Inside every one of us there is a place where only God can go. It's a broken place, because the "image of God" in us is afflicted by sin. But God, with His healing grace, comes to us and fills us with his love. When that love begins to take shape in us, it begins to push out toward others. It becomes, as Jeremiah experienced, like a burning fire, a passion to do God's will. That passion, whether it is to speak or to act, is a call from God.
The heart at left* is the heart of every Christian believer. God renews his image within us, and with that image renewal comes God's call to live for Him.
But because we are are each unique creations of God, God, in his love, gives each one a unique "call." When we discern that individual call, we can live for the Lord in the most joyful and productive way. When we follow that call, we can do more than just live according to other people's expectations and or our limitless hunger for pleasure. We can connect with God's wonderful plan for our lives.
God made each of us unique. We have different bodies and minds. Since conception, we have had varieties of experiences which make for a range of personalities, abilities and disabilities. According to scripture believers are given "spiritual gifts" and those gifts vary from person to person. And, we are all at a certain stage of life depending on age, family role, health, job responsibilities.
Because God knows all of this even better than we ourselves, his call on our lives is always a perfect fit.
The call will determine the major focus of the time of life we are in. Yes, we will do other things as well, but when we know who God created us to be and what God is calling us to do, we will find more joy in obeying our Lord and following him each day.
I believe some of us will discern God's call this fall in a way we haven't done before. I will begin preaching on this topic on Labor Day weekend. For those who desire, I will make a reflection guide available. We'll have a couple of Sunday morning sessions between hours of worship too.
As we get in touch more clearly with God's call, while following God's commands, joy and love will flow even more strongly through our church.
* the "heart" with the "call" from God is a piece of the diagram from the "vision raising" post. What I have written here tonight comes in response to a staff member's comment about whether people will really understand what a "call" is. More on this to come in future posts.