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God’s call is like ghosts clamoring

Does God have a dream for your life, and if so, what is it?   Some people say his dream is a "call to ministry." But that phrase can sound too formal, as though ministry were some kind of a career choice.   What God is after as he calls to a man or a woman t…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Does God have a dream for your life, and if so, what is it?
 
Some people say his dream is a "call to ministry." But that phrase can sound too formal, as though ministry were some kind of a career choice.
 
What God is after as he calls to a man or a woman to ministry is more of a dance or a conversation. His dream for our lives is that we intertwine with him. Jesus calls it "abiding." It involves a give and take about his heart for those who are in pain and trapped like maybe you felt you were.
 
The call of God usually comes as a result of the call of man – God loves to respond to those seeking him. Isaiah responded to such a call and became God's mouthpiece. 
 
He tells Isaiah, "Call on him while he is near…Then you will call, and the Lord will answer."
 
This interplay of the call of man and the call of God is woven throughout Isaiah 58. It points to his desire for relationship – to a process of give and take.
 
Frederick Buechner is poetic on the subject of answering a call to ministry:
 
"It was a sickening of the heart at the sight of misery. It was a clamoring of ghosts. It was a name which, when I wrote it out in a dream, I knew was a name worth dying for even if I was not brave enough to do the dying myself and could not even name the name for sure. Come unto me, all ye who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you a high and driving peace. I will condemn you to death. 
 
The call of God, like all dreams, is a fragile thing. It can exist in the realm of the mind for years, never seeing the light of day. 
 
The call of God can be like a flickering wick that is easily snuffed by well-meaning critics. 
 
It can move from being just an idea that you think about to a vision that eventually takes root in the heart. You nurture it with hope and people who care about you can fertilize with encouragement.
 
And because the call of God will always involve touching the world's pain, every time you brush up against that pain you will find yourself reminded of just how fragile God's dream for your life is.

Comments (2)

  • O yes Seth, could not agree more about “the call of God will always involve touching the world’s pain, every time you brush up against that pain you will find yourself reminded of just how fragile God’s dream for your life is.”

    How inadequate and ill equipped I feel because my calling is about restoration. How I know the depth of pain individuals might have to go through before the restoration. The mucky waters they might have to wade through.

    Fragile indeed is my call.

    I know God is with me and will be worth me.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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