Romans 11:29, NIV
“For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.”
After our salvation I believe the call of God on our lives is the most precious thing we have. God has a calling and a destiny for each one of us, and He never changes His mind over it. We can only be disqualified from that call if we turn our backs on it.
When I was a little girl of 7 a neighbour asked my mother if she could take me to a slide presentation by a missionary, on furlough from Papua New Guinea. I was excited to go and enjoyed seeing all his slides of that beautiful country. At the close of the evening he gave an appeal for anyone who sensed God could be calling them to be a missionary to Papua New Guinea. In the last hymn I immediately went to the front and stood there next to him, though no one else came out. I imagine the missionary was a little disappointed, but eventually he came over and sat with me and said, “I’m going to pray that if this is of God, one day, when you’re grown up, God will take you to Papua New Guinea to preach His gospel”.
I remember returning home and excitedly telling my mother that when I grew up I was going to be a missionary to Papua New Guinea. I actually had no idea what a missionary was, or geographically where Papua New Guinea was. My mother replied, “Of course you are, dear, but now it’s time for bed”. I forgot all about this incident until 2009, when a pastor and his wife from Papua New Guinea came to the NETS programme. They subsequently invited me to hold an Ellel Conference in their church in Papua New Guinea.
Last week, when the wheels of the Air Niugini flight touched down, more than 50 years later, I was deeply impacted by the amazing purposes of God. I’m writing this now in Papua New Guinea and it’s been an amazing time of God’s blessing. We have sensed the presence of the Lord in a powerful way as many lives have been touched and changed.
When I read the story of Peter in the gospels, and Jesus saying, ‘On this rock I will build my church’ and then later Peter’s three denials of Jesus, I think it would have been quite understandable if Jesus had said to Peter, “As you’ve behaved so badly and messed up so much I’ve now decided to use John, instead of you, to build my church.” But in John 21, Jesus re-instates Peter. And in Acts Chapter 2, we see Peter, who denied Jesus, standing up and preaching so powerfully that 3,000 people are added to the church.
God chooses us – the weak and foolish – to confound the wise. God is utterly faithful and we can surely depend on Him to fulfil His purposes in our lives. The only question is: Are we willing to be obedient to that call?
Prayer: We thank You, Lord, that You never change Your mind about Your call or take back Your gifts once they’re given. Would You come today and whisper that call again into our ears, that we might unmistakeably know what it is that You’re calling us to do. We recommit our lives afresh to You now, and we want to be in the centre of Your will and purpose for us. Give us obedience and faith to follow You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.