Persistent Caller

Friday, August 26, 2005

Romans 11:29 – For God's gifts and his call are irrevocable. (NIV)

When I was a teenager, I tried very hard to get rid of God in my life. I can even remember — when I was fourteen — saying to God, "This is my last prayer to you. I don't need you anymore. I'm going to get on with my own life without you." For the next six years I became my own person, doing what I liked and loving the freedom I experienced.

But soon that joy of liberation and self-indulgence gave way to drunkenness and despair, to a distinct lack of purpose, and a time of self-hatred. To get me through the day, I took sedatives. To get me through the night, I drank beer. One evening, I woke up in a hospital. I had taken an overdose and had to spend three days in recovery. It was one of the lowest points in my life and perhaps one of the greatest cries for attention I have ever uttered.

I'd love to say that I learned my lesson, but the next two years seemed to get worse. I was struggling with alcohol, life, and, above all, God. I was wrestling with Him on a daily basis. Eventually I couldn't fight anymore, so I surrendered to God and found myself back in His kingdom. Within two years, I was heading to the University of Glasgow to begin my training as a student minister in the Church of Scotland.

God had a calling for me, and it was irrevocable. No matter how hard I fought against Him and squirmed to get out of His grasp, He held me firmly in His hands. I may have let go of God, but He wasn't about to let go of me.

Have you been wrestling with God for a while — doubting His effectiveness in the world, or questioning what role faith has in your life? No matter how wayward we may be or how defiant we may have become, if God has a calling for us, it is irrevocable. Instead of struggling with Him, let us surrender to Him. Instead of letting go, we need to let God take hold. There will be no regrets from the moment that we finally give ourselves to Him.

Prayer: Lord God, You gave each of us life and a purpose. Sometimes we falter and fail to do all that You want or to fulfill all that You need and expect us to do. If we have been fighting You for a long time, bring our self-affliction to an end. If we have been wrestling with the truth or suppressing Your call, take away our defiance, and open our hearts to Your ways, Your words, Your will. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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