Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Call of Faith

A friend of mine was playing basketball one day.  He landed, took a couple of dribbles and collapsed; people playing with him thought he’d had a heart attack, but instead he had done something awful to his back.  For days after that, he was utterly useless.  He tried going to work and school, but he just couldn’t function.  The spine is a very important part of your body.  When we have dysfunction or pain in one part of the body--a sore throat, a bad knee, or a broken toe--we can usually gut it out, overcome it.  But the spine is like the hub of the body; everything is connected to that.  So my friend found himself lying in bed for days, popping pain pills and hoping it would go away.  This was a guy in his early twenties, by the way.  But, as he told me later, at that point he felt like he was 120 years old.  He was utterly feeble.  Walking to the bathroom required a herculean effort.  He started to get depressed, wondering if things would be bedridden for the rest of his life.  Then one day, one of his pillows fell off the bed.  He leaned over to pick it up, partially twisting his body as he did, and heard a loud CRACK.  That was a terrifying sound, but he immediately felt relief.  The next day he went off to work and school and was just fine.  I think about that story whenever I have back pain; unfortunately, I have never been able to twist my body just right…and no, I am not soliciting your recommendations for a good chiropractor.  The point of that story is this: In the same way the spine is the hub of the body, our relationship with God is the key to every other part of our lives.  If we are out of alignment with God’s plans for us, it is going to affect us in profound ways.  We may try to numb that pain or distract ourselves by focusing on other things, but nothing will bring joy and peace until we get right with Him.   
            In the month of July, I'm preaching about faith.  This Sunday, we'll be looking at the faith that is required to answer God's call on your life.  This message is intended for three different kinds of people.  First are those who feel that God is calling to a major change in vocation.  The second group are people who know God is calling them to a major change in character.  And the third group is those who God is preparing for His next big call on our lives.  I have news for you: The God we serve does not rest.  He is either leading you through a major change or He's getting you ready for one.  So how do we insure that we will not miss out on the call of God?  Sunday, we'll take a look at the call of Elisha from 1 Kings 19:19-21.  We'll see what he was being called to do, what he had to leave behind, how God called him, and how he responded.

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