Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Of Man

Most of us, despite our greatest fears, are not called by God to do anything for Him. We're not meant to be the voices crying in the wilderness, the men clad in camels hair, feasting on locusts and honey. (See yesterday's post.) We aren't called to the big, crazy, stupid things we're afraid God will call us to.

There is a second, arguably more common, calling in the Bible, and that is this: to do whatever you're already doing...for man.

We know the stories of Elijah, Moses, John the Baptist. But look at the stories of Abraham, David, Mary, Peter. These are some big names, too, and all they were ever called to do was to be who they already were for a new audience. For man.

Abraham wanted to be a father. He longed to be a father. He prayed to be a father. And God granted him this prayer, with one word: Be a father of nations. Be a father of men! You, God told Abraham, will not just be a father; you will be the father of descendants more numerous than the sky. The father of My children. For My sake, be a father of men.

In the same way, Mary (many generations later) was about to become a mother. Although it's not part of my religious tribe, there are many who look to Mary as the mother of all of God's children. God tells her she will be a mother, and she becomes a mother of all of His children, not just His Son. For His sake, she becomes a mother we all can turn to.

David was a shepherd boy. He was used to tending flocks. Guarding sheep. Protecting them. God comes and anoints him king and in essence is saying, "Become a shepherd over My people. Be a shepherd of men." Calling on the skills he learned in the fields, David slays a giant. He organizes troops. He builds shelter (a city), a place to call home. We repeatedly see him asking about names, and calling people by names, because a shepherd knows his flock. He's taken his shepherding skills, changed the audience, and for God's sake, become a shepherd of men.

And of course, Peter, the fisherman. Christ speaks the words directly to Him. Come with me, and I will make you a fisher of men. God takes Peter's natural skill set and changes the target, teaching him to cast a wide net and catch men in grace. Catch men in mercy. Catch men in the story of Christ, which Peter has a front row seat to. For the glory of God, Peter does what he's always done, but he does it now of men.

This is the more common calling for most of us. This is the word God speaks into our lives. That we would take whatever we're doing and put His people at the center of it. That we would shift our audience, change our target, and work of men for His sake.

Maybe you're working construction; God says, ok. Be a builder of men. You know how to make things strong; make men strong. Maybe you're a teacher. Great! God says, be an instructor of men. Teach them My ways. Maybe you're a nurse. Fantastic! God may be calling you to be a healer of men. Not just in bruises and bandaids but far beyond in the broken places of their spirit. Maybe you're a police officer; be a protector of men. Maybe you're a banker; be a backer of men. Maybe you stock vegetables at the grocery store; be a supplier of men. Maybe you're a waitress; be a server of men.

Maybe you're unemployed right now and all this talk of jobs leaves you feeling left out. Fear not, for even this can be your calling of God. Seeking a job? Be a seeker of men.

Whatever you're doing, there is a way to do it of men for the glory of God. It doesn't take much to shift that focus, but it's a radical change. And it changes not just what you're doing, but your heart. It reconnects you with that thing that once spoke so loudly into your heart. That voice that says things like "Go to college and major in economics." Psychology. Business. Journalism. Music. English. Chemistry. Communications. Basketweaving. Auto mechanics. Hair styling. Or even the voice that said, "Skip college. There's an adventure out there." Putting God's people at the center of your adventure reminds you why you've done it in the first place.

It's the purest expression of that nagging in your heart that got you where you are already, to take whatever you're doing and to do it of men.

God doesn't a bunch of John the Baptists. He doesn't need a nation of Hoseas. Only one man - Moses - could lead the many out of Egypt; the others were meant to work within their community, for the glory of God, for the sake of each other. 

That's what most of us were meant for today. To work in our communities, doing what we do, for the glory of God, for the sake of each other. That doesn't seem so big, crazy, and stupid, does it? Of course not. It seems...purposeful. Beautiful. Created.


So I ask you, in light of this, what is God really calling you to? 

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