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The call to write — or not

I think I know why God’s mercies are new every morning — I’ve forgotten most of them from yesterday.

I came to this conclusion recently while trying to grasp what the call of God means to me personally. About the time I thought I’d gotten a hold of it, I suddenly realized I’d been down this road before.

God’s mercies are hidden in the nuggets of truth I’ve read over and over, revelations I’d either forgotten or hadn’t seen before. This one hit me again in shocking Technicolor — God did not call me to write, but to be in a right relationship with him.

Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8). He had on his listening ears. Hearing ears comes from the intimacy and absolute peace we experience when we are in God’s presence, empowered only by the Spirit, through faith in Jesus Christ.

Isaiah couldn’t have said ’“Here I am, send me,” if he had not been in a close personal relationship with God. He didn’t know where God would send him. Nor did he stop to consider what vocational gifts he may or may not have possessed that would enable him to go where God wanted him to go. His heart was so near to God, he didn’t hesitate — “Here I am, send me.” When we saturate ourselves in God’s word, He will thoroughly equip us for good works. (II Timothy 3:16) And then the “call to write,” is put in its proper perspective. It becomes an out pouring of our relationship with Him.

Oswald Chambers said it best: “The call of God is an expression of God’s nature, not ours.”

Any vocational calling can be a distraction if we let it. We must keep our eyes and our ears on the One who is calling so that we might serve Him out of a sincere desire to please Him, remembering that the call of salvation is a finished work. If we don’t remember the finished work of Christ in us, we will stumble in our walk. We will be tormented by rejections, defeat, and the woe-is-me-why-am-putting-myself-through-this attitude. Why am I beating my head against a wall just to get published? And if we forget the finished work of Christ in us, once we have attained success, then we are apt to heap up all the glory for ourselves, only to discover that success doesn’t satisfy our deepest longing the way we thought it would.

When “Christ crucified” is firmly established in our hearts, only then can we “continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling” — fear and trembling because of the awfulness of God’s wrath poured out on our Savior on our behalf. “It is finished,” He cried. With this mindset, we are better able to understand that our labor is not in vain” — “for it is God who works in you both to will and to act according to His good purpose.” (Philippians 2: 12, 13) “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)

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