An initial response of resistance – God still calls

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By Dave Henning / August 3, 2018

“Another striking aspect of these stories (call narratives): even though people almost always have an initial response of resistance, God never reacts by saying, ‘Oh, I can see where this would be pretty scary.  Okay, never mind.  I’ll get somebody else.’ “- John Ortberg

Today John Ortberg discusses the second and third consistent patterns found in biblical call narratives.

2.  Response.  After God summons someone to serve Him, in every case the person God interrupts gives his or her reaction directly to God.  And, almost always, their first response is fear.  Pastor Ortberg explains:

“If there is a challenge in front of you, a course of action that could cause you to grow and that would be helpful to people around you, but you find yourself scared about it, there’s a real good chance that God is in that challenge.”

Conversely, John adds, if you’re not facing challenges to big for you and you haven’t felt afraid in a while, that’s a good sign you’ve been sitting in that chair too long.  Thus, when God makes the call, we need to roll the dice.

3.  Reassurance.  Because God knows people get scared, He makes them a promise.  Like Joshua and Gideon, God promises to be with us.

Yet, we cannot deduce from the Lord’s promise that nothing bad will happen to us.  On the other hand, we can’t just sit there.  God promises that nothing separates us from His love- not suffering, hurt, or even death.

In conclusion, Pastor Ortberg comments on the musings of Christian journalist Greg Devoy:

“Christian journalist Greg Devoy has said that Jesus promised those who would follow him only three things: that they would be absurdly happy, entirely fearless, and always in trouble.  The problem is that most of us figure two out of three ain’t bad.”

Today’s question: When have you given an initial response of resistance to God’s calling?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “What raw material we all wrestle with”

About the author

    Dave Henning


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