07 November 2009

elisabeth elliot

He calls us every day, "o'er the tumult of our life's wild, restless sea." He comes to us in the little things, in the ordinary duties which our place in life entails. When I was a child He called me. The duty which my place in life entailed was obedience to my father and mother. In school and Sunday School He called me through the teacher. What she said I knew I was supposed to do. In first grade (yes, in public school) we sang the hymn, "Father, We Thank Thee." The second stanza says, "Help us to do the things we should, to be to others kind and good, in all we do at work or play to grow more loving every day." God's call again.

It's alluring to think of our own situation as very complex and ourselves as deep and complicated, so that we waste a good deal of time puzzling over "the will of God." Frequently our conscience has the answer.

My friend Jim O'Donnell tells how he, a hard-headed, hard-hearted man of the world, found Christ. His conscience was awakened. The call of God was immediate: "Go home and love your wife." The change was so sudden and so radical, Lizzie could not make head or tail of what had come over him. This self-confident and self-interested man had quit living for himself. He had died. An altogether new kind of life was now his. The first difference it made was the difference that mattered most--in his private life. It was there that he began to obey.

We are not talking here about audible voices. Although people in Bible times often heard God speak, we can expect that He will usually speak today through conscience, through the written Word, through other people, and through events. Events themselves, the seemingly insignificant happenings of every day, reveal the will of God. They are the will of God for us, for while we live, move, and have our being here on earth, in this place, this family, this house, this job, we live, move, and have our being in God. He "pulls strings through circumstances," as Jim Elliot said, even the bad circumstances (see Genesis 45:8, 50:20).

Three questions may help to clarify the call of God. Have I made up my mind to do what He says, no matter what the cost? Am I faithfully reading His Word and praying? Am I obedient in what I know today of His will?

"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul" (Psalm 143:8, NIV).

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