There’s an old story about a young farmer down in the Bootheel of Missouri who’s plowing his field one Spring. He’s kinda discouraged with farming. He tried growing cotton and didn’t do very well. Soy beans weren’t any better. And rice was a total failure.
He’s wondering what he ought to do with the rest of his life. As he steers his tractor up one row and down another, he utters a fervent prayer to God: “Lord, if you have a plan for my life, please send me a sign, and I will obey.”
Just then, the farmer looks up and sees the clouds in the sky rearranging themselves to form the letters “P.C.”
“Preach Christ,” exclaims the farmer. “Of course!”
Coincidentally, the little church where he attends is looking for a new preacher. So, he goes to the elders and says he feels called to preach, and would they consider him. Reluctantly, they agree to let him preach a sermon.
Well, he’s terrible. His lesson was ill-conceived. His scriptures didn’t prove his points. And his delivery was long and boring. After the lesson, they met and tried to figure out a way to let him down easy without hurting his feelings.
However, the young man is adamant that the Lord called him to preach. Finally, they ask, “Why, do you think the Lord is calling you?”
“Well, I tried planting cotton, then soy beans and then rice. None of the crops were successful. Then I asked for the Lord for a sign and the clouds formed the letters PC– and I knew the Lord was saying to me ‘preach Christ.'”
One of the elders looked at him and said, “Son, I think you misread the call. The Lord was saying, PLANT CORN!
Our word of the week is called.
Unfortunately, many people in the religious world, don’t really understand what it means to be called by God. They are looking for signs and signals in the wrong place and misinterpreting God’s call.
Consider these Bible answers to 3 questions about our calling.
(1) How are we called?
We are called in the same way that the Thessalonian brethren were called. “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
We are not call through cloud formations, visions, dreams, or some still small voice inside of us. God does not call us through some mystical means. We’re called to come to Him through the gospel, God’s power to salvation (Rom. 1:16).
(2) What is the nature of our calling?
The Bible says our calling is a “holy calling according to His own purpose and grace…” (2 Tim. 1:8-9). Our calling is not a physical calling. Or a vocational calling. Or a secular calling. It is a sanctified, spiritual calling.
(3) Why are we called?
According to the previous passage our calling is according to God’s purpose. Purpose has to do with the reason for which something exists. Our purpose in the Lord is to glorify, honor and praise Him (Eph. 1:11). It is a predestined purpose (Eph. 1:11) and an eternal purpose (Eph. 3:10-11)
We are called to be a member of His Holy Family (Eph. 1:19; 1 Pet 2:5,9). We are called to be a magnifier of our Holy God (John 4:23-24). We are called to model the character of our holy mentor, Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 2;21). We are called to be a minister of a holy ministry (1 Pet 4:10). And we are called to a messenger of a holy message (2 Cor 5:18-20).
I remember an old song from my childhood, “Jesus is calling.” Indeed he is. Through His Word. It is a holy calling. And the purpose of our calling is to obey Him. Belong to His Family. Worship. Serve. Grow. And Share.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman