Have you ever noticed how God spoke to men that He was specifically calling? Moses seeing a bush on fire, yet not being consumed by the flames, hears this voice, “Moses, Moses!” Moses’ responds, “Here I am.” And how about the young boy, Samuel” “Then the Lord called Samuel….and the Lord called again, “Samuel!” Now Samuel thought that the voice he had heard was the voice of Eli, the priest. But it was the Lord who was calling him. After three times, Samuel is given this advice from Eli: “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you (speaking of the Lord), that you must say, “Speak Lord, for your servant hears.” One more time….the Lord called out, “Samuel, Samuel!” Many years later we have the record of Saul…the persecutor of the early church hearing the voice of the Lord, “Saul, Saul….why are you persecuting Me?” Saul, zealous for the Lord, but without spiritual discernment asks, “Who are You Lord?” In a moment Saul had come quite personally acquainted with the Lord. For all these men, their lives would never be the same. They had encountered the living God and their lives would be wholly set apart for His divine will and purposes.
There is a general call to all who will hear. It is God’s personal invitation for us to humbly come to Him. At the end of Revelation (22:17) we read, “Whosoever will.” It is an unlimited offer of grace and salvation to all who desire to have their thirsty souls satisfied.
In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus tells us that “many are called but few are chosen.” God calls. Man has the choice to respond to His call or ignore it. There is a real balance between men accepting personal responsibility in their reply to the call of God, and divine sovereignty. The called, who reject Christ’s invitation do so willingly, and thus they themselves seal their eternal fate. But the chosen are those who sovereign God knew would accept the invitation by His grace.
We should not be surprised or doubt that the Lord would call men and women like you and I. We fit into the category which Paul describes: “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty…..that no flesh should glory in His presence.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)
“Who me,” you might ask? Most assuredly. God’s promise in Isaiah 49:16 gives us the reason: “For behold, I have carved you in the palm of My hand.”