We will abandon it all for the sake of the call, no other reason at all but the sake of the call, wholly devoted to live and to die , for the sake of the call,
Not for the sake of a creed or a cause, not for a dream or a promise, simply because it is Jesus who calls and if we believe we’ll obey.
(Taken from the song, For the Sake of the Call, by Steven Curtis Chapman)
Rom. 8:30: And those He predestined, he also called, those he called, he also justified, those He justified, he also glorified.
I believe every Christian has a call on their lives. We are all chosen by God and God has a specific plan for our lives and we can either accept this plan and purpose and go His way; or we can reject it. If God calls us for a specific task, God will confirm this call through the scriptures, through His people and provide for that specific call. Where God calls and guides, God provides.
WOMEN CALLED BY GOD
“I am not going to apologize for speaking the name of Jesus. I am not going to justify my faith to them and I am not going to hide the light that God has put into me. If I have to sacrifice everything .. I will. I will take it. If my friends have to become my enemies for me to be with my best friend Jesus, then that’s fine with me.” (Extracts of a letter by Rachel Joy, p. 96)
Rachel Joy was a teenager from America who was killed for her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Through her life millions have been blessed. Jesus had a call on her life. The journal in which she wrote her prayers to God indicates the intimate relationship she had with the Almighty. This girl has made a big impact not only on my life but on the lives of people all over the world, especially the young people.
Joan D’ Arc
Her martyr’s death the Living God repaid
A girl, she speaks to us from History
A well-armed slyph she led a vast crusade
The world recalls the tale of Joan the Maid.
(Extract of the poem, Joan the Maid, written by Michael Fountina)
Joan d’Arc was a teenager who died a martyr’s death. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia “her simplicity, piety and good sense appear at every turn, despite the attempts of the judges to confuse her”. God had an awesome calling in the life of Joan d’Arc expressed in one of her letters written to Sire de Rotslaaer written from Lyons on 22 April, 1429. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, he reports the maid said “that she would save Orleans and would compel the English to raise the siege, that she herself in a battle before Orleans would be wounded by a shaft but would not die of it, and that the King, in the course of the coming summer, would be crowned at Reims, together with the other things which the King keeps secret”. Joan d’Arc, with a call of God on her life, not only led a vast army of men in battle but also fulfilled the call of God on her life.
“There is a terrible hunger for love. We all experience that in our lives – the pain, the loneliness. We must have the courage to recognize it. The poor you may have right in your own family. Find them. Love them. Put your love for them in living action. For in loving them you are loving God himself” (by Mother Teresa). Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, and she was the youngest of three children. When Mother Teresa was 18, she joined the order of the sisters of Our Lady of Loreto in Ireland. It was on 10 September, 1946, God enlightened Mother Teresa with his call on her life while traveling on a train to Darjeeling, a hill station in the Himalayas. In quiet, intimate prayer with her Lord she heard distinctly what she referred to as “a call within a call”. According to Mother Teresa, “I realized that I had the call to take care of the sick and the dying, the hungry, the naked, the homeless – to be God’s love in action to the poorest of the poor. That was the beginning of the missionaries of Charity.” She was aware of what she had to do, but she did not know how to get there. She had previously been called to the religious life but God further called her to another kind of work and service in the religious life. Mother Teresa’s life and call has touched the hearts of people all around the world. She embodied the love of God on earth. Her selfless giving nature has been an eye opener to a selfish materialistic world. According to Mother Teresa “I see God in every human being. When I wash the leper’s wounds, I feel I am nursing the Lord Himself. Is it not a beautiful experience?”
The love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay,
The hope no disappointments live,
The passion that will burn like fire.
(by Amy Carmichael)
Amy Carmichael was an Irish missionary who spent 53 years in South India. She founded the Dohnavaur Fellowship, a refuge for children in moral danger, especially young girls from the age of four who were sent to the temples to be used as prostitutes by the priests. These girls were taught to sing and dance and bring pleasure to these temple priests. The call of Amy Carmichael was to save these girls, and sometimes even boys, from this kind of life and Amy Carmichael became a mother to these girls. She was called Amma which means mother. Amy Carmichael, a beautiful woman of God with a definite call and purpose for her life, never married. Amy Carmichael states “Do I regret now that for your sake I chose to do without that which nature desires, what was pressed upon me, so that I might serve ‘without distraction’, as Paul puts it? No indeed I do not.”
Amy Carmichael had an impact on the lives of thousands of children in South India Dohnavur.
I realize now it had to be
Before He taught my soul to pray
Before the glory I could see
The Glory He promised me.
(by Granny Brand)
Evelyn Constance Brand and Jesse Brand came to India as missionaries on 28th August, 1913. Evelyn had responded silently to a call of God on her life when Jesse spoke at a missionary meeting in St John’s Wood chapel speaking about his work in India. She told her family she wanted to be a missionary and the Mission Board accepted her application to work in India where she again met up with Jesse Brand whom she later married. Jesse Brand died of blackwater fever in 1928, and Evelyn Brand with a definite call on her life brought Christianity to the low caste inhabitants of all five mountain ranges of South India. The ministry and call of Granny Brand was unique because she was a nurse, teacher and preacher to the diseased and poverty stricken hill people of South India.
Joni Eareckson Tada
Joni Eareckson Tada broke her neck in 1967 during a diving accident in which she became a quadriplegic. The call of God came on her life. Joni sensed God speaking to her saying “Joni, I want you to live life without use of your hands or legs and learn to smile while doing it.” God also seemed to tell her “I want you to be my audiovisual aid of how My strength shows up best in weakness.” Joni Eareckson is truly a testimony of God’s strength showing up in weakness and her life after her accident has accomplished much for God;. God calls and uses us when we least expect it, when we are least prepared, when we are not termed perfect by worldly standards. Moses felt the same way, yet God chose Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. He was a poor speaker yet God made him the greatest leader.
MEN WITH A CALLING
“Austerity implies external renunciation, endurance and sometimes even hypocrisy. But saintliness is an inner quality of the soul. My mother’s austerity was only an echo of her inner life. If you notice any purity in me, I have inherited it from my mother, and not from my father. Mother died at the early age of forty. I have been a witness of her behaviour in the flower of youth, but never did I see in her any frivolity, any recourse to beauty aids or interest in the pleasures of life. The only impression she ever left on my mind is that of saintliness.”
Mahatma Gandhi definitely had a calling on his life. He preached Satyagraha, or in other words, non-violence. Mahatma Gandhi has definitely played a major role in the nation of India. Practising satyagraha or non-violence, he brought about freedom to India. Practising swaderhi or buying only Indian made goods, he boosted the economy. Gandhigi was really a role model to the Indians – one frail, puny man accomplished the independence of a nation. Yet my only regret being an Indian myself is that he did not have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Rumours have it that he was an avid reader of the word of God yet he did not know God. Hypothetically speaking, if Mahatma Gandhi was a Christian, the whole of India would have been saved. Gandhi had a call on his life – not a holy, higher calling, but a calling to bring about freedom and independence to India.
“Although I lived an irreproachable life as a monk, I felt that I was a sinner with an uneasy conscience before God, nor was I able to believe that I had pleased him with my satisfaction”. At last, God being merciful, as I meditated day and night on the connection of the words ‘the righteousness of God is revealed in it, as it is written’, ‘the righteous shall live by faith’, I began to understand that righteousness of God.” (Martin Luther, Theology of the Cross)
Martin Luther, this incredible man with an incredible call and purpose, I believe is the father of Protestantism. Martin Luther plays a significant role in the reformation or, in other words, the purpose of reformation and had the courage given by God to stand up for the authority of the word of God. This man, I believe, was predestined for this specific call on his life.
When I was nine years old, I was miraculously healed of asthma in a healing crusade. When I turned ten, my father, who is now a missionary pastor in Egypt, spoke about preaching the gospel to the people. In that service, I dedicated my life to God to serve Him. I came home and wrote a poem which says “I want to be a servant of God, you may ask me why, that’s between God and me and nothing can destroy, the love of God for me. He saved me from the pangs of death when I was about to die and this is not a lie, for He has a purpose and this purpose is I”.
God has blessed me with a good singing voice and other talents. Yes, I do know God has a plan and purpose for my life and God has a call on my life. What that specific call is I do not know. What I do know is whatever way He is willing to use me, I am willing and I will be obedient to Him. If God wants me to be a light that shines in the corner, I will; if He wants me to be on a pedestal, I will. My heart’s desire is that the glory of the Lord will be manifested in me and through me, through my life and through my testimony.
I would like to conclude with a poem I wrote sometime back while I was in Egypt.
Who am I?
That thought in my heart I ponder
What am I meant to be
Oh God, the future I just can’t foresee
Yet you care for me.
You didn’t just let me be,
You have a place and purpose
Thy Word is the key.
I came into the world a little seed,
Curious about the world so mysterious,
Bombarded with emotions hilarious,
At times delirious, at other times, furious
As I started to grow and mature to the tree I was meant to be,
I faced the storms of life
Into temptations I was tossed,
Yet through thy divine grace at Calvary
To temptation I was no longer held in slavery,
You set me free, enabling me to grow in sanctity,
Your word says, You shall bear fruit in season,
Seasons have come, seasons are gone,
Oh God, I feel so alone, why was I ever born,
Yet you on me never did frown,
The veil to enter the holy of holies was torn
By thy divine blood on the cross which was no loss,
At thy feet I place my supplication,
Oh Christ, on me make a divine transformation,
This season, let me see my life has a reason
Let me bear fruit at a dozen
Change my heart, my attitude
As I grow and mature in thy attitude,
As I pray I feel thy presence come as a ray
I feel the power of thy awesome presence like rain on me does spray
Father, when will you use me
Is it today?
I feel the rain come on me washing all my doubts and fears without a trace
Speaking to me through a gentle breeze
Thy love for me will never cease
I hear they voice saying my plans for you will be fulfilled come what may
All your have to do, daughter, is to pray.
Chanda, Yogesh, Rediscovering Gandhi, 1997.
Elliot, Elizabeth, The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael – A Chance to Die, 1961.
Le Joly, E., We do it for Jesus, Oxford University Press, 1977.
McGrath, Alister E., Luther’s Theology of the Cross, 1985.
Scott, Darrel and Nimmo, Beth, Rachel’s Tears – A spiritual journey of Columbine Martyr Rachel Scott, 2000
Wilson, Dorothy Clarke, Granny Brand Her Story, Paul Brand Publishing, Seattle, 1976.
Yancey, P., Lucado, M., Maxwell, John C., Hayford, Jack, Eareckson Tada, Joni, Barnett, Tommy, Boa, Kenneth, Wells, Thelma, Destiny and Deliverance – spiritual insights from the life of Moses, 1998