In today’s time, it can be hard to truly listen and understand the call of God. When we read the Bible, there are many great examples found within its pages detailing how men and women of God heard and responded to God’s calling. These examples can make the modern day Christian feel a sense of doubt about their own calling when it doesn’t present in the same way as Biblical examples. With all things of the Bible, it is important to remember that although times do change, the principles of the Bible never do. Their presentation in modern day may be different, and God uses the Holy Spirit to guide us in understanding.
By studying examples of God’s calling in the Bible, we are given knowledge and understanding that we can apply to our own lives. Just because we may not be literal fishermen like some of the disciples doesn’t mean we need to disregard the entire message. Dig into the Bible. Learn from the believers who came before us. It can be invigorating to see how God works through His people and accomplishes goals that we may not be able to see at the time. His sovereignty in Bible times is the same as today, and His message is still crystal clear.
Use the following worksheet to help guide your Bible study about the Call of God. Together, these principles and verses can help you better understand how God’s calling can manifest itself. Take a look at the attitudes, examples, and principles of God’s calling and apply them to your life today.
Key Attitudes for Hearing God’s Calling
- Trust God – Prov. 3:5-6
- Living sacrifice – Rom. 12:1-2
- Willingness to obey – Jn. 7:17
Examples of God’s Calling
From the following examples note how, what, and in what circumstances God’s call came to these people.
Abraham – Deut. 7:1-5; Gen. 12:1-5; Heb 11:8
Moses – Ex. 3:1 – 4:20
Samuel – 1 Sam. 3:1-13
Isaiah – Isa. 6
Jeremiah – Jer. 1:1-19
Ezekiel – Ez. 1-3
Jonah – Jonah 1 – 3:3
Peter and Andrew – Mk. 1:16-18; Lk. 5:1-11; Jn. 1:35-42; Mt. 4:18-20
James and John – Mk. 1:19-20; Lk. 5:1-11; Mt. 4:21-22
Matthew – Mk. 2:13-17; Lk. 5:27-32; Mt. 9:9-15
Paul – Acts 9:1-20
Principles of God’s Calling
- Make sure it is God calling and not your idea – Gal. 1:1
- God takes volunteers – Isa. 6:8; Mat. 9:3-38
- The call is often a call to “go” with no geographical limitations – Jonah 1:1-3; 3:1-2; Heb. 11:8; Acts 7:1-5
- God clarifies His call as we walk in obedience – Gen. 12:1-4; Heb. 11:8; Gen. 17:1-8
- Failure to respond can bring chastening – example of Jonah
- Responding to God’s call may mean a change in lifestyle or vocation – Ex. 3:1,10
- The call of God is a call to serve – Mk. 1:16-18
- God’s call on the parents is meant also as a blessing for the children.