November 2, 2021
“Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him” (Mark 3:13, NIV).
Dr. Ledia Qatipi is a friend of mine. She was born in Albania and has dedicated her life to God’s service in a Christian healthcare clinic there. She is raising two teenage daughters whom she loves dearly, and thus she understands the realities of life. A few months ago, she told me that God had spoken to her and asked her to begin an additional ministry to the Roma of Tirana, most of whom live in open, three-sided shelters and beg for a living. The call was real, and God is blessing the ministry she has begun—on the side, as she works in her clinic and raises her daughters.
God has called all of us to serve Him and share the gospel with our lives and lips.
Sometimes He also speaks to us in special, specific ways to accomplish a new work for Him.
We often speak of a call for lifetime missionaries or pastors or worship leaders. Thank God for the ones we know in these professions who have heard that call and followed, often with great sacrifice.
But God is also calling lay persons, like you and me, to serve Him in special and specific ways. This call may be to another country, to the inner city, to a neighbor who needs Christ or even to nurture another whom He will use for His kingdom. (I received a call last night from an 86-year-old man who taught me how to pray when I was young.)
I suspect that each of us has been called by God at some time in a special, specific way. Sometimes we listen, and sometimes we turn our heads away. Sometimes we are so attuned to the world that we fail to recognize His voice. As Jesus mentioned over and again, we only hear when we have “ears to hear” (Mark 4:23).
As Oswald Chambers put it: “The call of God is like the call of the sea; no one hears it but the one who has the nature of the sea in him.”
Do you wish that God would speak to you? Do you long to hear His call, so your life might be overflowing with meaning, purpose, sacrifice, risk and His presence in ways you have never known? The call of God does not come from our imagining a mission we can do for Him or from a selfish desire to find fulfillment in life. The call of God comes most often from our surrender in the place we presently serve, so we might become like Him in our nature and draw close enough to Him to recognize His whisper, like Ledia, who was pouring herself out in a Christian healthcare clinic when she heard God’s call to help the Roma.
Let me serve you faithfully where I am and develop the ears to hear you when you call.