Week Six: ANSWER God’s Call
Do you long to know that your life on earth makes a difference? Even children want to discover their purpose. My husband’s father, the late Dr. Howard Chadwick, served God faithfully as a minister for over seventy years. He used to encourage our three children to search for their life’s calling. “Look around you at the needs you see in the world,” he would tell them. “Then take an honest look at your own gifts and talents. Your calling may be found where those two intersect.”
This week is the final stretch of our 40-Day Challenge. We are focusing on Step Six: ANSWER God’s Call.
We have been training our hearts to hear God’s voice. But friends, here is where I pause. If the wonderful blessings of learning to hear God’s voice, draw near to Him in prayer and claim the promises of His Word extend no further than our own little world, then so what? I am convinced God’s amazing blessings during this prayer journey are so that I will be His hands and feed in this hurting and broken world. I ask myself constantly. Is my life a so what? or a so that?
For meditation and memorization: For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which He prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).
Just think. God has created you, given you an assignment, and hardwired into you the necessary gifts and talents to fulfill your calling. What needs do you see around you? What are your spiritual gifts? Take a minute to review the list of spiritual gifts in Romans 12:4-8.
Assignment: This week, as you finish reading John’s Gospel, I want you to prayerfully read Chapter 10, Lift Up Your Eyes and Look, and Chapter 11, Answer God’s Call in Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars: Learning to Hear the Voice of God, Answer the Personal Reflection Questions on page 192.
Action Step #1: Dare to ask God to break your heart for the things that break His. Where on earth does He need you most? How would He have you pray? What can you give? Where is He calling you to go? Begin with your own family and your next door neighbors.
Action Step #2: Look for needs within your own community. Visit a local school or even a homeless shelter. Become a reading buddy for a child. Perhaps you could go with your small group Bible study and serve together.
Action Step #3: Commit to pray daily for a nation. Learn all you can about the people of that country. Pray for their government. For the Christians, especially if they are being persecuted. Pray for God’s hand of blessing. Research ways to contribute financially to Christian ministries in that country. I list several in the back of my book under “Bonus Feature 5.” Ask God to make the people of that country “come alive” for you and watch what happens.
Several years ago, I began to hear not only God’s whispers but also His roars as He moved me out of my comfortable life and into His hurting world. Just last week I returned from my fourth missions trip to the tiny country of Burundi on the continent of Africa. It all began with a simple prayer: “God, show me who is on Your heart and break my heart for what breaks Yours.” Since that time, our church has partnered with African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministry (ALARM) to serve the people of Burundi.
In Chapter 10, I talk about my introduction to Dr. Celestin Musekura, a Rwandan genocide survivor and ALARM’s founder. I stand amazed to see how a simple journey in prayer brought me face to face with brothers and sisters who had experienced deep suffering and yet remained firm in their faith. These men and women in the most humble of circumstances have become giants of the faith and heroes in my eyes.
Friends, we live in dark times. God has need of you now. There’s just no telling what will happen when you commit to listening to God’s voice and answering His call. Are you ready for an exciting adventure?
Prayer: Lord, I am in awe that You, the God of the Universe, would come to earth in the form of Your Son Jesus. What an amazing thing it is to have Your Holy Spirit to dwell within and speak to me on a daily basis. Make me sensitive to Your voice and courageous to obey. All of my thoughts and actions flow out of my relationship with You. This week, I commit to listening for Your direction. What in the world are You doing God, and how would You have me be part of Your work? How should I pray? What can I give? Where should I go? –Amen.