I’ve come across many individuals including some believers who are opposed to the idea that they were called by God. They are influenced by a culture of individuality. I’ll hear them say things like “It was on my terms”, “I invited God into my heart”, etc. I’ll sit there and contemplate regarding this concept. You see I use to be of a similar mindset. But that mindset did not come from my own study of the scriptures and character of God. I learned it from hearing others say such things and ideas.
As I grew in my faith, my mind started to shift. I would get frustrated if someone did not come to Christ. I put so much emphasis on my success as a Christian by the conversion or lack of from others. How could they not come to Christ? Did I mess up in the way I preached the Gospel to them?
These were the questions that plagued my mind and at times I still think of them. The peace and comfort I have is in knowing that God calls us. He draws us to Him and that speaks greatly to fact that He is all powerful and sovereign. When the Father draws us to Him, we respond. He may use us in the process, but God is still at the beginning of such transformation.
Looking back at my own walk, there was nothing of me that wanted God. I rejected the concept and idea of a God who would allow so many hardships and pain to happen. You could tell me that God loved me as much as you wanted to, but it didn’t resonate. I was a product of abuse, neglect, and bullying. Why or how could He love me? What did that even mean?
Soon something started to happen. I started to have questions and thoughts that I did not have before. I was afraid at first because it was new and different. I started to look for answers about God. In the process, there was excitement and concern because my family was Catholic and being Mexican American, Catholic was the tradition. Somehow, I was ready for what was coming from my family of origin. God was drawing me to Him and that trumped it all.
This is where this scripture gives some insight to what was happening within me. God called me when He wanted, in His time, because He is the one who gave us life. It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh is no help at all. John: 6:63 . This is important for us to understand because it always points to our creator being in control . The very fact that He calls us shows us how great His love is for us. And because we know that He called us, we want to be obedient and share our testimony and hope with others regardless of what they may think of us. This isn’t easy, but who said it was going to be easy. The disciples warned Jesus that others would not follow for such words were hard. But instead of Jesus submitting to them, he asked them right back, “Do you want to go away as well?”
The disciples stuck around because he was the truth. He had the words of eternal life. They knew there was no other way. Jesus further questioned them.. “Did I not choose you, the twelve?”
Jesus is indeed the way the truth and the life and none of us can come to the Father except through Him. Regardless of what we call ourselves.
There is peace and power in knowing that God call us to Him. As we walk through life, may we remain focused on Him. Let’s strengthen each other. As we hear others express their individuality, may we be gracious but stand firm. Let’s remind each other of how great His love is. That being called and drawn to Him is a huge blessing. That it’s because of this that we get to know His loving grace. That no matter what happens in life, good or bad, He still loves us because He chose us, He called us, He drew us to Him, and more importantly, He died for us. Because of such great act, we are saved and get to call Him Father!
The Words of Eternal Life
60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”
66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” 70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” 71 He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray him.”–John 6:60-71 English Standard Version (ESV)