The challenge of walking with the God who knows me
Names changed throughout except in some cases where the person involved has been or is in ministry.
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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
1 Thessalonians 5:24
“The one who calls you is faithful ...”
The Call of God was not something that we were looking for particularly when we were seeking God as to whether or not we should join the Navigators. It was not a theology that I was very familiar with, and so did not see its importance. Jesus on the other hand seemed to think it very important, and so gave us one. His call to us, had two parts.
The first part was also the strongest, and the least expected. I felt a need to spend some extensive time of prayer in the process of this time of decision, so it was that during a night of prayer I read “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced.” (Psalm 40:6 NIV) Now this phraseology might need a bit of explanation. After a Hebrew slave of a Hebrew had been a slave for seven years, he was to be released without payment. If however the slave loved the master, and wished to stay with him for life and the master wished to take him on, then a nail was hammered through his ear into the doorframe. From this point, he and his family were slaves for life. As this passage touched deeply on my heart, it became clear to me that Jesus was asking me if I would consent to being his slave for life. I look back on that night with wonder at Jesus’ gentle request. There was no persuasive argument, no threats, no pressure, just a simple proposal, with the past experience of his love to carry it through.
This was quite a challenge and I really struggled with it for some hours before consenting. What I had to remember was that the loss of liberty, the fact that I would never be able to say “I quit!”, was completely overshadowed by the nature of the one I would be working for: Jesus, who loves us and is so gentle. As he says, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV) How could I fear taking such a step with such a wonderful person as my Lord and saviour Jesus. Yet I did, and it was with much fear and trembling that I explained to Eva the next morning what I had committed us to! Yet the outworking has been a dimension that I completely missed at the time. Jesus took on the commitment of really looking after us. He has been a wonderful master who has taken us into new avenues and new lessons. He has given us opportunities, and he has always been with us. In all our struggles over finances, there has been an assurance that we will not lack. Part of this, I suspect, is because of this commitment that we agreed to while praying about coming on staff.
The second dimension of the call was ‘To Go!’ This came from Genesis 12:1-3 “Now the Lord said to Abram, leave your country, your people, and your father’s household and go to the Land I will show you.’ Many people have a call to a particular location and there they must stay until the Lord takes them out. We on the other hand had a call ‘To Go’. The outworking of this being, that we are never all that stable in any one place. We cannot put our roots down, because in the back of our minds there is this call and the suspicion that the day will come when we will need to go again. And yet we have an assurance that one day we will be planted, and able to root down in England.
THE CALL OF GOD