isaiah 61, Luke 4)! What if you and I say no to the Lord?
What would we miss out on? Say yes to the Lord’s call on your life. You can run from the call of the Lord but you can’t outrun it. Romans 11:29 says, “God’s gifts and call are irrevocable.”Obey the Lord’s call. You’ll be blessed if you do.
Stephen Harrison is the lead pastor of Family Church at White Hall.
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