When I was growing up, I was bombarded with the idea that heeding “God’s call” ONLY means serving Him in “full-time” ministry. This concept was intensified when I entered college. My parents were not in the position to support my education so they searched for Christian funders who are willing to support a pastor’s child who desires to be an optometrist. To our dismay, they were only funding pastors’ children who are entering the Bible seminary to become pastors and Christian workers.  How about those pastors’ kids who desire to be doctors, lawyers, teachers and engineers? That was the question that was haunting me then. But God is so good, He brought Wayfarers Ministries who took the risk and supported my studies… and that was nearly 38 years ago.

    Praise God time has changed a lot of concepts and beliefs in our “Christianese” culture. These ideas are so liberating that heeding God’s call in an exciting adventure of obedience. Let me share with you what I have learned through the process.

    I believe there are three (3) important calls God is summoning each one of us to do.

    The first and initial call is the Call for Salvation. God has called us from darkness into light, from a life of sin to a life of grace, from death into life. Although this call does not cost us anything but this was paid with the precious blood of His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Heeding this call means we are now in a relationship with a loving God, we are no longer slave to sin, we are co-heirs with Jesus and has direct access to the surpassing grace and promises of God Almighty.

    The second is the Call for Surrender.  To surrender means to yield to the power of God, to give up completely and forego of ourselves and to give in to His plans and purpose for our lives. God is calling us to a life of surrender in which His very purpose will be fulfilled in our lives.

    Psalm 139: 13 - 16   “For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

    Jeremiah 29:11 - “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

    The above verses remind us that God personally coded our DNA and wired us according to His design, and take note, He has already written our story before they even came to be.  As we are living in a chromatic world so is His design for each of our very lives. God has a specific vocation/career planned out for you and me, a special purpose personally designed by Him. This will only come to pass when we heed His call for surrender.

    I am always amazed by these great leaders in the Bible:
    ·         Moses – a great revolutionary leader who led the nation of Israel from slavery to freedom. God raised him in the palace of Egypt for this very purpose.
    ·         Joseph – he was a victim of verbal abuse by his family, bullied by his brothers, a victim of human trafficking and a victim of injustice. Yet these painful experiences trained him to be a great Prime Minister of Egypt.
    ·         David – he was the greatest king of the united Israel and known to be a man whole-hearted for God. He was chosen at the age of 17 but waited patiently until he was crowned at the age of 30.
    ·         Daniel – he was an adviser to the kings of Babylon and Persia. His being prayerful and wise made God known among these heathen nations.
    ·         Esther – she became queen of Persia and through her the nation of Israel was saved from total annihilation.   
    ·         Nehemiah – he was the wine taster for the king of Persia and through him the walls of Jerusalem was rebuilt.
    ·         Mary – a simple young woman who obeyed to mother the Savior of the world.
    ·         The Disciples – they were fishermen, doctors, tax collectors, revolutionaries who followed Jesus and turned the world upside down.
    ·         Paul – a committed Pharisee who met Jesus and became a church planter and an evangelist to the Gentiles.

    Each of these great men and women of God had different vocation and purpose, but they all obeyed God’s call for surrender to fulfill His very purpose for their lives which impacted the world they lived in. I still believe this is still true to our time. God calls people to become doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, businessmen and businesswomen, farmers, pastors, engineers and other vocations with one purpose – to share the Good News and to extend His Kingdom.  Every workplace and every business is a mission field.

    The third is the Call for Service.  We are called to serve God through our lives and our professions. We are working for Christ.

    Colossians 3: 23-24 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord , not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

    Ecclesiastes 9:10a “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”  

    Therefore, serving God is 24/7, from Monday to Sunday. Our service to God is not limited to the rituals and ministries we do in church but our service encompasses even the very activities we do in our workplace and in our home.  How we perform our daily tasks reflect how we truly serve our Master. We must not be Sunday Christians only and speak the Christianese lingo. We must be a reflection of Christ in this dying world!   

    I heeded God’s call for salvation when I was 13 years old but I realized that His call for surrender is a decision that I need to make every day. For Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)  As we continue to walk in His intended path for us, we go through circumstances that transform our hearts to be more Christ-like and cause us to serve others; this is our call to service.  

    I once heard from a wise teacher these words, “The most frustrating truth in life is when you lived and died and never knew your purpose.”  In the movie Hugo, I heard this phrase, “People are like machines. If they don’t know their purpose, they are broken.”

    Let us not waste our life just watching time pass by without a purpose, feeling broken. Let us heed God’s call for salvation, call for surrender and His call for service. Then and only then can we say our life has a purpose!



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