God’s Called Ones

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Through Biblical history, we can perceive that God Almighty has called His children and accomplished His great works through them. Each age, God-the Creator of all things-called the forefathers of faith such as Joshua, Samuel, David, Peter and John and raised them up so that the light of God’s word might not be quenched but continue to shine.

In this last age, God has called us to His great work. Let’s find out what attitude of mind we should have in order to be worthy of God’s calling, through the history of the Bible.

All power belongs to God

When God calls His workers, He doesn’t care about their outward appearance or ability. Does God call His workers because He needs anything from them? Certainly not. God Almighty brought forth water from the rock in the desert where there was not even a single drop of water. He divided the Red Sea to rescue His loving people from the Egyptian army. He made the strong walls of Jericho fall down flat at the sound of the seven trumpets of rams, and He made those who were fighting against Him disappear like snow and like dew. To Him, it doesn’t matter whether we have much strength or not.

If a man has been called by God, he doesn’t need to worry at all. When he believes the fact that God has called him and steps forward, he will always sing of glory, raising the banner of victory.

Even after having a definite call from God, sometimes we are worried because of visible obstacles and barriers and fear them. Whenever we feel afraid, the history of God’s mighty works that occurred to the Israelites gives us strength and courage to stand firm in faith. In the Bible, we meet the living witnesses who saw God’s mighty works with their own eyes in each age.

The faith of Joshua who depended on God’s power

God’s remarkable power is manifest in Israelite history. When Joshua led the people of Israel to Jericho, God’s mighty power was clearly seen.

The Jordan was at flood stage all during harvest. It was at the time of harvest that Joshua had to cross the Jordan River with the people. The river overflowed all its banks; the current was very swift and there was a dangerous whirlpool. They could never cross the river on their own.

However, they were full of faith in God whose mighty hand would help them, and obeyed His instructions. As a result, they could cross the river in line, taking up the ark of the covenant.

“So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah [the Salt Sea] was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.” Jos 3:14-17

If they had submitted to the visible situations and not stepped forward bravely, if they had not obeyed God’s order in fear of drowning, they would have fallen in the desert, not having set foot on the land of Canaan flowing with milk and honey.

As God told them to proceed and cross the Jordan, they dipped their feet into its waters without fear. Then they experienced God’s power by which the waters of the Jordan were cut off so that they might cross the Jordan on dry ground.

When they arrived at Jericho, they didn’t attack the city with sword or spear but just marched around the city once a day for six days according to God’s order. They knew that God had planned to make the city of Jericho fall down on the last [seventh] day-after they marched around the city seven times.

“Joshua got up early the next morning and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets went forward, marching before the ark of the LORD and blowing the trumpets. The armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard followed the ark of the LORD, while the trumpets kept sounding. So on the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days. On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. … When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city.” Jos 6:1-20

God told them to blow the trumpets and shout, and they did just as He directed them. Then the walls of Jericho, which seemed to be so strong, fell down. This was not caused simply by the great shout with which the Israelites shouted. As God told them to ‘march,’ they just marched; and as God told them to ‘shout,’ they just shouted. Because they had such obedient faith in God, they experienced His mighty power.

What if only 10 percent of the people had shouted and the rest of them had kept silent when God told them to ‘shout’? Would they have obtained such an unbelievable result? They would never! If not all of them had shouted, God’s mighty hand would not have worked.

When God told all of them to shout, would the shouters’ capacity or ability matter? Certainly not. Nothing is impossible with God. The way to bring forth victory was to obey and follow whatever God told them.

Now, we’ve been called by God to ‘shout.’ When we blow the trumpets loud toward the great city of Babylon, we can see God’s great power working.

God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. Will He be silent in this age? Every prophecy is now being fulfilled. In this present age, God helps us much more than in any past age. However, unless we respond to God’s calling and carry out our mission, we will not experience God’s mighty power and help.

The faith of Gideon who depended on God’s power

Through the history of Gideon, let’s see God’s almighty power once again. When the Midianite army camped (in the valley) to attack Israel, there were only 32,000 Israelite men to fight against the Midianite army of 135,000. However, when God chose the warriors who would go into battle, He said that 32,000 were too many. God chose only 300 of them and ordered them to fight against the Midianite army of over 400 times as large as theirs.

“… The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.'” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained. But the LORD said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will sift them for you there. … The LORD said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the other men go, each to his own place.” So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites to their tents but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others. … The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled. When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the LORD caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. The army fled to …” Jdg 7:1-23

It was torches, trumpets and jars that Gideon’s 300 men held in their hands, not weapons such as swords and spears. However, their hearts were filled with the faith in God. Who would imagine that only 300 men would defeat 135,000 enemy soldiers? However, God had already planned and prepared a strategy to defeat Midian. The people, who were called, participated in God’s mighty works by faith as living witnesses.

When God calls us and gives us a mission to do, He reveals His power to us in poor and unfavorable circumstances, so that we may realize that He is with us and depend only on Him.

If we think that it’s impossible to do the work to which we have been called, we are just like those who have not read even a single page of the Bible. Everything is possible for those whom God has called. It seems impossible to narrow-sighted men. However, all things are possible with God.

The faith worthy of God’s calling

From nothing God created living creatures on earth. He separated the light from the darkness and the water under the expanse from the water above it. He created the beasts of the field, birds of the air, all livestock and fishes of the sea according to their kinds; He created all kinds of trees and woods, and made the two great lights-the greater light [the sun] to govern the day and the lesser light [the moon] to govern the night.

Now, can we hesitate to answer God’s call, feeling that we are in much more difficult circumstances than when God created all things out of nothing? Never! Everything is possible. Whatever difficulties we may face, we can overcome with the help of God who made the heavens and the earth.

Our forefathers in faith didn’t hesitate or fear or give up in spite of having little strength, when they were called by God. David, though young, showed his valor by overthrowing the giant Goliath with his sling. Peter, though he was an unlearned fisherman, followed God’s calling without hesitation; as a result he received the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

Thus, God called those who had little strength, and subdued the mighty under them; He called the weak and made them destroy the great and powerful nations and kingdoms. God has now called us. We must respond to God’s calling, believing firmly that we can do everything if we put on God’s strength, rather than hesitate, complaining about our circumstances and our lack of competence. If we follow God’s calling with absolute faith, we will repeat our victories.

Loving brothers and sisters! We shouldn’t believe in God only literally. If a man says that he believes God’s power which the Bible testifies to but he loses heart and refuses God’s calling in the face of seemingly impossible circumstances, he is not the one who has true faith. Through the faith of our forefathers described in the Bible, we should gain strength and courage to willingly respond to God’s calling.

Like Joshua, Samuel, Gideon and David, God’s called ones already have the promise of victory. God made 300 men attack the great army of Midian, because it was predestined to win the battle; He told the Israelites to cross the Jordan, because He Himself would make it possible for them to cross it; He told them to march around the city of Jericho, because He would empower them to destroy the city.

Thus, God gives a sure promise of victory to His called ones. We must not forget that. If we fall into negative thinking, “I am lacking …,” we will never experience God’s almighty power. We will foolishly neglect God’s calling when we consider our own abilities or qualifications.

Now we’ve been called by God to a very important task. He called Joshua and let him lead the Israelites across the Jordan River into the land of Canaan flowing with milk and honey. He called Gideon and made him deliver the Israelites from oppression by Median. Now, God calls us to accomplish the gospel work in these last days. We should realize God’s great plan and participate in His work.

God assures us of victory when He calls us. Now, the calling of God moves our hearts. God chose the weak and the powerless to accomplish His great work. In these last days, too, He has called us, who have little strength, and entrusted us with a great mission of baptizing all nations in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything He has commanded us.

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mt 28:18-20

It is not too much to say that those who bear no fruit are in a spiritually dangerous situation. Through the Bible we know well that autumn trees without fruit cannot go into the kingdom of heaven. We must not forsake God’s call by considering our own situations and honor. Even Christ came to this earth in the flesh and suffered insult and pain in order to save one soul. Remembering that, we should go forward with faith according to Christ’s example.

Though we are powerless and incompetent, if we obey God’s calling, depending on God’s power given to Gideon and David, God will move the souls so that we may bear fruit. We are members of one body. When each member works hard for the gospel-some plant the seeds of the gospel and some water them, he will produce fruit in keeping with it.

Brothers and sisters! Do not forget that God has called us to accomplish the gospel work in this age. I hope all brothers and sisters in faith will go back to heaven, shouting, “Halleluiah!” when God finishes the work of the gospel at the last day.