Tag Archives: chosen

Standing For You

A vision
of the Lord,
of his great
and glorious presence,
shining brightly,
here,
now,
beside me
among us.

What can I do,
but fall before you,
in worship,
adoration
and praise.

Yet you call me to stand,
to hear your voice
and you lift me up.

You lift me
and send me.
You call me to go for you,
to stand for you
and tell of you.

Lord help me
to stand for you
wherever I find myself.
To not look down,
but look at you,
to hear you
and speak of you.

Ezekiel 2:1-5 (CEV)

The Lord Chooses Ezekiel

The Lord said, “Ezekiel, son of man, I want you to stand up and listen.”After he said this, his Spirit took control of me and lifted me to my feet. Then the Lord said:

Ezekiel, I am sending you to the people of Israel. They are just like their ancestors who rebelled against me and refused to stop. They are stubborn and hardheaded. But I, the Lord God, have chosen you to tell them what I say. Those rebels may not even listen, but at least they will know that a prophet has come to them.

God Chooses #adventbookclub – Day 8

Today we move to a section about The Patriarchs

31 Terah decided to move from Ur to the land of Canaan. He took along Abram and Sarai and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran. But when they came to the city of Haran, they decided to settle there instead. 32 Terah lived to be two hundred five years old and died in Haran.

The Lord Chooses Abram

12 The Lord said to Abram:

Leave your country, your family, and your relatives and go to the land that I will show you. I will bless you and make your descendants into a great nation. You will become famous and be a blessing to others. I will bless anyone who blesses you, but I will put a curse on anyone who puts a curse on you. Everyone on earth will be blessed because of you.

4-5 Abram was seventy-five years old when the Lord told him to leave the city of Haran. He obeyed and left with his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all the possessions and slaves they had gotten while in Haran.

When they came to the land of Canaan, 

How nice it is, usually, to be chosen, selected, picked out.  A feeling of being special, “The One”, lined up for something.  We like to be chosen, it makes us feel valuable.

But I wonder how Abram felt here about being chosen by God? Leave your home, your wider family, all that is familiar – and come on a journey with me. I think my response would be along the lines of, ‘Well, thank you Lord, but that sounds really rather scary, quite uncomfortable and fraught with difficulty.  Perhaps on this occasion I’d rather not be chosen – and stay here.’  Actually I’m sure I’ve said that to God before when he’s invited me to come with him.

Maggi gives some wise advice on hearing and discerning “a call” (p41).

God chooses each one of us.  He invites us to come with him.  To journey.  To calling.  To blessing.  It is not just for Patriarchs, Prophets and Priests, it for us all.

Someone gave us this when God was shouting at me about full-time Presbyteral Ministry (which is emphatically not the only call…), and I was choosing not to hear very well

Who us?

And the Lord said, “Go!”
And we said, “Who us?”
And he said, “Yes, you”.

And we said,
“But we’re not ready yet
And there’s company coming.
And we can’t leave the kids,
And you know there is no-one to take our place.”

And he said, “You’re stalling”.

Again the Lord said, “Go”.

And we said,
“But we don’t want to”.

And we said,
“Listen, we’re not that kind of people
To get involved so deeply,
besides
Our family wouldn’t like it.
And what will the neighbours think?”

And he said, “Baloney”.

And yet a third time the Lord said, “Go!”

And we said, “Do we have to?”

And he said, “Do you love me?”

And we said,
“Look, we’re scared.
People are going to reject us.
And cut us up into little pieces.
And we can’t take it all by ourselves.”

And he said, “Where do you think I’ll be?”

And the Lord said, “Go!”

And we sighed, “Here we are Lord, send us”.

Sometimes you just have to stop arguing with God, and go with him!

That’s something he calls us all to do. The direction for each of us may be different, but God has chosen each of us for something.  None of that embarrassing waiting in a line to be picked like in PE lessons…

God has chosen you.  Will you let him?  Will you go with him?

Maggi reminds us that hearing a call is a beginning of a journey – not a final destination, or even knowing where that final destination is (if we knew we may well decide to stay firmly put :)) Hearing God’s call and responding is about being willing to start out on the journey.

And this I love,

The call of God seems to involve choosing what to take and what to leave behind and the willingness to do the sorting out and packing up that makes moving possible (p42)

That is vital as we continue the journey and discovery of our call – what comes with us and what stays behind?

The God of Abraham Praise

Thank you Lord
for choosing me,
for having something
uniquely me shaped,
a task you need me for.

Lord,
when I stall,
dither,
question,
and drag my feet,
may I hear
with clarity
your call
and be brave enough to follow.

This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it.  Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below.  If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.

 

Excuses

So someone asks you to do something.  But you’re not sure it’s for you.  It seems scary.  You’re not convinced you can do it.  And yet…

… you are asked

By Firmin Baes (Art Renewal Center) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Before you were born, I chose you…

Last nights episode of the fabulous Call the Midwife had a side story of calling, following it, and it’s effects.

Of course she’s got to go, she’s got a calling

And now we have Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 1:4-10

The Lord Chooses Jeremiah

The Lord said:

“Jeremiah, I am your Creator,
and before you were born,
I chose you to speak for me
to the nations.”

I replied, “I’m not a good speaker, Lord, and I’m too young.”

“Don’t say you’re too young,” the Lord answered. “If I tell you to go and speak to someone, then go! And when I tell you what to say, don’t leave out a word! 8

The Lord reached out his hand, then he touched my mouth and said, “I am giving you the words to say, 10 and I am sending you with authority to speak to the nations for me. You will tell them of doom and destruction, and of rising and rebuilding again.”

God has chosen Jeremiah.  He has called him to speak for him.

Jeremiah is not sure…

There are good reasons Lord, why you wouldn’t choose me

I’m not a good speaker – and I’m too young anyway.

They are excuses!

God has called.  God will give the words to say.  Jeremiah goes, not in his own strength and power, but Gods.  There is a message to bring – and Jeremiah is the man to do it.  God had chosen him, long before he was born.

God calls to us.

Does that worry us? Scare us?  Make us feel inadequate?  Overwhelmed?  Under-prepared?

How shall we respond?

I remember when I was “invited” to consider becoming a local preacher.  I could not contemplate even writing a sermon.  By nature I am a scientist/mathematician, stringing words together in a coherent sentence with the correct structure was terrifying and seemed impossible (you may have noticed that!).  I am a child of my generation when creative writing was not taught, but just expected to happen – and certainly never corrected if it was wrong.  Although I have always loved reading, writing is just not my “thing”.  How could I write enough words to make up a sermon?

I was persuaded to give it a try.  I genuinely set about writing my first sermon expecting it to be my last, no idea how I would do it.   I still have no idea where the words come from, but come they do, purely, I believe, because it was what God was asking of me.  The amazing thing that happened was that first day, I turned up with a sermon written on the Old Testament reading (against all the rules!), about the plea for materials to build the Temple, to a church that had just had a quinquennial report saying the gable end was in need of major repair and they needed to launch a building scheme…  OK God, so I get your point.

And if God can do that in me, he must be able to do it in anyone.

God has many tasks to be done, as we have seen in recent weeks readings.  There are many ways to speak for him – not all are preaching in church.

I don’t know what God is asking of you today, but I can guarantee that if he has calls, he is equips.

Whatever reservations we have about ourselves, God doesn’t.  He has chosen you for a task because you are the one who can do it.  And he assures you that he will give you the words you need when you need them.

Today, this is his word to you:

 I promise to be with you and keep you safe, so don’t be afraid.

I thank you Lord,

that you call to me,

to work with you,

and speak for you.

Even though it scares me,

I feel inadequate,

I’m not sure that’s me…

Lord,

as I respond,

hesitantly,

carefully,

fearfully;

I thank you

that you have chosen me,

and promise to be with me

and keep me safe