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Friday, September 25, 2009

The Unscheduled, Unplanned, Unanticipated Call of God

I asked several people to tell me their stories of coming to know Jesus as Savior a couple of days ago. Each had a unique story. No two stories were exactly alike. The people were different ages with different circumstances. They were all exciting stories to me. However, I noted one common theme: No one planned to give his or her heart to Jesus on the day that they did.

I asked if they had planned to do so in church that day or at work with their friends or with their parents or any number of places and each one said they had no idea that they were going to give their hearts to Jesus the day they did. There is a very good reason this is true.

Conviction is not something that we call upon for ourselves. It is the work of the Holy Spirit. He convicts the world of sin. He convicts people for their need of a Savior. Jesus said He (the Holy Spirit) is like the wind; going wherever He wants to go. You cannot predict a gust of wind. It comes upon you without any coercion. We cannot command the Holy Spirit to come. We can ask as we do when we call upon God for anything but we cannot command.

Sometimes people sit in church or with a friend and think that they can give their hearts to the Lord next week. Maybe this week the service went too long and there will be people waiting for them if they trust in Christ. Maybe they didn't like everything the preacher said or maybe they didn't like the way he said it so they say they will go somewhere where they like the preacher before giving their hearts to Jesus. They will be wrong. There is no guarantee the Holy Spirit will bring His conviction on them later. They cannot convict themselves. They may never be saved if they do not give their hearts to Jesus when they are under conviction. 

It is like trying to plan a tornado. You may go to a tornado and it may come to you but you are not going to get it to go where you want. The Holy Spirit may be working in a certain church and people may be coming to Christ in miraculous numbers but you are not going to be able to command the Holy Spirit to come upon you. You can ask but I believe even that asking comes from the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

Let's suppose the greatest leader your country has known came to your house and knocked on your door. Would you tell him or her, "Not today. Come back and see me tomorrow."? Why would you suppose this leader would come to see you when you have snubbed him or her?

Salvation is a miracle. Don't try to treat it as mundane. Salvation is the rebirth of a person so that he has a new nature. Old things pass away. Behold new things have come. It changes a person's character. It changes his wants. It is not merely a preference. You do not get educated into salvation. You do not get coerced into salvation. You are born again into salvation.

No one should ever try to put off receiving Christ. He will not be able to do so. He may get another opportunity but he should not expect it. Many people do not get another opportunity. Why should anyone expect that he will be the one who will get another opportunity?

This calling of God; this conviction of the Holy Spirit is true of any calling from God. He may have called you into the vocational ministry or to talk to your neighbor about Jesus. Why should you expect Him to come back to you again? He has already called. 

Do whatever the Lord has called you to do like there is no tomorrow. 

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