Try to imagine yourself in this scenario:
Your telephone rings, and you see who it is that is calling – but you decide not to answer it. As you continue your daily routine, the same phone rings with the same caller. Once again, you decide to ignore it because you are too preoccupied with other tasks in life. Just as you are drifting off to sleep for the night, your phone rings again and at this point you decide to turn your smartphone off because you can’t be disturbed as you fall asleep. You feel annoyed, and yet there is a tug in your heart because you recognize the caller, but your priorities are aligned around your own life instead of answering the call.
The truth is, there are millions every day who are called by God to accomplish His purposes, and yet His calling is ignored. Whether it be due to a blatant rejection, deciding not to make the time to answer or being so engrossed in one’s own activities, there are many who do not answer the call of God. In Matthew 22, Jesus teaches by using the “Parable of the Wedding Feast.” In this parable, Jesus shows us an example of those who are invited to a wedding feast but they do not accept the invitation.
Verses 1-3 says:
(NIV) “Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.”
As you can see, in the beginning of what Jesus was teaching, there was a refusal to come on behalf of those who were invited. Notice what Jesus says as he continues:
(NIV) “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’ “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business.”
So, in this parable, there are those who did not heed the call or the invitation because they were too busy. However, in verses 4-5, there is the element of preparation that is offered to those invited. Basically, the King’s servant was given the task to tell those invited that they would be recipients of the various types of food to be consumed. Yet, those who were called to the wedding refused because they were too busy or nonchalant about the invitation.
This is how humanity has and continues to treat God. Many are offered the opportunity to answer the call of salvation and even the call into His purposes, and yet they do not answer the call. Jesus says in verse 14 of that passage, “For many are invited, but few are chosen.” This means that the invitation is to the masses, but yet there will be few that are selected based on their choice to heed the call.
One of the things that satan does not want you and I to come to the knowledge of is the plan and even the blessings that God has made available to us. Just as the parable mentions, those who were invited had access to all of the food already prepared for them. God has a plan for your life, and His plan is one that is good and not one of destruction. He has already prepared your purpose and even the impact that you can have on others.
However, if we as humans decide to reject God’s calling, then we are unable to participate in the wonderful things that God has in store for us. Another example of God’s calling is that of Samuel. In 1 Samuel chapter 3, there is an account of the calling of Samuel by God Himself.
In verse 1 it says, (NIV) “The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.” Verses 2-5 says,
“One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.”
In verses 6-9, the Lord calls Samuel 2 more times, in which in verse 10, Samuel finally responds to the calling. It is important to note that Samuel was very young, and he had not yet known the Lord enough to recognize or accept God’s calling. So, it suggests that sometimes a lack of spiritual maturity and the willingness to listen intently is also a reason why many do not accept the calling of God. However, with Samuel, he was under the guidance of Eli who showed him the essence of hearing the Lord’s voice. The story of Samuel is an important example of God’s calling because throughout Samuel’s life he was used as a prophet, a judge, and a priest. He was used mightily to speak to the nation’s and to various leaders about God’s warnings and even sinfulness throughout the lands.
Just as Samuel accepted the call, you and I have an opportunity to accept the call of God upon our lives. Truthfully, every human being is called by God to do something extraordinary in His Kingdom. The first calling, however, is to be called out of the darkness as 1 Peter 2:9 says. There must be a separation between who we are in our sinful nature, and who we will be once we receive salvation through Jesus Christ. Once we are called into the light, then we are called into the “Great Commission” as Matthew 28: 16-20 outlines. The Great Commission involves reaching all of humanity for the sake of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
It is also important to note that God also calls each individual for specialized purposes. This means that you and I have been given gifts that God can use to build His Kingdom and to reach those who are lost in their sin. Certain passions and gifting’s that you possess have been given on loan by God, for you to give glory unto God, and to enhance the lives of others. We aren’t just called out of our sin to exist, but we are called to make an impact in history and in this dark world.
If you haven’t accepted God’s calling either into salvation or your purpose, then you have an opportunity. Everyday, God is calling, but it is up to each individual to answer. He has so many things to show you and to do through your life. However, you must answer the beckoning of God. There won’t be any peace until you surrender and accept the call upon your life. Will you answer God’s call?