I remember climbing “Bible Rock” a few years ago. Along the way there was a pretty steep rock and I began to assess it. One of my friends had lagged from his own pace just so that he could be the protective dude that he was. It didn’t take long before he noticed what I was doing and he extended a hand to help me up. I was like, thanks but no, I can do it and with sheer determination, I did manage. His face went red. Years later when I thought of it, I kicked myself because in my ‘pride’, I rejected his helping hand, a gesture of care.
Culture teaches us to be self sufficient, independent, work with our own hands for ourselves (which includes our nuclear families)… Why turn to others when you can do it yourself – so you go all out to get things done YOURSELF. Asking for help is frowned upon, a ‘burden’, laziness etc…. So you look down on those asking for help and you also refrain from doing so for that same reason – “I have my pride”.
Often this very determination of independence, of pride becomes a HUGE obstacle in our walk as a believer! It blocks us from INTER-Dependence, it blocks us from reaching out to one another and blocks us from give and take RELATIONSHIPS. It makes us REJECT one another’s acts of kindness. This ‘value’ or attitude is an antidote of relationships – not only with each other but with God Himself.
We give so many responses to God when He calls us! It’s almost as if we know what’s best, and we know what we can’t and we know what we want – as if we know better than God!
When Moses was asked to step into his calling, Moses gave God a hundred and one excuses why he couldn’t obey. It didn’t matter that God was assuring Moses of Him being there with him. Moses didn’t seem to realise that obviously God knew of his weaknesses and ‘limitations’ – he spelled them out to our Sovereign God. Sounds ridiculous? Well, how often do you and I do that very foolish thing too? I know I have! God says do this and I respond but God…. And then He has to chide me.
In Moses’ case, God got ANGRY and finally asked Aaron the brother of Moses to step in and assist Moses in what Moses was called to do/.
Jonah RAN the opposite direction to what God was calling him to do. Sure, he really could HIDE from God! Well, the running gave us some interesting stuff to read about – all this drama that had to take place – the storm, him being thrown out into the ocean, a big fish swallowing him and finally being spat out too! God got Jonah’s attention and finally after all that drama and time delay, Jonah caved in and surrendered his will to God’s will.
God revealed His plan to Joseph in a vision, a few visions actually. He told that to his family which didn’t sit well with them. The brothers decided to get rid of him and put an end to all this ‘nonsense’ that he was talking about. Joseph didn’t protest, he just surrendered.
Jeremiah protested that he was too young and that he didn’t know how to speak when God called him. How did God respond?
“Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go ..” – Jeremiah 1:7
And then God touched his lips with coal!
Despite Deborah warning Barak, he insisted she went along and sure enough she got the credit for the victory.
Mordecai insisted to the fearful Esther that maybe it was for such a time as this that she was in the palace in the first place, and if she wriggles out God can bring about another way to save the Jews but she and her family would perish. Esther stepped past her fears and did what she had to do – seeing to the deliverance of many.
Mary was afraid when the angel told her that she was to conceive and in her natural analysis asked how that would be given she was a virgin. Then she surrendered despite the ultra conservative culture and all the stigma she would have to face in those days and simply said, “Be it unto me”!
It’s amazing when you look at the different scenarios above. Some hesitated, analysed and obeyed. (Sorry, couldn’t resist writing the observation that the women hesitated but surrendered!) Some others took whatever hardship came along and just kept surrendering and being led by Him. Some refused and God gave alternative people to help fulfil the call. Others hesitated but God simply equipped saying ‘you must’. Some tried to escape but God caught up!
Why did God give alternatives for some and for others make them do what He planned? This has been a pressing question for a while. I guess it’s because God knows each one’s heart inside out. He knows who would be stubborn, who would be hard hearted, who would be fearful but love Him so much that they would press on despite the ups and downs or despite the various hardships!
- What is God calling you to do today?
- How are you responding to His call?
- Are you telling Him that you can’t because of the risks, of the hardships, of your limitations, of your disabilities, of the sacrifices… or are you holding back because you simply don’t want to step out of your comfort zone and endure any sufferings or discomfort or because you want to feed the desires of your flesh or strive with your selfish ambitions?
Well, the question remains then, do you L-O-V-E God? Do you sincerely love God?
Do you believe Jesus Christ left His rightful side next to our Father in Heaven, was born on earth and walked on earth reaching out to people, He shed His innocent blood on the cross with much torture and was raised again so that our sins can be cleansed and our intimacy with the Father could be bridged giving us everlasting life?
Why did Jesus have to have no place to lay His head when He was on earth and walk miles and miles in the desert land, in wilderness, no built roads, no electricity, no technology..?
Do you realise that Jesus agonised in the Garden of Gethsemane knowing all the trauma that was lying ahead of Him? Do you realise that He was distressed and asked the Father to take the cup of suffering away from Him and then yet knowing it was to save you and me that He surrendered to God’s will and said, ‘not MY will but YOURS be done’?
Ok, you do know that 🙂 And you are grateful for His grace? How are you grateful? How much do you love Him?
- What is stopping you from responding to God’s calling on your life today?