For those of you who aren’t aware of The Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matthew 22:1-14), it gives the readers a tale of a king inviting people to a huge wedding banquet (meant to depict the Lord inviting people to the kingdom of Heaven) and while the people who were invited were called upon to attend, none of them responded. Some were even indignant at the servants who were trying to give them the message to attend; so much so that these incensed people even killed the messenger. Literally.
After finding none of the people who were invited worthy to attend the banquet, the king then had his servants call to anybody and everybody who was willing to attend, both the bad and the good, and see who graciously came.
So the hall was filled with guests, yet there was one man who did not have the proper attire (a metaphor for not attending the kingdom with a pure intention), and so he was cast out.
Now throughout my life, and I would surmise yours too, there have been random encounters with “messengers” who have tried to steer me in the direction of the Lord. Yes, it included several different religions, including but definitely not limited to: Jehovah’s Witness, Catholic Church, other different non-denominational and denominational factions, etc. There have even been individuals who have asked if they could pray over me, not under any certain religious motivation, just from an honest perspective of wanting to pray for someone in the name of the Lord.
And again, I wonder if the same applies to everyone at least once in their life. (Of course, implying when one grows up into teen/adulthood and can understand this concept – not indicating babies and young children that won’t quite understand this subject matter.)
My point is, I think we’re ALL called, whether some people realize it or not. Perhaps some will be called by others doing their brotherly/sisterly duties as a fellow human being, wanting to give people the “good news” that the Lord saves. Perhaps the call will be more personal, like a “divine” encounter of some sort, or even a strange “coincidental” incident that would be too hard to explain logically. Maybe the call will be more prominent, like a near death experience that jolts people into realizing the true purpose of life.
Has any of the below “callings” happened to you?
There are many testimonies of people who have been called to Jesus Christ through other people. And this heartfelt ministering (even if caught completely off-guard in a twisted turn of events) can have a life-altering effect.
Take the events surrounding Denzil Moses, an ex-gang leader who, after attempting to hijack a car, ended up being ministered to by the driver of the car.
The driver of the car, even in the face of a dangerous criminal, was able to look past that and see him as a fellow human being. It was this compassionate view, instead of showing fear, and his trust and faith in Jesus Christ, that startled Denzil so much that he wanted to know who this person was and why he wasn’t afraid of a tough gang leader. The driver stated that he was a child of Christ, and that God loves Denzil – no matter who he is, and this compelled Denzil to pray with the driver to be forgiven and to turn to Christ; even while he was pointing a gun at the driver’s head.
After this moment, Denzil states that he was a changed man, and he now works to bring light and truth to the drug dealers and gang leaders/members in his community, to try and help them find God and walk away from the dark corruption they were living in.
Saved by the young messenger in the car, Denzil is now a messenger himself; calling out to more fellow people to follow the ways of Jesus Christ.
In Elaine’s testimony, she describes her spiritual beliefs and how hard it was for her to overcome the New Age teachings in order to fully embrace the teachings of Christ.
Throughout all of her doubts and questions, and even living with a Christian husband and children, it wasn’t until the Holy Spirit came upon her that she was able to finally put her alternative beliefs aside.
“And remember that New Agers think that the world is evolving to perfection? Well, I also started to realize that the world was not getting better. That it is, in fact, really broken for some reason. In contrast to the brokenness of this world and the people in it, I started to see that God’s nature is holy and I started to realize that no one else is like him except Jesus.
At this time, the Holy Spirit was also getting through to me that I am not perfect and my concepts of perfection are not God’s concepts. Nice and good are not the same thing.
In the winter of 2008, my husband had to do extensive business travel, coming home only on weekends. It was during this time that the Holy Spirit led me through some good Christian books, one specifically on forgiveness. I was finally recognizing my own sin and I felt incredibly convicted.
It was at the Holy Spirit’s urging, a pressing not from me, that I was able to let go of the last “stronghold” of my New Age belief system, which was my belief in reincarnation.
I think it’s very interesting how she mentions “at the Holy Spirit’s urging, a pressing not from me” – I definitely understand how this feels as a similar occurrence happened to me when I was younger. Without wanting to sound “insane”, it is a very jarring experience when you have a sudden thought that you know is not your own. The only thing I could conclude is that it was a different entity trying to get my attention.
Needless to say, it worked. And I’m glad it worked for Elaine and cemented her belief and acceptance of Jesus Christ.
Who said a calling to God has to be a huge affair or with extraordinary pomp and circumstance?
It could be something from within; a small, still voice or urge from your conscience that leads you to the right path.
So from 22 onward, I had begun searching for answers.
At first, I tried man-made solutions. I investigated various ideologies and pursued numerous ideas but nothing seemed perfect. There always seemed to be at least one aspect of each one that I didn’t agree with.
I became hazily aware that I was leaving religion on the table until other options had been exhausted. I eventually became suspicious as to why my brain seemed to be avoiding the topic. So, one day I took a walk down to the Fulham Road to browse through a bookshop. There, I found a King James Bible. I flicked through it for maybe 20 minutes or half an hour, then put it back. I remembered this book from my childhood, when I had received a portion of it at school. I then put it back on the shelf and left.
THAT WAS IT. That was the biggest defining moment of my life. It doesn’t sound like much, does it? However, Jesus has had a profound influence on my life since then.
A few weeks later, I went back to purchase that Bible. I took it home and attempted to read it but it was hard-going. I decided to focus on keeping the Ten Commandments. So, began my walk with the Lord.
This is incredible because it came from an unknown prompt – something compelled him to look towards the Bible as the possible solution, even after deliberately putting the idea on the back-burner as a last resort. And after that seed was planted, it grew and blossomed into the good fruit that’s pleasing to the Lord. And what ultimately led him to his path with Christ.
A Call From God
Not sure if this is an actual story or just a parable, but a very amusing tale none-the-less:
One Saturday night, a pastor was working late and decided to call his wife before he left for home. It was about 10:00 PM, but his wife didn’t answer the phone. The pastor let it ring many times. He thought it was odd that she didn’t answer but decided to wrap up a few things and try again in a few minutes. When he tried again, she answered right away. He asked her why she hadn’t answered before, and she said that it hadn’t rung at their house. They brushed it off as a fluke and went on their merry ways.
The following Monday, the pastor received a call at the church office, which was the phone that he’d used that Saturday night. The man that he spoke with wanted to know why he’d called on Saturday night. The pastor couldn’t figure out what the man was talking about.
Then the man said, “It rang and rang, but I didn’t answer.”
The pastor remembered the mishap and apologized for disturbing him, explaining that he’d intended to call his wife.
The man said, “That’s okay. Let me tell you my story. You see, I was planning to commit suicide on Saturday night, but before I did, I prayed, ‘God if you’re there, and you don’t want me to do this, give me a sign now.’ At that point, my phone started to ring. I looked at the caller ID, and it said, ‘Almighty God’. I was afraid to answer!”
The church that the pastor attends is called Almighty God Tabernacle.
Sometimes (often?) God calls multiple times, in different ways.
David Sorenson writes in this post: My encounter with God… Amazing testimony! about his adoration, and then breakaway, from the Lord.
As a young child, he would often be found on his knees, praying to God, all by himself. He even ministered to his own mother, “You need to pray more.” At nine, he wanted to be a missionary and tell people all about God.
However, as he got older, hardships and turmoil began to take its toll on his love for God, and out of rebellion and a desire to be tougher than the environment around him, he turned to dark habits to fill the void in his life.
He relays how after one especially brutal encounter with a drug overdose, the panic reached him and, with his mother’s help, he was brought back to God.
This started a personal relationship with God, with actual audible callings from Him to lead David in how to serve the Lord. David was able to open himself to reject the harsh lifestyle he found himself in, and humble himself to accepting the Love and Forgiveness that Jesus Christ offers.
Glimpse of the Other Side
I have mentioned Howard Storm multiple times on this site, mostly because his near death experience is detailed and thorough, covering a lot of bases, and is also very enlightening and touching. His is a testimony worth repeating, with a lot of important insights into the human condition and spirit.
What starts out as an out of body experience after passing out from stomach perforation pain, Howard Storm soon finds himself following unfamiliar beings down a long, gray tunnel; which slowly turns into a harrowing, tortuous ordeal as Howard Storm realizes that he has been misled by terrible demonic creatures.
With nowhere left to turn, Howard hears a tiny voice within him telling him to “Pray to God”. Thus begins Howard Storm’s journey into really knowing and having a relationship with God. You can read about his incredible testimony here:
or check out this video (I started the video at around 35 minutes in for a real pertinent part, but the whole video is relevant and emotionally stirring):
There are many more ways that the Lord calls out to us. In dreams/visions, a specific song or book – playing/displaying seemingly just for you, an answer to a prayer, random epiphany out of nowhere, etc.
Regardless of the method(s), my theory is that we’re ALL called at some point(s) in our life, and the question is, are we going to HEED this call, or ignore it?
Are we going to reply to God’s calling with, “Not now. Ask me later.” so that we can resume our life without guilt or shame and only respond when we’re “good and ready”? (If it’s not too late by then…) Are we going to reply at all?
Are we going to let “pride” win and harden our hearts to the belief that ‘there is no God’ and that whatever this “calling” is, is simply a coincidence and nothing significant behind it?
Lastly, if none of the above has ever applied to you: if you did not hear the voice of God calling out to you, if you have never had a near death experience or similar pointing you in the direction of Jesus Christ or God and Heaven, if you have never had a strange encounter or coincidence leading you to seek the kingdom of God, if you have never had someone individually ask to pray over you and ask you to respond with an open-heart to the possibility of Jesus Christ being the Way, the Truth, and the Life, then consider this post, me, calling out to you now and inviting you to be a part of Love and Compassion that Jesus Christ was trying to teach the world.
God does indeed love you and each and every one of us, and it is not His desire to see any of us perish. Which is why He has given us many chances to repent and turn away from sin. All we need to do is accept Him in our life and sincerely love Him and others – as was Jesus Christ’s last commandments:
“30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
This is the most important commandment because if we just followed these simple life rules, then we would not want to sin in our deeds or against our fellow people. And we would be able to raise our spiritual inclination and our vibration to reach that of Heaven; and hopefully bring others with us.
I have now, as a servant of God, officially called out to you to invite you to the kingdom of Heaven. Will you attend with a pure and humble heart? Or will you cast this message aside and resume your worldly life?
Love to you all, and I hope and pray that more and more people will heed His call.
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