The Danger of Not Listening to the Call of God
Updated: Oct 1, 2022
In this article, I will discuss the danger of not listening to the call of God in your life.
I. God’s Call was Proceeded by Chaos
II. Encounters with God as a Youth
III. God’s Call Seems Weird to Others
IV. God’s Plan Isn’t Your Plan
God’s Call Was Proceeded by Chaos
God tugs at our hearts and spirits and too often, we ignore Him. Some people call it “their conscience speaking” while others claim “something told me to…”
However, you frame this, such warnings and encouragement should be heeded at the moment given. When God calls you, listen because it is the most life changing communication one can have.
Here is one of the most well-known calls of God EVER:
I received just such a call and my life has never been the same. Now, admittedly, it was much less dramatic and historic, but all the same.
Before arriving at a point where I was ready to receive salvation, my life was a series of chaotic events. I am not sure if the chaos was simply me existing in my childhood comfort zone or something worse.
I was that kid in elementary school who was always being disciplined, removed from school, and eventually expelled. Life in foster care will do that to a child.
Here are statistics about foster care and child behavior:
Yet there were some things even I knew at an early age.
Encounters With God as a Youth
The Name of Jesus had been preached to me in a Missionary Baptist Church which we attended weekly. My foster mother was a founding member of a new church which I Pastor today.
This church was always lively, exciting mostly, and quite interesting.
Nevertheless, and having abandoned my siblings and I a few decades earlier, my birth mother reappeared. One of the beautiful things about a birth parent re-appearing is they tend to fill in ‘blanks.’
Mother shared many things which provided more ‘Ah ha’ moments in our first meeting.
One item stuck out above every other. She shared that when I was in first grade, I stood up in a classroom to defend a classmate the teacher had been 'mean' to.
Apparently, being combative was ‘baked into the cake’ of my personality from the beginning! I have known that ‘justice’ was an important concept to me even when I was a kid.
There was/is just something about people being treated unfairly that compelled me to speak out. Most often, however, I was the one being unfairly treated so I got into lots of fights.
Again, this caused me to be suspended from school(s) on multiple occasions.
In fifth grade, I was assigned to a smaller classroom for kids with behavioral issues. Something chaotic was always going on there. It would be accurate to describe it as a gladiatorial event.
Eventually, I would learn to behave and was rewarded with re-entry back into a general education environment from special education behavior disorder.
That time proved invaluable because it formed who I am today. Perhaps “forming” is not entirely accurate. It is more appropriate to say “drawing out of me what was already present.”
That becomes important because God doesn’t call you to a life’s work you weren’t born to do. Remember what He told Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the belly I knew and ordained you a Prophet.”
Is Jeremiah more special to God than you? HARDLY!
God’s Call Seems Weird to Others
For most my life, I was an outsider of sorts. I was the weird kid who hung around with other weird kids.
Being a part of the ‘in crowd’ was just not going to happen for me.
Eventually, and having nowhere else to go during the ‘age out’ process of foster care, I enlisted in the military. I learned the physical skills of a warrior. Further, I finally was trained to not respond to emotional stimuli. This was a life changer!
Something interesting was occurring during this time with decades of hindsight.
That which God had given me naturally (warrior ethos), was being refined for the hour of His calling.
There was a Prophet being fashioned for his Master’s use! Remember my natural distaste for injustice? As it turns out, the zeal of a Prophet is triggered by both jealousy for God’s Glory and INJUSTICE!
There is a quirk, personality trait, or ‘thing’ God created you with. You’ve had it from birth and no one else understands. No matter the cost, embrace it! Shame is a powerful tool keeping us from all God has called us to.
We so desperately attempt to "fit in" that we end up "outside" of God's Will. Worse, we pretend to be something in the Kingdom we are not. This is an epidemic in church leadership with some trying to be church Preachers and God never called them to it!
To neglect so great a ‘quirk,’ you are neglecting God and questioning His creative wisdom.
When the Lord set me apart for his service, sure, He washed me clean of my most lethal enemy: sin. However, He never desired I change the basics of the warrior ethos.
Put more simply: that same warrior spirit which almost destroyed me as a child, was the greatest asset I possessed.
There is much truth to the statement: “one’s greatest strengths can also be one’s greatest weakness.”
God’s Plan Isn’t Your Plan
This leads to a moment of transparency, and the reason for this article. I did not, initially, understand God’s plan.
He would place me, in the right season, into a Pastorate knowing who I was/am.
Why would God put a battle ax bearing, sword swinging warrior into the office more fit for spirit of a lamb? I will not patronize you by suggesting that God has revealed His entire purpose for me being a Pastor.
However, one reason became clear: there was something God desired I see before I could fulfill the purpose of my calling. In the last article, I pointed out when I became a new Pastor, other church leaders advised me to watch God’s sheep for signs of rebellion against leadership.
I heard “Pastor — you better watch them (sheep)” more times than I can count.
As it turns out, it was not the sheep which required the highest level(s) of examination. It was those who had conveyed warnings of treachery in the pews to me.
Another reason God positioned me was not so that I could become ‘one of them,’ their social circles, their rampant selfishness, and entitlement.
His Will was much more expansive — “learn to watch those who told you to watch others.”
I am now positioned, like Ezekiel peering through a hole in the temple wall at corrupt priests, to see what God wanted me to.
Further, as a church Pastor, I was given the platform and credibility to be heard!
Let me be clear: I am not one of these ‘rogue’ operators who make blanket statements about ALL church leaders. Such self-righteousness is sickening!
Too many make blanket statements casting the entirety of leadership into a place of disrepute.
For instance, and in the ministry, God assigned me, I have often heard statements which begin like “you can’t trust all of these preachers.” Nothing could be further from true.
As God told Elijah after he ran away from Mount Carmel under a death threat from Jezebel, there are always others who have not sold out His righteousness.
Unfortunately, the number of repentantly righteous Pastors are shockingly small. Due to this — I have withdrawn until true reconciliation begins.
I can hear the self-righteous — “you are not supposed to judge” crowd right now! Nevertheless, and as stated in a previous article this is false doctrine. This FALSE doctrine has been destroyed, by the Word of God.
I bared my soul to you in this article for one purpose: that you understand you have a ‘calling’ as well. It may not be the same as mine but it is there, nonetheless. Being who God called you to be takes spiritual courage.
When you pray to God, ask Him to remind you of what you already know. Most of all, walk boldly in what He reveals to you and be not afraid.
You are already equipped with the “sword” you need to accomplish His purposes. Will you withdraw it from its sheath and swing it?
Header Image Courtesy of Victoria_rt @ Pixabay
Bible Image Courtesy of BibleGateway
Foster Care Image Courtesy of Zima, B @ LinkSpringer