A BIBLE VERSE SURPRISED ME. AGAIN.
And it made me feel as though I stuck my digital foot in my virtual mouth. Again.
In Monday’s blog post I kinda ripped into people who say they are “called by God” to do stuff. Mostly folks who say they are called to stand in front of lots of people and tell them what to do.
I suggested they not use that biblical way of putting it unless they experienced a call of biblical proportion—meaning a personal invite from God himself via a vision, a vivid dream, or a celestial messenger.
I felt pretty confident of that. Especially since so many “called-into-ministry” people I’ve met seem called, as far as I could tell, to cure insomnia.
Ever wonder why so many Christians take a Sunday afternoon nap?
Most Bible-time people called by God were prophets.
It’s a prophet who shocked me.
Here are the words of the prophet I’d write on the subway wall:
I wish the Lord would give his Spirit to all his people so everyone could be a prophet.
That’s when it hit me.
What Moses wished for, God did.
The prophet Joel predicted it:
“I will give my Spirit
Your sons and daughters
will prophesy,” (Joel 2:28 CEV).
The apostle Peter reported it:
“The Holy Spirit was promised by the Father. God has given Him to us. That is what you are seeing and hearing now!” (Acts 2:33, NLV).
I’m admitting it:
I need to add one more biblical method God uses to call people into service.
I’ve already got:
- Celestial messengers
I should probably add the Holy Spirit:
“You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you,” (Romans 8:9 NLT).
Here’s the problem? How can we know someone’s not pulling our leg when they say God has called them to do something?
Ancients had that problem, too. They didn’t usually know if a prophet really experienced a vision, a dream, or a heavenly visit. Maybe it was just some expired hummus.
For us today, we don’t know if someone “called” really experienced a vision, a dream, a heavenly messenger, or a nudging from the Spirit. Maybe they’re really going to seminary because they’re guys who can’t hold down a job or gals who can’t land a husband. (Harsh, I know. But it was the worry of some religion educators I knew a few years ago.)
Perhaps the best approach for us is one the ancients recommended.
“Mind your own business,” (1 Thessalonians 4:11 CEV).
Sounds solid to me.