#Article (Archive)

The Call (Part 2)

Jun 15, 2011, 3:40 PM | Article By: Galandou Gorre-Ndiaye

Each of us - no matter what field of endeavour we operate in - has been called by God at one time or the other and given an assignment to carry out. We are certain not all have gone also. We resent assignments, because they get in the way of our personal agenda. We have a myriad of preoccupations and appointments that take up our time and to which we have given a lot of importance. We have gone to the extent of prioritising our activities and matters relating to God take second place or just feature at the bottom of the list.

Our Lord Jesus underlines in a parable (Matthew 21:28-31) the attitude we generally display with regard to assignments. A man with two sons asked the first son to go and work in his vineyard. He answered categorically that he would not go but later changed his mind and went. The second son was equally requested to go and work in the vineyard; he agreed but never showed up. It is good that the first son had a mind-change; but the ideal type of behaviour is to respond immediately. 

If there was ‘no fire’ to put out, or work to have done, God would not have asked us to go. But there is a roaring lion out there seeking to wreck havoc and someone has to stop him. “Be alert, be on the watch! Your enemy, the Devil, roams round like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8) That someone, that messenger, is you and me. Only we do not have the strength required to do so if we do not go in the power and strength of God the Almighty. After Isaiah beheld the glory of God in the temple and he heard God launch the request: “Whom shall I send; and who will go for us?” He could not but reply; “Here I am, send me.” (Isaiah 6:8) Do we all have to go through a similar experience before committing ourselves? No! Do we need a special encounter before our conviction? No!

When Abraham received his call, all God said to him was. “Abram leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1) Abraham neither argued nor hesitated. The Bible narrative states: “So Abram left. As the Lord had told him…” (Genesis 12:4)  Abraham was seventy-five years when he parted from his loved-ones on an adventure for which he did not know either the route or the outcome. He simply exchanged a known environment for the unknown, his social stability for adventure. When Abraham was leaving his home in Haran, he had no clue where he was heading, yet he left. For him, the Lord had spoken and He is not man that He should lie. (Numbers 23:19)

In another parable narrated by our Lord Jesus; “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he asked his servant to go and tell those who had been invited, “Come, for everything is ready.” (Luke 14:16-17) They began making excuses. One said; “I have just bought a field and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.” Another said he had just bought five yoke of oxen and needed to try them. Still another said he had just got married and therefore could not make it. (Luke 14:18-20) They invented excuses for their absence at the banquet. And so it is that we make excuse after excuse to have time for ourselves.

Because we waiver unnecessarily, it is difficult for us to make up our minds when faced with a request demanding a prompt decision. We are uncertain which way to go when we hear the call. Otherwise, the call is clear and distinct. Besides, God will not send one on an errand without equipping him. God will not choose to send you if you do not fit the profile to perform the task. We are mere instruments in God’s hands which He would use to accomplish His designs.

Moses did not think much of himself when God appeared to him and gave him an assignment. “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt….And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” (Exodus 4:7; 9-10) Moses had a string of excuses to his lips. “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, “The Lord did not appear to you?” (4.1) “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue. (4:10) To crown it all, Moses in spite of God’s insistence says: “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.” (4:13)

Some of us are like Moses. It would take a lot of coaxing and pampering before we can decide to go on God’s assignment. We never seem to realise it is an emergency. Worst, we fail to see any good in us as God’s choice. Such opportunities that God offers are unique, the reason we must jump to the occasion. It is time we have a changed perspective to be able to play the role required of us. 

When Prophet Jonah heard the call from God, he paid no heed. In fact he was opposed to the whole idea of God coming to the rescue of a pagan nation that was knee-deep in sin. He wanted God to punish them. So Jonah decided to go away from God’s presence by undertaking a voyage. God asked him to go east, he decided to run west. “The word of the Lord came to Jonah the Son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” (Jonah 1:1-2) The account continues thus: “But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.” (verse 3)

The first mistake that Jonah committed was his attempt to run away. Can one run away from God? No! Why? Because God is everywhere. “Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me.” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” (Psalm 139:7-11)

Prophet Jonah never had peace. The ship in which he travelled ran into a storm; he was thrown overboard. He landed in a fish’s belly and the latter vomited him ashore. It was then that he decided to go on God’s assignment.

You will run but you cannot hide. When God calls answer the call INSTANTLY.