Responding to God’s call is not one of those easy tasks as we see in the scripture. We have so many reasons why we cannot respond to God in the manner he desires despite the assurance he gives us. In the Bible, we have Moses who gives every manner of an excuse as to why he cannot go to free the Israelites. The call drove Jonah on his flight to Tarshish. To Jeremiah, the case was not different. He felt he was too young for the call.
The New Testament is not short of similar invites from God but likewise declined. Jesus gives the parable of the banquet in Matthew 22:1-14. He compared the kingdom of God with a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He invited many people, but they all refused to attend, giving excuse why they couldn’t. God has been inviting us to his kingdom. Many of us are so busy with other things that God’s kingdom is no longer a priority.
We only need God and run to him when it is convenient for us. Many are in salvation out of convenience instead of conviction. Jesus contrasts the little children’s response to God’s invitation into his kingdom with the rich young man’s response (Mark 10:13-25). Jesus says that whoever does not receive God’s kingdom like little children shall not enter it (Mark 10:15). How do we go about responding to God’s call?
REMINDER: GOD IS STILL REACHING OUT
We have hardened our hearts and not ready to accept God’s call. Our God loves us so much and has given us many years to live and have a chance to respond to him. All the years, you have are a sign of God’s Grace in manifestation. Some have been given 50years of Grace and have misused them in the temporary pleasures of the world. For fifty years, someone has never seen the need of trying God in their lives. They have tried drugs, some sexual immorality; still, others have been obsessed with seeking money, and regardless of realization that all this never satisfies the heart of a man, they still choose to harden their hearts from God’s call. We encourage preachers not to ignore making a call for a response after every Sermon they preach. God has chosen to use human beings to represent him and be his mouthpiece.
ENGAGE: REACH OUT TO GOD ALSO
God has given us platforms we can engage him. We have spiritual disciplines through which we can meet God as he reaches out. These disciplines include prayer, fasting, reading God’s word, fellowship, listening to gospel music, serving in church etc. God desires that we commune with him through the above means. Our God is approachable and understands us. He is self-sufficient while our lives depend on him. We cannot ignore him as much as we would want to. We may ignore reaching out to him, and yer he is still gracious. But in judgment, you shall not ignore him like you did when you had time to repent.
SURRENDER: SURRENDER YOUR WILL TO GOD’S WILL
Surrendering our will to God’s will reminds me of Jesus prayer in Luke 22:42. Many times we have thought God’s will is something against what we need. We are quick to reject God’s will for us, which leads us to fighting battles God never intended for us to fight. We most of the times, lose battles also that God desired us to win. It happens when we ignore God’s will for us and instead decide to be on our own and do as we wish. We should aim to reach that level of being dead to self and alive in Christ.
PURPOSE: SEEKS TO KNOW GOD’S PURPOSE FOR YOU
GOD’s purpose is the key to peace and happiness. Purpose refers to the reason for existence. Knowing your purpose from your creator and the plan he has for you will help you remain on course. The Holy Spirit is very much willing to guide you to understand the reason for your existence. There must be a willingness to adjust to God’s purpose in case you are not there yet. His purpose for you determines your career path, and this has turned my life around.
When others think like employees, one who pursues God’s purpose develops an employer’s mentality. While others cry because of being turned down during interviews; those who know their purpose leave the interview room with the mind that God is still in control and not your credentials. I emphasize that you seek the reason why God created you and fulfil that purpose.
OBEY: DO WHAT GOD ASKS
Acting in line with God’s word is our humble response to him. We cannot merely listen to the word and continue living like we have been doing. It will be deceiving ourselves. We have to do what God asks us to do. Our obedience is an act of acknowledging God’s sovereign rule on earth and our lives. Consider the many sermons you have heard for all the years you have been in salvation. If only you had practised those sermons, your life could have been very different now.
Many Christians have made God sound like a liar due to their failure to obey God’s word. We want every promise fulfilled without commitment on our part. The covenant we have with God cuts two ways. We have to submit to him and hate what he hates. We cannot live in sin and still expect our prayers to be heard (Isaiah 59:2). Proverbs 28:9 says that whoever turns a deaf ear to the law even his prayers are detestable.
NEED: TRUST GOD FOR YOUR NEEDS
Some of the things that have made most of us difficult to respond to God’s call for our lives are basic needs. Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:25-34 gives us many reasons why we should not worry about what to eat, to drink or to wear. He has promised to take care of all that once we align our priorities to fit his plans. He desires that we seek first his kingdom. Don’t let your daily needs to affect how you respond to God.
DEVELOP: Develop the right attitude towards God
Our attitude towards anything is very critical. Attitude refers to a settled way of thinking or feeling about something. If we think negative of God and his commands, it will affect how we respond to him. If we believe that God has plans for good and not evil, then it is easy for us to adjust to what he demands of us.
To respond to God’s call in the manner that God desires, apply the words given above from the term RESPOND. We cannot reach out to God when we need him while frequently resisting his plan, desire, and purpose for us. We have to reach the point of total surrender and trust God with our needs as well. Anything that can hinder us from responding to God should be dealt with once and for all.