Speaking to the Soul – February 23

Called by God

This letter is from Paul, an apostle. I was not appointed by any group of people or any human authority, but by Jesus Christ himself and by God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead. Galatians 1:1

Reflecting on the call of Isaiah. He was absolutely clear that he was called by God to his challenging ministry. Today in this reading from Galatians we meet the apostle Paul, hundreds of years later, making it clear that he was appointed by God alone. This was no human appointment but one that God had decided to make. As this letter unfolds it will become increasingly clear why he needed to make this point right at the beginning. It’s a strong letter in which he shows his severe disagreement with many people. They needed to know that he was acting purely and simply on the orders of God himself.

There is nothing more important in life than to know that we are doing what God wants. Too often people have got the impression that only ministers and mission personnel are called by God, but that isn’t the case. Each day God calls all of us to work for him. In our schools, offices, colleges, hospitals, factories, homes, communities and friendships we are living and working as God’s representatives. That might sound rather overwhelming. We are all keen to emphasise how frail, failed and unimportant we are. But the fact is that God always equips the people he calls. We frequently face situations that are outside our experience or expectation. In those moments we need to remind ourselves why we are there in the first place! We are there because God has placed us there and we can confidently look to his Spirit to equip us to be who and what he wants us to be.

Throughout Paul’s ministry there were people who looked down on him. He hadn’t spent time with Jesus like the other apostles, and he was often seen as an outsider. He also doesn’t seem to have been a particularly powerful preacher and that didn’t go down well. But he knew he was called by God and that gave him the steel to stand up for his faith in the most testing of settings. Whatever others think of us, we all need to keep focused on what God thinks of us, and what he has called us to do.

What is God calling you to do for him today?

Lord God, thank you for equipping me to do whatever you call me to do. Amen