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Evidences of the Call of God

By Rev Dr Colin Peckham

It might well be said of the preacher's office, 'And no man taketh this honour unto Himself, but he that is called of God' (Heb. 5:4). We cannot elect ourselves to this holy task. No man may intrude into the ministry. If God wants you for His work, He will tell you personally. You will not have to guess, you will know, for He will speak clearly to your soul.

The Constraint of the Spirit

This must not be confused with a sudden impulse, a desire created by fleshy enthusiasm, or a tide of emotion. As one cannot describe the sailor's call to the sea, the fragrance of a flower, or the beauty of a sunset, so one cannot describe the call of God. It is better 'felt than telt'. It may come suddenly (perhaps in a meeting) as with Paul on the Damascus road, or it may develop gradually as the Lord reveals His will.

It is an inwards urge or compulsion wrought by the Holy Spirit. Paul said, 'Necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is me if I preach not the gospel!' He must proclaim ! The message burns within him. He must give expression to the Big compulsion of the Holy Spirit. this constraint comes from God.

If you can be content in any other sphere, stay there! If, however the craving to tell redemption's story becomes so irresistible that you can do nothing else but proclaim, then it is highly probable that you are being separated by God to be an ambassador of the King.

The Call of Human Need

When Jesus gazed upon the harassed and helpless multitudes 'He was moved with compassion on them' (Matt. 9.36).

When we realise the awful condition of lost humanity, the conviction is driven home of the absolute necessity for them to hear the liberating message of salvation.

Whilst the direct call of God is primary and basic it is supplemented by the revelation of the desperate need of humanity. Although the need does not constitute the call, it provides the soul with the opportunity of responding to the call, and thus becomes a part of the whole call of God. the plight of the sinner becomes the prompting of the saint. no one is equipped to preach the gospel who has not felt the tug of compassion for a helpless and doomed mankind.

The Confirmation of Scripture

God speaks through His Word. Only the one who has an appetite for the Word is likely to hear this call. Whilst the heart is open to hear the call of God, He will speak through His Word confirming what He says to the heart by His Spirit. It may, and often does, come in the normal daily reading. Sometimes in a sermon a word from the Scriptures will stand out. Sometimes a verse or a passage of Scripture will suddenly (or gradually) acquire new meaning.

Whilst voices, visions, and impressions may be subject to query, when we stand on the solid Word of God we are on safe ground. It is a rock upon which we may boldly stand. it is an anchor which will hold in the time of storm. What a thrill when the light bursts upon the waiting soul! Oh how humbling the blessed knowledge that God has deigned to speak to one so small with words so great! The words sink into the heart and become part of the waiting and now rejoicing soul. Called! Called of God!

The Consideration of Godly Men and Women

Whilst no-one would presume to dictate to another in this delicate sphere, and whilst even godly men and women have made serious errors of judgement in this realm, it is wise for the one who feels God's call to consult with men and women who walk with God.

Often those who are in touch with the Lord, sense the call of God resting upon the young person and are able to advice him to seek the Lord to fully reveal His will in relation to His service. This, of course, is an additional encouragement to the soul already thrilling at the prospect of going forth at the Master's command.

The Circumstances of God's Design

God opens and closes doors through the circumstances of life. He makes clear His will by the ordering of events.

It is as the providences of God's ordering, the circumstances of life arranged by God, combined with the other factors already mentioned, that we come to recognise the will of God in the cumulative proof of His leading. Were we to take circumstances alone as God's leading we could often be lead astray. However, when we are utterly at God's disposal, the circumstances of life normally confirm what He says to us inwardly giving us additional assurance as to His will for us.

If God calls-What then?

The disciples spent three years with Christ before they plunged into their great task of world evangelism. At Ephesus Paul 'separated the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. And this continued for the space of two years' (Acts 19:9 & 10 RV). He advised Timothy: 'the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also' (II Tim. 2:2).

It would appear, therefor, that a period of training is necessary before you enter into the work to which God has called you, a period when you get to knew the Word of God and the God of the Word.

May God bless you as you seek to knew and do His will.