How to Respond to the Call of God / by Ryan Cole

Have you ever been in a crowded room and tried to answer a phone call? Maybe you tried to answer but couldn’t hear the person talking on the other end because of the noise in the room and you ended up misunderstanding what they wanted to tell you…or maybe you just hung up determined to call them back later…the problem is that they just keep calling.

Its easy to look at our phones now a days and hit the big red “end” button on our phones when someone calls…especially if where we were at was more than just a crowded room…maybe it was a party with music and games and the thought of leaving the people and entertainment in that room outweighs your desire to answer the call…. A lot of people respond this same way when they hear the call of God... What do you do?

Revelation 3:20 (Jesus Talking)

20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

 

“I will come in to him”---I thought I read it wrong but even in the Greek this phrase here means a type of possession. But here it more specifically means that God will be your food…your source of life. To those who invite him in...he will literally sustain you.

When you dine with HIM you are not just eating any kind of food…you are literally taking in his nature and his goodness. Then you become infused with his DNA. This is where you will desire what God desires above everything else.

Jesus even said that, “if you do not eat of my flesh, and drink of my blood you have no life in you.” He’s not talking about cannibalism …but what he is talking about is your dependence on him. That you would so long for him that it would outweigh even your desire for natural food and drink!

1. The first thing you need to understand about a calling is that it comes from God, who is your Father.

 Your calling is articulated by Jesus who himself had to heed and obey a calling that was on his life. A Father gives identity and he is the one who establishes your spiritual DNA. Your calling is a part of who you are inherently. It’s in you to accomplish it…. you have the abilities and the anointing from God! God places his mark upon you and you are called his own.

The calling that I am talking about goes beyond the calling to accept the free gift of salvation, I’m talking about the calling to take up your cross and follow him. Your cross is your calling and it never goes away.

He longs for us in the scripture to open the door…

A door represents an opportunity. The thing is that it’s not about him giving you an opportunity to do something great…it’s about you giving Him the opportunity to do something great in you! It’s not about what we can do; it’s about how much we are going to let him do!

The instruction on how to respond to the calling of God is clearly defined here in Revelations

        ---to HEAR, REPENT, and RESPOND.

In other words God is calling you to LISTEN, to POSITION YOURSELF, and to OBEY.

It sounds simple but requires loving God more than stuff.

2. There is a cost to the calling.

This is the next thing that this chapter in Revelation teaches us.

Your calling requires a letting go of good to attain great. It’s not that God doesn’t want you to be blessed, but we have gotten it twisted when it comes to really understanding God’s blessing…because being blessed means that God has chosen to use you as his vessel…and in that…He desires that you would be more obsessed about his presence and fulfilling his will than you would be about having the latest and the greatest… “thing.”

That’s why I believe the rich man who asked Jesus “what must I do to inherit eternal life” was so perplexed by Jesus’ response. Jesus told him he would have to sell everything he had...and then follow him. It’s not that God doesn’t want us to be blessed financially…but are you willing to give up everything for the sake of the calling to follow Christ? And maybe it’s not about money…maybe it’s a set of friends…maybe it’s a job…maybe it’s your comfort zone…maybe it’s the thought of losing everything that scares you so much. But you have to believe that everything that you give up for the sake of the calling is returned to you in a greater level of glory!

Listen, every calling has a cost but the reward of obedience is far greater than any thing you may give up along the way. What you desire to keep are temporary things anyways…but what God longs to give you in return is eternal! His presence is more valuable than anything in the world!

That was exactly the state of the church that God was speaking to in the book of Revelation. Lets go back a few scriptures before…

Revelation 3:15-19 (NIV)

“To the Church in Laodicea I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.

What we can see here is that those who refuse the calling of God (the knocking at the door), they become lukewarm in their faith, their prayer life, and in their overall pursuit of God. And what Jesus is saying is that what you have earned in this life will never be enough to buy what you really need…. because you can’t buy eternal life…

Have you determined within yourself that what you have right now is too precious to give up for the sake of the call? Have you given up eternity for the temporary desires of your flesh? When will it be enough? When will you have enough stuff? Will you ever be satisfied?

What happened to the burning desire on the inside of you to see a move of God? Have you forgotten the promises of God, that he would bring a great outpouring of his spirit upon you? Do you not remember fasting and praying for a move of God and now that the move of God is at your front door you ignore the knocking.

3. The call of God brings Personal Conviction.---Repent

We have failed to realize that to refuse the calling of God is to sin. It’s not the sin of commission, or the "what you did" type of sin. Instead, it’s the sin of omission, where you failed to do that God asked you to do.

Vs 19 said “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.”

As you ignore the calling of God, the voice of God becomes more and more saturated in the other voices that you are responding to. Where there is the sin of omission, the sin of commission is inevitable.

The more you disobey the voice of God and his calling you become more desensitized to the things of this world. It’s not long before your standards will be lowered and you will end up committing a sin of your flesh. Then you are left wondering why! Why did I do what I know is wrong? It’s because you have failed to listen when God is directing you.

To Repent is to Reposition. It means to change the way that you think so that you can be in the position at all times to be used by God.

I find it interesting that the bible speaks of another knock at the door of our lives...

Genesis 4:7 God says to Cain (the first murderer) “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

So we have both sin and Jesus knocking at the door of our lives and the choice is yours as to who will you respond to every day!

There are 2 callings going on simultaneously…Until you close the door to sin, you will not be able to fully articulate the calling of God.

So you’ve Listened….Repent…and Finally God calls you to Respond!

You have to being putting action behind the calling. You have to get with God and start building a strategy to fulfill that calling…

When it comes to the instruction from God...Most people say to themselves…Is this God’s calling or am I going crazy? If you’ve said that to your self...chances are, you’ve probably been hearing the call.

You know it’s the calling of God that you need to respond to because:

4.     The calling not only comes from God but comes from the cry of the people God is calling you to.

Moses… can you hear the cry of my people?

Face it; the calling of God requires action! The purpose of the calling is not just to hear but also to DO! And Just like being in a crowded room and trying to answer a phone call… To clearly hear the calling you have to get in alone in a quiet place of worship. You have to posture yourself to listen to the voice of God without distraction. This requires fasting, this requires prayer. You may even be called to the people around you making all the noise and creating distractions…but…you have to get alone with God to be able to hear his instructions!

5.     God calls you out from among the crowd…

He will call you away from among the mediocre…away from the lukewarm so that you can actually make an impact. God says, "Come out from among them my people!" You will never be able to impact those around you by being just like them…

Some of you have heard the call of God and you know that he has placed his mark upon you but you have ignored that calling and have been distracted by so many other things.

6. The calling doesn’t go away and You can’t lose the call of God.

I have learned that you can't lose the call of God but you can loose sight of it. A minister by the name of David Hernandez says this well in his sermons on the call of God.

Many feel like it’s too late to fulfill the calling of God upon your life because they feel like they missed their window. There is a window of timing upon the call of God over you life…but you have your entire life to fulfill it. Assignments are time sensitive but the calling of God is upon you your entire life, and God does not change his mind about you.

Romans 11:29 says the gifts and calling of God are without repentance…meaning that he’s not going to take it away from you once he gives it. He doesn’t change his mind about you!

 

God is calling you….

1. Will you listen (posture)

2. Will you Repent (position your self & get rid of the sin)

3. Will you respond? (will you obey?)

You can run from the call of God but you can never out run the call of God. The more you resist the more it will resonate within you! There is peace when you surrender to the purpose and plan that God has for you life! SURRENDER ALL TODAY!

-Pastor Ryan