How to Answer God’s Call

by APC on February 12, 2015

“How to Answer God’s Call” is the second segment in a study of Judges, and focuses on Judges 4, 5, and 6.

Finding the Next

A constant truth in our walk with God is if we follow Him, and respond to the Gospel message, He will display His glory in our life. God has a purpose and a direction for our life once we submit to Him. Too many Christians cannot move into a deeper relationship with God—past spiritual “maintenance” or the beginning of the relationship—to seek out their purpose in the Kingdom. We all should seek after the deep things of God and be asking, What’s next? Seeking the next, is known as finding God’s calling for our life. When we find it, we need to respond.

In Judges, the 12 “heroes” mentioned in Part I of this study were just ordinary people. They were seeking out God’s plan for their life—looking for the next. These judges by far weren’t perfect, and had huge character flaws. However, they all shared two traits that we need to have in our Christian walk: willingness and obedience. They were submissive to God, and He used them.

Romans 8:11 says, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (KJV). We have the Holy Ghost working in us; therefore, what happened in Jesus will happen in us. It is through His Spirit that we will be able to do even greater works for the Kingdom of God (John 1:50).

Many times in Scripture (aside from Judges) we can read how God used people for His work that weren’t “good enough” to do what God asked them to do. We can’t fail to complete a work for God’s Kingdom because we feel that we aren’t “good enough.” God doesn’t call the qualified, but He qualifies the called!

Mightily Used by God

Deborah

We can read the story of Deborah in Judges 4:4–9. She was a prophetess and judged Israel at the time. It is quite significant that a woman would rise to such a rank because culturally, women were valued a little above cattle. People came to Deborah for advice, counseling, and leadership. Deborah was not a trained leader, but God used her. She was less than average, but because she was willing and obedient, she was able to rise up to God’s calling in her life.

Deborah always gave honor and credit where it was due: back to God. She knew it was not by her ability, but God’s ability that she was a successful leader. In realizing her calling, she did not deny her position in culture as a woman and a wife, but she did not allow herself to be hindered by it in doing something for God. She focused on what she could do, and not on what she couldn’t do.

In our walk with God, we need to look to Deborah as an example. We can feel that we are hindered by our cultural circumstances, walk of life, education, etc. But, we need to see what we can accomplish for God were we’re at. If we are willing and obedient, God will meet us where we’re at and help us to rise above it!

Gideon

We can read the story of Gideon starting at Judges 6:11. The angel of the Lord found Gideon hiding under a winepress, and said to him, “The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour” (Judges 6:12, KJV). God was calling him out to use him, but Gideon had many excuses as to why he should go, why he was in his predicament, etc. He told the Lord he was the least in his father’s house (Judges 12:15).

We can all find similarities in our walk with God—feeling that we are inadequate. But, we can’t tell the Lord anything He doesn’t already know about is. We can’t come up with excuses! As God told Gideon, He is telling us the same: Surely I will be with thee (Judges 6:16). God will always be on our side, and will help us through whatever He has called us to do. If we are willing and obedient, we will be successful in our calling.

Qualifications

The book of Judges is not the only place in Scripture where we can read about ordinary people, who answered God’s call, and did mighty things for His Kingdom. In Acts 6 the people identified widows were being neglected, and the disciples decided to appoint church leaders to take care of them. Acts 6:5 shows, “…and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost…” (KJV). Stephen did not have any other qualifications except that he had faith, and was full of the Holy Ghost.

We may not have any extensive credentials to do a work for God. But, if we have faith and have the Holy Ghost working in us, God sees us as a prime candidate to work in His Kingdom. In ourselves, we can accomplish nothing. But through God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).

We may feel that what God calls us to do for the Kingdom isn’t a much sought-after ministry, or that we’re just “filling in a gap.” But, if we’re faithful, willing, and obedient to seek after God’s call, we can have a very powerful ministry. As in the case of Stephen, Scripture tells us, “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people” (Acts 6:8, KJV).

If we don’t activate ourselves in the Kingdom of God, the whole body of Christ suffers. Scripture tells us for the body has many members (I Corinthians 12:12) and we all need to work together for the body to survive. If Stephen didn’t answer God’s call, the sings and wonders God completed through him may not have happened. We need to think about what will be left “undone” in God’s Kingdom if we aren’t willing to be used and answer God’s call.

A Calling with Purpose

God’s glory always has a purpose. The “glory of the Lord” is referenced over 100 times in Scripture and is followed by correction or direction. We cannot find ourselves too infatuated with the “goose bump” feeling of being in God’s presence—His presence has a purpose. After we enter His presence, we need to leave with a direction and take action.

Romans 13:11–12 tells us, “…now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light” (KJV). Jesus is coming back soon for His church. If we knew just how close that time was, we would feel the urgency of doing something for His Kingdom. We need to get into action and seek out God’s purpose for our life.

Answering the Call

When we look at Deborah, it was hard for her to step into a leadership position during a time when men were the primary leaders and women were excluded to housework. It was a stretch for Gideon to step up in a culture where people didn’t serve God. When we answer God’s call, it won’t be easy—if it was easy, it wouldn’t be God’s work! He needs us to depend on Him. God wants us to know the work isn’t by our doing—it is by His anointing, power, and blessing.

If we don’t answer God’s call for our life, He will find someone else who is willing. In the story of Deborah, she prophesied to the warrior Barak that he would defeat his enemy (Sisera). However, because he was hesitant, and didn’t have faith that God would use him, Deborah answered and said, “…the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman” (Judges 4:9, KJV). Because Barak was not willing and obedient and work that God wanted to do in his life was given to another—a woman!

In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14–29, the wicked servant who did nothing with his talent had it taken from him and given to the servant who did something with his talents. Scripture tells us if we don’t do anything, the little that we have will be taken away (Matthew 25:29).

If God is calling us to do a work for His Kingdom, and we refuse to answer, we are sinning against Him. God has commanded us to obey him in full—not in part. James 2:10 says, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (KJV). We need to seek out the Lord through prayer and fasting to determine our calling in His Kingdom. Once we find it, if we are willing and obedient, God will use us to do great things. If we don’t know what our calling is yet, start with the motto “See a need, fill a need.” We will be able to see what becomes of our work for the Kingdom.

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on February 11, 2015