Day 5. RESPONDING TO GOD’S CALL

Read Jonah 1:1. The name ‘Jonah’ means ‘Dove’, and ‘The son of Amittai’ means, ‘The Son of Truth’. Peace and Truth are connected. God is reluctant to destroy rebels, he prefers to show them mercy. This is never a matter of ‘peace at any price’. There can be no true peace anywhere without truth and righteousness. False prophets announce “Peace, peace! where there is no peace”, as Jeremiah indicted them. Someone, somewhere has to speak the naked truth, so that others can believe it! Of course, this call inevitably entails great personal cost and self-denial. But religion that costs us nothing is worth nothing.

When God calls a man or woman, he calls that person to ‘Come and die’ – again and again. This is God’s summons to a gutsy, courageous role. It is likely to be DANGEROUS at some point or other. Too many of us refuse to risk any danger. There are pastors who have learned to compromise, in the hope of averting personal opposition or risk. Compromise has been defined as, “Learning to accept what you don’t believe in, and refusing to challenge what you don’t approve of, because you lack the courage to fight for what you do believe in, and say what you really think.” Fear makes cowards of us all.

Prophetic ministry occurs because we serve the Living God, who tells us the truth, even when it hurts. He’s not the false god of the Atheist who says God is nowhere. Nor the Pantheist, who claims God is everywhere in general, but nowhere in particular. Nor the Deist, who says God is always somewhere, but never here right now since he has long been retired. Our God, by contrast, sees and knows, acts and intervenes. He is anything but indifferent to situations of moral decay. He wants whole situations and people changed, and rarely bypasses human agents in this task. He calls and equips us to effect change in towns, institutions and people’s lives. We don’t volunteer for this work. we are usually conscripted. Prophets and preachers are ‘pressed men and women’ – they have little choice, God has his way!

What burdens has God already begun to lay upon your spirit? What tasks that only you can fulfil? Ask him to open doors for you soon.