“We are called to preach the Gospel.”
“We are called to love everyone.”
“We are called to worship the Lord.”
“We are called to make war on the devil.”
We’ve all heard those at some point or another, right? We’ve all been told how we have to find our calling – what Jesus really wants us to do. Or, we’ve been told that all human beings have the same calling, usually one of the four above.
In fact, we’ve been told so many things by so many different people from so many different walks of life that many of us just don’t know what to think or believe anymore. Some say the Bible is the centre of our faith, some say it’s not; some say God used evolution to make the world, some say He didn’t; some say complete holiness and good works is essential to be saved, some say they’re not. Some say everything in the Bible is true, some say it isn’t. Some say we still speak with tongues when baptised with the Holy Ghost; some say we don’t. And so Christianity shattered into a million pieces, with thousands of different denominations scattered across the world, each clinging to its own piece of Scripture and shouting its own beliefs.
It’s enough to give anybody a headache.
And when we’re so busy listening to what everybody’s telling us, to this devotional and that Scripture and this video and that preacher and this evangelist and that movie, it’s all so easy to completely lose the sound of God’s still small voice inside of us.
We don’t all have to do things the same way. Luke 9:49-50:
49 And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.
50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.
So when we get caught up in debates and arguments with our fellow believers, perhaps we need to stop and think for a moment. Both of us believe in the same God. Why on Earth are we squabbling like Tweedledee and Tweedledum over a rattle? A fine example we’re making to the rest of the world. We Christians can’t even get along with each other – what happened to being “called to love everyone”?
If a guy walks up to you and says that he doesn’t need to read the Bible to know Jesus, don’t just spit fire at him because you do. Different doesn’t mean better or worse. Our faith is a simple and beautiful thing, and we don’t have to keep fighting over details.
We all believe in God the Father, Whose Son, Jesus Christ, died to pay for our sins and lives again that we might have eternal life, and in the Holy Spirit Who dwells in us. We agree on that, yes? Catholics, Protestants, charismatics, Orthodox, non-denominational churches, non-churchgoing believers? All agreed? Good. We’re all Christians. Why are we fighting so much over the details?
I’m just as guilty as everybody else. When a girl flaunts her singleness as if it’s the ultimate goal, it goes right up my nose. She says she follows God before everyone else; I say that there is no better way to follow Him than to love one of His children. I can get quite fired up about that and before you know it we’re screaming at one another. Is that really what Jesus wants? What happened to turning the other cheek?
Oh, but we’re supposed to defend our faith, right? Do you really think Jehovah, God, the One who made the whole world, who could blow us all away with a sneeze, needs you, a puny human, to defend Him from another puny human?
I don’t like to hear the Name of God blasphemed any more than you do, by believer or unbeliever. Jesus, after all, threw the moneychangers out of the temple and in so doing scared the freaking socks off them. Sometimes people need a good scare to respect something. But we really need to cut this fighting stuff out, whether it’s with one another or with members of different faiths or of no faith at all. Just because that person is called to preach the Gospel to all the nations doesn’t mean you are. Just because this person is called to fight Satan every single day doesn’t mean you are. Just because this person is called to wallow through blood and excrement to pull dying homeless people out of gutters doesn’t mean you are. And it doesn’t make any of those noble callings any less noble.
Jesus didn’t tell Paul to lead people on an exodus, and He didn’t tell Moses to preach to the Gentiles. He didn’t tell Elijah to sacrifice his own son and He didn’t tell Isaac to call fire down from heaven. Jesus tells everyone what He wants them to do, in His own way, at His own time, and He tailors His approach to different people.
Is it so hard to live with the fact that we are not all the same, nor can we all be expected to serve Him the same way? That all teaching does not apply equally to all of us? Each of us has our own individual calling, our own way of worshipping, that God designed exactly and specifically for us. Don’t let fellow believers or anybody else try to take that wondrous, unique thing away from you.
In fact, what if we didn’t feel like we just have to do, do, do, do, do all the time to make Him happy? He doesn’t need us to do stuff for Him. He can do everything for Himself. He chooses to give us things to do, but that doesn’t define our worth. What does? Just being. He made us. That should be a good enough reason to exist.
Maybe we shouldn’t focus so much on being called to do stuff. Maybe we should focus on those callings that we forget about so easily, those callings that apply to every single one of us. Maybe we should be rejoicing over the great, universal callings instead of fighting over the unique ones.
We are all called to the promise of an eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9:15). We are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation that has been called out of darkness, called to marvellous light (1 Peter 2:9). We all called to inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3:9b). We are all called unto His eternal glory (1 Peter 5:10). We are all called the sons of God (1 John 3:1).
And, no matter how much we want to squabble over what this or that Bible verse means, it is written:
8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing. (1 Peter 3:8-9a).
Are you called to preach? To serve? To convert? To worship? God only knows, and only He can tell you. But He promises you this: You are called to a mighty eternal inheritance, to marvellous light.