In more than three decades of my Christian life, I have been blest by 2 types of Daily devos'
(matter not exceeding 500 words) in universal Christian literature. Not only those Devos'
which have a different theme everyday but also the ones which revolve around a certain
theme over a period of time, say a fortnight, have richly edified me. In fact, both
styles have their own inherent advantages. If the former style caters to the varying
spiritual needs of a christian from day-to-day, the latter aims 'to ground'
a child of God in a certain subject in order he derives the full benefits of the
deep insightful study of a certain topic, spread over a fixed span of time.
In my Daily devo page, I have consciously tried to go in for 'a blend of both the
styles' whereby within a constant theme, I would be aiming to focus on different
facets of it which admittedly is a closer imitation of the 'Constant theme' style
than the 'Varying topics' one.
As the month of December coincides with the Christmas season, in this month I intend to
dwell exclusively on all the topics revolving around Christmas using the visit of the
Wise man described in Matthew 2 as the base.
Let me wish you a happy and an edifying read… oh yes-MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF US!
Call through God’s servants
So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat.
He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair.
Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran
after Elijah. "Let me kiss my father and mother good-by," he said, "and then
I will come with you." "Go back," Elijah replied. "What have I done to you?"
So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them.
He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate.
Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant –
I Kings 19:19-21
How true that…thematic Study of God’s word bears striking resemblance to Deep sea diving,
for like deep sea exploration, thematic study too keeps leading us from one
exciting new discovery to another. Take for instance, our thematic (can also be
called topical) study of the visit of the Wise men as a part of the greater
Christmas story, which brought to the fore several fascinating insights,
hitherto (at least to some new believers) unrevealed.
Even whilst focusing on the III gift of wise men –Myrrh- we had been led by a chain
of congruent thoughts to the broader subject of ‘God’s call for full-time
work’. Our meditation yesterday ‘On the receptivity to His Call’, had lent
itself to meditation on yet another subtopic -‘God’s call received through
Yes, there are cases in the Bible of God’s call for full-time work not coming
directly from Him but through His dedicated, devout servants. The words
in italics in the previous sentence have been used advisedly to indicate that
such a call can come only and only through his dedicated, devout servants who
alone can be relied upon to tell the truth on this paramount issue which can
make or break one’s life.
The call to Joshua to assume the leadership responsibilities of Moses on latter’s
departure from the scene came from Moses himself (as sincere a leader, as one
can find) on receiving the Lord’s instruction to that effect
Similarly Elisha’s call emanated from his predecessor Elijah (a
committed soldier of the Lord) again on Lord’s instruction
(I Kings 19:16).
In the Christian context dear friends, the call through his servants can come by
way of a message from a pulpit or a dais or even by way of personal ‘across the
table’ counseling. Usually for this the Lord would prepare the heart of a
believer by the prompting of His indwelling Holy spirit or by touching him with
a relevant Scripture reading and this prompting for full-time work in due
course gets validated by virtue of the concerned believer either hearing a
perfect message speaking directly to his heart from a devout God’s
servant or even by counseling to that effect. In these days of several
profiteering God men, yes there are still credible Christian leaders who can be
relied upon to speak truly on His behalf. For instance, I have immense respect
for the leaders of a missionary organization namely Friends Missionary Prayer
Band, Chennai, India, who through years of selfless, sacrificial service
have earned the respect of one and all.
Now coming to my own case of receiving and responding to God’s call for full-time
work, it all began with the prompting of the indwelling Holy Spirit, when I was
recalling the faithfulness of God in constantly providing for the needs of
full-timers who preceded me. When I resisted the prompting (it is not easy to
‘die’ to a secure way of life which also guarantees good social status), the
joyous presence of the Lord in my heart left me only to be replaced therein by
the tormenting ‘evil spirit’. When we do not respond to his gentlemanly
persuasion, well, God quite justifiably resorts to some measured arm-twisting
tactics…remember the case of Jonah! It was only when I ‘surrendered’ to His
will after 2 days of spiritual unrest and turmoil, did peace and joy start
flowing again in my heart. Now after 46 months in full-time work, I can testify
my God is a faithful God, who has not let me down in any way.
While, on the subject of ‘full time’ service, tomorrow I would like to focus on a
related, insightful scripture portion, which goes thus…
‘For many are called but few are chosen’ –
Father in heaven, it is indeed a privilege that you have
entrusted some of us with a sole responsibility of doing ‘your business’
in this world. For that, we thank you in Jesus’ name. Amen.