Pick Up the Phone: God’s Calling on Your Life – Part 3 of 5
9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”
Paul and Silas had never stopped praying on that second missionary journey. Even after so many shut and locked doors. Even when they reached Troas and what appeared to be the end of the line. They kept listening for a specific call of God and eventually they heard it. That is when things got interesting. It is the same for us today… to keep asking and praying and listening always proceeds the most interesting moments in life.
Psychiatrist Gerald May wrote, “There is a desire within each of us, in the deep center of ourselves that we call the heart. We are born with it, it is never completely satisfied, and it never dies. We are often unaware of it, but the desire is always awake.”
Pastor Craig Barnes commenting on May’s quote, said: “When the desire becomes too much, they can try to bury it beneath excessive work, another purchase, or another move to another place. They can try to numb the desire, but that will only lead to addiction. They can even spend most of life trying to tame the desire with respectability and the construction of a good reputation. But the wild desire just keeps breaking out of the closed chambers of the heart in unguarded moments. G. K. Chesterton has called this “the divine discontent” that incessantly reminds us we were created for something else. – Craig Barnes (Searching for Home: Spirituality for Restless Souls, p. 64.)
Blessed is the man or woman that has found that something else! Blessed are those that have discovered their God given calling.
It is interesting that Paul and Silas’ call here comes in the form of an actual call from a specific group of people. Their cries [the Macedonians] became the call of God for Paul and Silas.
David Brainerd who won many thousands of American Indians to Christ, once said, “I cared not where or how I lived, or what hardships I went thru, so that I could but gain souls for Christ. While I was asleep I dreamed of these things, and when I awoke, it was the first thought that I had, the thought of this great work.”
He caught a vision hearing the American Indians crying, “come over here and help us!”
David Livingston, the first man to take the gospel into the heart of Africa, said, “I must open a way to the interior or perish!”
It was do or die…and he caught that vision when he heard the Africans crying, “come over here and help us!”
J. Hudson Taylor, pioneer Missionary to China, said, “I feel as though I cannot live if something is not done for China.” His life came alive when he heard the Chinese cry: “come over here and help us!”
It is one of the saddest things in the world to miss or choose not to hear God and not to hear the call of those who cry for help.
The story has been told of the little church in Germany sited near train tracks that carried Jews to their death. “Each Sunday Morning,” the German man telling the story said, “we could hear the whistle in the distance and then the wheels coming over the tracks. We became disturbed when we heard the cries coming from the train as it passed by. We realized that it was carrying Jews like cattle in the cars!”
“Week after week the whistle would blow. We dreaded to hear the sound of those wheels because we knew that we would hear the cries of the Jews en route to a death camp. Their screams tormented us.”
We knew the time the train was coming and when we heard the whistle blow we began singing hymns. By the time the train came past our church we were singing at the top of our voices. If we heard the screams, we sang more loudly and soon we heard them no more. Years have passed, and no one talks about it much any more; but I still hear that train whistle in my sleep. I can still hear them crying out for help. God forgive all of us who called ourselves Christians, yet did nothing to intervene.”
What cry have you heard and chose to ignore? The cry of the inner city? The cry of Africa? The cry of unwed mothers? The cry of those caught in the sex trafficking trade? The cry of the orphan?
Proverbs 21:13 reminds us: 13 He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered.
How dare we sit in our comfortable church buildings and sing our songs and eat our fill at our potlucks and enjoy our sweet fellowship, and then walk out those church doors deafened to the cries of the world?
Want to better understand your calling? Let their cries become your calling. And then things will start to get interesting.