All scripture contained in this podcast is from the King James Bible (Authorized Version)
March 30, 2023

How People Respond To The Call Of God

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Did you know that God has not only called you to be saved, but also has a calling upon your life? God has a purpose for your life, the particulars of God’s calling areindividualized according to God’s purpose for each individual,according to the position He has for them to fill in the body of Christ. How do you discover God's calling for your life? Join us for this important episode as Pastor Strobel brings us ways in which people respond to the call of God.

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Our podcast theme song "Jesus Is Coming Soon", courtesy of His Reflection a Gospel Quartet from Buckley Road Baptist Church, Liverpool, NY.


How People Respond to the Call of God

II Tim. 1:7-9  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 

{8}Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 

{9}Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Notice that there in II Tim. 1:9 the Lord has done two things... He has saved us & He has called us.

I believe that God has a calling on everyone’s life.  

God first calls everyone to be saved.

Acts 17:30-31  And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 

{31}Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness bythatman whom he hath ordained;whereofhe hath given assurance unto allmen,in that he hath raised him from the dead.

Matt. 11:28-29  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

{29}Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Rev. 22:16-17  I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David,andthe bright and morning star. 

{17}And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

God first calls a person to salvation... 

If the person responds to salvation with repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ and gets saved, the next thing to consider is the calling of God upon their life.

That is God’swill for their life, or God’s purposefor their life.

II Tim. 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

God has a purpose for your life...  This is His will for your life,or His calling on your life.

The particulars of God’s calling are individualized according to God’s purpose for each individual according to the position He has for them to fill in the body of Christ.

I Cor. 12:18  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

If you would discover God’s calling in your life, you must draw nigh to Him and grow as a Christian.

You must be obedient to the things that God clearly instructs a Christian to do in the Bible.

By doing this you equip yourself to fulfill the larger call of God upon your life.

*God first calls us to salvation...

*Then to a closer walk with Him...

*Then to His larger purpose for our lives...

Now, that is how it plays out in our lives, but the truth of the matter is that  Even before you are born, God has a calling on your life & a purpose for your creation.

Listen to Rev. 4:11  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Some people never get to that calling because they won’t get saved...

Or, because they get saved, and they do not to follow on close to the Lord and continue to grow as a Christian...

Down through the years, occasionally I’ve come across some guy that is lost,or saved,and not following the Lord, and thought to myself  There goes one of God’s preachers...  They just never responded to the call...

And that is what this study is about...  How People Respond to the Call of God.

And whether it’s the call to salvation, or the call to do God’s will for your life after you’ve been saved,there are a variety of responses that human beings have to the call of God.

1. Some People Just Ignore the Call of God 

Jer. 7:13  And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not;

Some people’s response is no response.

They pretend like they don’t hear.  They go on in life like they never heard God call them.

When it comes to salvation, you see this all the time...

*Tracts – Ignore and walk by you like you’re not there...

*Street Preaching – Pay you no mind and keep looking at their phone, 

  or listening to their music...  Or whatever else they might be doing...

*God has someone try to witness to them, and they change the subject.

When it comes to a Christian doing the will of God, they too, often ignore God’s call...

The Lord speaks to them about it in a message, but they won’t come to the altar and pray about it.  And they won’t go home and pray about it.

They won’t talk to their pastor about it.  They just go on in life like nothing ever happened…  But it did…

Godspoke to your heart!

And if you don’t respond to the call of God in your life, one day God will call you to answer for it.

The reason the Lord leaves you down here on earth after you get saved, is to do His will.

Christians are to be followers of Jesus Christ, and Jesus came down to this earth to do God’s will for His life, and we should follow in His steps.

Heb. 10:5-7  Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 

{6}In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 

{7}Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

The Lord calls, but often folks just ignore His calling...

InMatt. 11:16-17Jesus saidBut whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, 

{17}And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.

I Sam. 3:1-5  And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision. 

{2}And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see; 

{3}And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; 

{4}That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.{5}And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down.

2. Samuel Heard the Call of God & Thought it was the Preacher

Now this is profound, and you really need to get it...

Samuel heard God call him and he thought it was the preacher.  Eli was the man of God in Samuel’s life.

And what happened to Samuel, happens to a lot of folks.  They hear the call of God on their life and they think, Oh that’s just the preacher.
God gets to tugging on their heart during a message, and they get under conviction during the invitation, maybe they even grip the seat in front of them...    Or maybe they stiffen their neck,or tense up &try to hold out, and then when it’s all said and done, they say, well, that wasn’t God, that was just the preacher.

Well why don’t you go down to an old-fashioned alter and ask Godif it was just the preacher?  Why don’t you go home and spend some time in your prayer closet, ask God if it was the preacher or if it was Him?!

God speaks to people’s hearts about what He wants them to do, and they blame it on the preacher.  

People get under conviction and they explain it away by thinking or saying, Oh that’s just the preacher talking, you know how the preacher is.  The preacher just puts it on you hard…  

He thinks everybody’s called to preach,or he thinks everybody is called to the mission field, or he thinks everybody is called to full-time service.

But listen - you’d better not just automatically write it off as being the preacher,because it just might be Godcalling you…

So you’d better find a place to pray!

Many a person has sat through a service where they felt a tug on their heart about something in their life that ought to be changed, or a burden on their soul about something that ought to added in their life, as God was dealing with them and they blew it all off & explained it all away saying, you know how the preacher is… that’s just him.

Do you know that God can speak to you through preaching?  Do you know He tries to talk to you through preaching?

Did you ever read that place over in I Pet. 4:11  If any man speak,let him speakas the oracles of God…?

Do you know what that means?The oracles of God… That’s the mouthpiece of God - That is, when a man gets up to preach, he is charged with speaking for God.

*That doesn’t mean the man is always successful at doing that.  But a man who prays, and gets into the word of God & prepares a message from God...  God can speak through such a man.  

So➔ He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Gen 3:8-10  And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. 

{9}And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 

{10}And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

3. Adam & Eve Heard God Calling & They Hid

That’s what some people do when God calls them… they go hide.

Reminds me of the guy who had the talent and he took it and he hid it in the earth.
That’s what some people do with the talent God has given them & the life the Lord’s given them, they just go hide it in the earth.

They bury themselves so deeply in the world, they don’t have time to serve God or consider His will.

Or they use their talent for the world and their own glory, instead of for the glory of God.

Adam & Eve might have hid from God, but they found out, you can’t hide from Him long.

I mean how you gonna hide from God?  The eyes of the LORD are in every place…

Somebody said, You can run but you can’t hide! Jonah tried to run, Adam & Eve tried to hide, but none of them could get anywhere where God couldn’t find them.

And for Adam & Eve, it wasn’t long before the voice of the words of the Lord, hunted them down and flushed them out.

*And God always has a way of flushing out a backslider.

Piano player - Are you a Christian?  How did you know?  I could just tell by the way you sing the blues…

Peter tried to hide one time didn’t he?  Warming by the devil’s fire, and they kept saying… Aren’t you... aren’t you one of them?  You know, one of them Christians? 

Didn’t I see you with Jesus?

Me… friend home from the army… I backslid…  hey I heard you preached!

God called Adam and Eve and they hid… 

Why did they hide?  Gen. 3:10

Some people hide from the call of God because they’re afraid.

They’re afraid they can’t do it.  They’re afraid God will call them to do something they don’t want to do, or go somewhere they won’t want to go.

But don’t you know that the happiest place for you on earth - is right smack dab in the middle of the will of God for your life?!

There was somebody else in the Bible that did the same thing.  

Saul, when he was called to be king of Israel, initially he did not come forward to be anointed king.

But the Bible said, that he “hid himself among the stuff.”

And sometimes that’s what people do.  They immerse themselves in their stuff…  Always playing, always busy, always doing something…  

But to what end is it all any way, if you miss the will of God.

Jonah 1:1-3  Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 

{2}Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
{3}But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

4. Jonah Ran From the Call of God in His Life 

He found out where God wanted him to go and he took off 180° in the opposite direction!

Sometime get you a Bible map and look at these places.  You don’t need a boat to get to Nineveh from Israel… It’s inland.

I don’t guess Jonah was the first person to run from the will of God in his life and I’m sure he wasn’t the last person to do so… 

But he certainly was an example in the Bible (a bad example) of somebody that ran from God’s call.

And there are lots of people today who find out what God wants them to do - or at least get an inkling of what God wants them to do… and they take off running in the other direction.
I hope you won’t do that.  You say what will happen to me if I do?

I don’t know exactly, but it didn’t go so well for Jonah!  He almost lost his life!

He wound up in the belly of a whale, and thank God, God gave him a second chance and he got right.

Have you already been there?  You already been running?  Are you running right now?  Is God giving you a second chance?  

Don’t blow it!

The Roloff girls used to sing a song that went...

You’ve been runnin’ runnin’ for a long, long time.

You’ve been runnin’ runnin’ with no peace of mind.

You regret the day you turned away and became - a fugitive from God.

You’ve been seeking, seeking, everything but Him

You’ve been living, living, all your life in sin.

You can see the lies that you chose the night you’d become - A fugitive from God

God’s been callin’ callin’ for His long lost child.

He’s been callin’ callin’, for a long, long while.

If you hear His voice, make Him your choice,

Don’t become a fugitive from God.

Why don’t you turn, turn, turn around?

Why do you roam?

Can’t you see God the Father, waits to welcome you home.

You were never meant to walk the path you trod.

How long will you run away, a fugitive from God?

Now do you know one of the reasons whyJonah became a fugitive from God?

Jonah had a problem with where God called him to go & what God called him to do

When he finally gave in and went to Nineveh and preached to those people and they repented, he got mad about it.

Jonah 4:1-2  But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. 

{2}And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

Jonah had a calling… but he didn’t have a burden for those people.

You know you can have a calling without having a burden for the people you’re called to.

On the other hand, you can have a burden without having a calling.

This brings us to our next response to the call of God...

5. Some Try to Modify Their Call

According to Rom. 11:13,Paul was called to be the apostle to the Gentiles...

Gal. 2:7  But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;

Rom. 10:1  Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

The Apostle Paul had a burden for his own people, but he didn’t have a calling to them...

Acts 21:4  And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

Acts 21:8-14  And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. 

{9}And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy. 

{10}And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. 

{11}And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. 

{12}And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. 

{13}Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. 

{14}And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.

You can have a call without a burden; you can have a burden without a call… what’s nice is when you have both of them together…

But all you really need is a calling.  And if you submit to your calling… that can one day turn into a genuine care and concern for the people the Lord has called you to.

Prov. 1:22-24  How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 

{23}Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. 

{24}Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;

6. Some Refuse

Some people just flat refuse to do the will of God!

That is a dangerous game, that does not end well if it continues to be played...

Prov 1:24-31  Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 

{25}But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 

{26}I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; 

{27}When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. 

{28}Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: 

{29}For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: 

{30}They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.{31}Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.

7. Some Do the Will of the Devil Instead

Prov. 9:1-4  Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: 

{2}She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table. 

{3}She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city, 

{4}Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

Prov. 9:13-16  A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing. 

{14}For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, 

{15}To call passengers who go right on their ways: 

{16}Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

Prov. 9:17-18  Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. 

{18}But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

Ps. 95:6-8  O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. 

{7}For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, 

{8}Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

8. Harden Their Heart

Heb. 3:7-11  Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, 

{8}Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

{9}When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.

{10}Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err intheirheart; and they have not known my ways.{11}So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)

But then, thank God, there are in the Bible, many who responded properly to the call of God in their lives➔

9. Some Answer the Call of God

Calls Abraham

Heb. 11:8  By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

Gen. 22:11  And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, HereamI.

The Lord Speaks to Jacob

Gen. 46:2  And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, HereamI.

God calls Moses at the burning bush Ex. 3:4  And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.

Exodus 19:20  And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Mosesupto the top of the mount; and Moses went up.

Puts forth His call within earshot of Isaiah & Isaiah tells about it in

Isaiah 6:8

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Samuel finally got the calling of God sorted out in his life...  And though it wasn’t Eli that was doing the calling, Eli did help Samuel to sort it out. So guided by Eli’s instructions, we read in I Sam. 3:10 

And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

The Lord calls to Saul of Tarsus, who would become the Apostle Paul.

Acts 9:6  And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?

John 11:28-29  And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee. 

{29}As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.

Matt. 4:18-22  And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 

{19}And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 

{20}And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

{21}   And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.

{22}   And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

If you want to hear His calling...  Get within calling distance...

Draw closer to God...

Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you...