Friday, May 12, 2017

No Easy Thing

If Jeremiah thought being called to be a prophet of God was going to make him special and give him some immunity from hard troubles, he was wrong.  Many centuries after Jeremiah walked the roads of Judah, a 20th century disciple would write, "When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.")  ("The Cost of Discipleship" by Dietrich Bonhoeffer)  From the very beginning Jeremiah was told to expect the going to be rough.  Numerous times God told him not to pray for the people of Judah.  He was also told that when he spoke, no one was going to listen.  Neither should he marry, or consider having a family.  Jeremiah might have enjoyed being liked and popular, but such was not a part of the road he was called to walk.
It is not much different today.  Ask Dietrich Bonhoeffer who lost his life in a German prison at the end of WWII.  Ask Burleigh Law a martyr for Christ in the Congo.  Or, ask Jim Elliot who was killed by the native tribe with whom he sought to share Christ.  They were not the first to lose their lives after being called by God.  They will not be the last.  Fortunately, most of us who have heard the call of God at some point in our lives are still around to talk about it and continue serving.  But, the story of Jeremiah clearly reminds us that obedience to what God wants us to do is no guarantee of an easy painless life.  Neither is it a ticket to success as the world speaks of such.

Too many times we start whining and complaining when we are doing what we think we are supposed to do for God and things are not going well.  We often jump on board the call given to us without looking far enough ahead to see the cross at the end of the road.  Being obedient to God's call on our life was never spoken of as a picnic.  Such an expectation comes from the one who wants us to fail in our response to God's call on our life.  Once we say "yes" to what God wants to do in our life, it is not a question of where He leads, but wherever He leads.

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