We are Called

If I were to put the words of Jesus into two categories it would be verbs that indicate what we are to do and be, and his stories of what that is to look like. I don’t think Jesus ever wanted us to find comfort in activity; he wanted our activity to be an intentional choice based on our relationship with him.

What is the motivation for what you do? I do not clean or iron or cook or dust or any of those gajillion other things I do around my house because I just love doing them. I do them as an expression of my love for my family and my appreciation for what I’ve been given. I do not serve in my church because there is a checklist of “church things” required of me. I do not try to obey God’s word because I fear a lightning bolt will destroy me if I don’t. I do those things because I love God and want others to see him in me and know him, too. Action without relationship will rob us of our joy. It will cause us to create “religion” that is not drawing others to Christ.

Lately I’ve noticed some Christians around me who are not characterized by joy. They are “doing” all the right things, but because they think they are supposed to, not because it is an outpouring of their love for God. When God told the Hebrews to build him a Tabernacle in the desert or a Temple in Jerusalem, he wasn’t just giving them chores to keep them busy. The goal of what they were to do was to create a place where he could meet with them.

The Church today seems to be in decline in America. Maybe that’s because of what we’ve made the church into. God, in both Testaments, called us to himself. Jesus established the church before he ascended as a tool for us to seek God in our lives, not as the goal of our lives. I’ve had people tell me that they have “religion” and they don’t need the church. Their “religious” philosophy is enough for them. Religion is what man has made out of the Church God wanted. Religion is a static set of rules and rituals. God never called us to religion. God calls us to active relationship, with him and with other Christians, that will make us constantly aware of his presence.

Every time you see God in relationship with an individual, you see change. Abraham and Joseph changed their address. Moses and David changed their career goals. Daniel changed his diet. The blind could see; the lame could walk. Jesus awoke passion in Peter, peace in a demon possessed man, and generosity in Zacchaeus. People who find comfort in the routine of their own plans are missing the adventure and abundance God wants for them. God may change your plans, or may ask you to keep your plans and change your perspective, but he will ask you to change.

Knowing God, knowing his love and his presence and his guidance, is anything but static. It is not a passive existence for prudish people. Too many choose obedience that they hope will keep them from hell, and refuse the relationship that makes this life awesome. What God calls me to do will undoubtedly look very different from what he calls you to do. But we are called to do.

My next few blogs will examine some of these “action” verbs. God commands us to action. Jesus is very clear, and I’ve found he’s even alphabetical…!