Answering the Call

>I’ve never met a leader who’s not had to count the cost of answering the call.

In order to live in the sweet spot of who they are and what God has graced them to be able to do and accomplish, they’ve had to say no to some pretty great opportunities along the way. But had they not said no and stayed in those places and positions of seeming comfort, they would have stagnated and possibly never reached their full potential.

You’ve probably heard it said that the greatest hindrance to best is good enough. I don’t want to settle for good enough. I want God’s best for me. As a result, I have to be prepared to pass up, along the way, some seemingly wonderful opportunities. I have to disappoint some really good people. I might have to settle for less money to experience true freedom. And I have to realize that what one person might see as a dream job may be for me a huge nightmare.

No one who ever left a great legacy ever got there by having a string full of easy decisions. Usually, the most difficult decisions–the make-or-break kind–come down to nuance. It’s about listening to the still, small voice of the Spirit, deep in your gut, to know if it’s a path you should travel or not.

I’ve passed up opportunities in the past that may have netted a greater profit, but when they came I just knew it’s not what God had in the cards for me. And others may have wondered why I didn’t jump on it, but it’s not about others. (Sure, I was created for God and for others so in some sense, my life is lived for others, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.) I’ve come to realize that when I answer the most pure call placed before me, inevitably, there will be other “calls” I cannot take.

The key, I believe, is not regretting the call one answers. If I know, from the start that I’m answering one opportunity at the refusal of all others and that it is right, when the going gets tough and the climb up the mountain of transformation and fulfillment is taxing, I’m less likely to regret my initial decision.

When I chose to marry my husband, for example, I knew it was right. That’s why I married him. It does no good for me to wonder why, regret I ever saw his face, and lament him being the father of our children rather than another. I go back to square one: he was right for me; he still is right for me. Sometimes I just have to remember the right call I answered and the wrong ones I passed up. No regrets.

The course of life, however, sometimes tricks us into doubting. Sometimes we let life control us and we have good cause to doubt. We don’t pray about the course our lives should take. We don’t stop and study the nuances, and before we know it, we’re doing things we don’t want to be doing and we don’t know even know why we’re doing them. We wake up and forget what makes us excited, what makes us sing and dance and clap our hands. We’ve lost our understanding of ourselves. We couldn’t recognize our most perfect call if it was handed to us on a silver platter by God himself wearing a bow tie.

But it’s never too late. Each day brings its own blessings. Each day is full of new promise. Each day God showers His grace fresh and new so that we might answer the call. He promises to meet with us if we will wait on Him. Ultimately, He’s always the one at the end of the line waiting to stir us, surprise us, and guide us. He may not have a bow tie, but He is there nonetheless.

We might not recognize the correct call right away. We might not see God where we would want. Like I said, life has a way of getting us off track if we allow it. And depending how long we’ve answered the wrong calls, it could take a while to get to a place where we can see clearly and listen intently. But we must choose what kinds of calls we will respond to.

In answering His call, I’ve found many other calls in my life waiting or dead at the end. I’ve chosen to forsake all others that I might pursue Him. Some find this ridiculous. Some find it “simple” and ignorant. But I get to enjoy an intimate life with Him that would not be possible if others were included in the mix–just like my relationship with my husband.

I want to be a leader in my generation for the Lord. I’m willing to make tough decisions (at least to me) in order that I can make Him look good. Yes, I mess up a lot and make Him look foolish for loving me, but He loves me anyway and is big enough to handle my flubs. His love is not based on my perfection. His goodness is not based on my performance. He’s there, with arms open wide, waiting for me to respond.

What is your “call?” Who is calling you and who will you answer? Do you have regrets that need overcoming? Do you need to purpose today to make some difficult decisions you’ve been putting off? Do you need to bow your head and heart before the Creator to hear what He has to say about the way He wants you to go? Do you need to hang up some things in your life in order to be in the sweet spot of God’s grace?

What are you waiting for? Answer the Call.


One Response to “Answering the Call”
  1. Judy says:

    yes, yes, and yes. oh, yep to that one too. Wow, I must have had my phone off the hook for a long time.. I need to figure out what kind of "eggs" I like.. You know, that movie…. anyway, I will listen.. God please call, show me how to answer!

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