Inspired by Call of the Sea by CoastalRise
When I was a child, one of the things I grew to love was the old hymn. I remember reading the old words and learning many aspects of faith through the words and verses of these hymns. One of my favorite hymns was a hymn called “Jesus Calls.” I liked it because the pianist usually played it at a speedy tempo, it was short, with a snappy melody, but what I never really understood until I became an adult was the power and significance of the lyrics
Jesus calls us over the tumult
Of our life’s wild, restless, sea;
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth,
Saying, “Christian, follow Me!”
As of old Saint Andrew heard it
By the Galilean lake,
Turned from home and toil and kindred,
Leaving all for Jesus’ sake.
Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store,
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying, “Christian, love Me more!”
In our joys and in our sorrows,
Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still He calls, in cares and pleasures,
“Christian, love Me more than these!”
Jesus calls us! By Thy mercies,
Savior may we hear Thy call,
Give our hearts to Thine obedience,
Serve and love Thee best of all.
Reading the lyrics of this hymn I discovered some interesting characteristics of Jesus. First, I learned the patience He had as He day by day continued calling and reaching out to me. Second, I learned the jealousy Jesus had for me and how important I was to Him. Third, I learned that no matter what was going on in my life, through the good, the bad and the ugly, Jesus was there every step of the way. Finally, I learned just how easy it was to come to Him, to answer His call and to follow Him. I didn’t have to be a scholar, I didn’t have to be rich and powerful, I didn’t have to have any special skills or abilities. Jesus loved me just the way I was, a common every day person.
When Jesus was building his kingdom, Jesus called 12 men from among His early followers to become His closest disciples. After an intensive discipleship course and following His resurrection from the dead, the Lord fully commissioned the apostles to advance God’s kingdom and carry the gospel message to the world. These men became the pioneering leaders of the New Testament church, but they were not without faults and shortcomings. Interestingly, not one of the chosen 12 disciples was a scholar or rabbi. They had no extraordinary skills. Neither religious, nor refined, they were ordinary people, just like you and me. But God chose them for a purpose, to fan the flames of the gospel that would spread across the face of the earth and continue to burn down through the centuries. He selected and used each of these regular guys to carry out his exceptional plan.
God delights in using failures; men and women who think they can do almost nothing right. I recently read a blog on Facebook of a struggling Christian mother who wrote, “My marriage is failing. I seem to do everything wrong in raising my children. I feel like I’m not worth anything to anybody. I’ve not been a very good wife, mother or Christian. I’ve got to be the world’s worst failure.” As I read this blog and thought about what the Bible said about being obedient to God’s call, I realized that she was just the kind of person the Lord is looking for. God is looking for people who know that if anything good happens through them, it must be because of God. All the hotshot Christians who go about bowling people over with their great abilities never impressed God with their actions. Psalms 149: 4 says, “For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He adorns the humble with salvation.”
The call of God can never be understood absolutely or explained externally; it is a call that can only be perceived and understood internally by our true inner-nature. Oswald Chambers once said, “The call of God is like the call of the sea to the sailor. Only he who has the nature of the sea within can hear the call.” In other words, a man who is “born to be a sailor” hears in his inner being the call of the sea and never rests until he answers that call and sets out on the high seas. No one hears it except the person who has the nature of the sea in Him. What God calls us to cannot be definitely stated, because His call is simply to be His friend to accomplish His own purposes. Our real test is in truly believing that God knows what He desires. The things that happen do not happen by chance, they happen entirely by the decree of God. God is sovereignly working out His own purposes.
The call of God is different for everyone. God calls some to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and to receive God’s forgiveness and gift of eternal life. Some He is calling to serve in a local church as an active lay person. Some to be a good neighbor, a missionary, pastor, teacher, a local leader, a politician, or a business person, wife, a husband, a parent, etc., etc. Whatever it is, God has a calling for each of us. It’s up to us to seek God’s guidance to discover what that call is, and get the training we need to do it as best we can.
As I close, if you’ve felt the tug of God on your heart, but never answered the call from God, what are you waiting for? I urge you to consider the fact that you have a God that loves you that bought your freedom and wants you to know Him intimately. Don’t wait another day to know Him, answer His call today. It’s really simple. Just go before Him in prayer and be honest with Him. Say something like, “Dear God, I’ve been lost in the sea of life. I’ve done things that I’m not proud of. I’ve tried to do things my own way, but it seems the more I do things on my own, the more I sink and fall. Lord, I need you to rescue me from my sin. I need you to help me to change my life, one day at a time. I am answering your call and accepting you into my life. From this day forward I will seek you for direction and purpose in my life. I will try to get to know you better each day through spending time with you in prayer and reading of the Bible. I will seek fellowship with other believers who can help me to grow and mature in my relationship with you and can help me to stay on the right track you’ve set before me. Thank you for never giving up on me. For waiting patiently for me to realize you were there the whole time. I know this isn’t going to be easy, but with you, I know that in the end, everything will work out for the best. In Jesus name I pray, Amen”
If you just prayed that prayer, know that from this day forward, your life is going to change drastically. For some change happens instantly. For others, it’s a long journey. Whatever path God has set for you, know that you’re not alone. He’s with you every step of the way and is always a prayer a way. Get plugged in to a local church, ask questions, and continue to seek God and His will and call for your life.
Tim Ewing is the founder of Kindred Concert Ministries. You can learn more about Kindred by going to www.facebook.com/kindredconcerts or by emailing him at email@example.com
CoastalRise is a six piece contemporary Christian group based out of Phoenixville, PA. “Call of the Sea” is from their sophomore release “Call of the Sea” which can purchased on iTunes, CD Baby, or from their website. For more information on CoastalRise visit their website at: www.coastalrise.com
Want to read other devotionals written by Tim? Go to: https://www.facebook.com/notes/kindred-concerts-for-christ/kindreds-devotional-series/463516160364310