Thursday, May 30, 2013
"Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ's compassion for the world is to look out; yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good; and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now." ~Saint Teresa of Avila Lambert and I have often discussed how does one really know if God is calling him to do something. We've all heard people say, "I felt God calling me to do -----." Or "It was a calling from God". I once heard a very wise woman talk about the time she knew God was calling her to share the gospel or witness to a friend. She was in high school and she felt God call her to talk to this boy she knew. She didn't want to do it. She was afraid of rejection or what he might think of her. He was not a believer and God was calling her to tell him about salvation. She was given the opportunity on several occasions and she chose not to approach him. She learned later that next day or week that her friend died. She shared with our church about the pain that comes when one doesn't respond to God's calling and then isn't given another chance. I've found myself in a very similar situation. A couple of months ago a person that I hadn't talked to in about 2 years came to the forefront of my mind and I couldn't stop thinking about her. I didn't know how to reach her and I really didn't want to. But God wouldn't let it rest. I thought about her for several days. I would wake up thinking about her. She was a friend that had chosen a different path. She was troubled from the time I met her about 7 years ago. But I loved her. She was a great person and so much fun to be around. I met her through church but she wasn't a believer. We had great conversations. She was a deep thinker. I was with her when she asked Christ to come in to her life. But then she made some really bad choices and she ventured down a path far from Christ. She was in a very dark place. I reached out to her once but she was too far gone. (or so I thought) She was struggling with depression and addiction and I knew I could not help her. She needed medical help. So the nagging continued and I reached out to someone that I knew would know how to contact her. I learned that she was in a really bad state. At that time she was in a sober place that I could go talk to her and she probably needed a friend. People closest to her were fed up and rightfully so. But I didn't go. I came up with every excuse and rationalized why I shouldn't. Maybe God was dealing with her and I would just get in the way, or maybe she needed tough love right now and I shouldn't interfere. My friend was consuming, and I knew if I went to her I would be consumed. I had my family to think of and my plate was pretty full. I didn't go visit her. The nagging urge in my heart went away and I moved on. I'm going to her funeral this morning. I'm not writing this for me or for support or encouragement. Through this tragedy I feel I know for certain how to tell if it's a calling or just a good deed you feel you should do. I know now what it feels like to get a "Call from God" and now what it feels like not to respond. I don't believe that if I would have reached out to my friend the outcome would be different or I would have saved the day. I do believe that I would have peace that I did what I was called to do. Three things I know for sure about a calling from Christ- (1) Check what you're being called to do with scripture. If it aligns with God's word it's probably really from him. In my case I could have looked at Matthew 18:12 (The parable of the lost sheep) or I could have gone to Galatians 6:2 (carrying each others burdens with compassion and love) (2)A Calling from Christ will probably cost you something- time, effort, money, vulnerability. Look at the Good Samaritan in 10:25-37. (It cost time, money, safety etc) (3) It will probably be uncomfortable- Christ followers aren't called to be comfortable. When God has something for us it usually makes us squirm. We may not feel equipped to do what he's asking. We may be going into uncharted waters that make us feel uneasy. Look at Mary and Joseph, or Abraham or Noah or the host of other common biblical people that accomplished the extraordinary because they obeyed the call... So the answer is yes. I believe a Christian can know for sure if they are being called to do something or if it's just their own desire to do something... Check your motives, check scripture and ask God to open the door and equip you to accomplish what He has for you. I have a heaviness on my chest this morning. I don't believe God "Needs" us/me to carry out His will. I believe He can do what he pleases. He is God. However I believe he gives us opportunity to participate in His will so that we can receive the blessing. I missed it. If I would have reached out to my friend no matter what the outcome I would have peace and rest that comes from obeying God. I haven't posted a lot lately and I've gone back and forth about posting this. I fear judgement from people that read this blog that know and love the person I'm writing about. But I also know that I've had a nagging in my heart to write it... and share it with others. We're called to be transparent with each other and through our failures others can learn and grow. So before I change my mind (again) here it is.