Wanted : Our Calling of Deliverance

In what wide and mysterious sweeps the great God works when He wants a leader of men. That is where we find ourselves now. We are bidden to take the initiative and if anyone follows us, praise God. He never finds him where we should expect to find him. A man is wanted as a Johnny on the spot, at the center of God's work, but he is being prepared on the remote circumference. God wants us where we are, and calls His men from the most obscure and unlikely places. We find ourselves like of old, the altars are defiled, the palaces are perverted, and for most worship is hollow, and many are crooked in trade. A leader is wanted to awaken and scourge the people. And he will be like us, or will be us, like in the days of old, nobody special, just an average everyday person.

Look at examples of the past. He was found in a remote, wretched and despised little village of Tekoa. Amos, a poor herdsman following the flock, was God's man. A prophet of fire was wanted in Bethel, and God prepared him in Tekoa.

Come down through the centuries. Here was Christianity in peril of being Judaized. The open secret of Christianity was in danger of being limited to a botanical garden, with everything labeled, circumscribed, and confined. The religion of the spirit was in danger of becoming a religion of the letter. A man was wanted who would come and break down these Judaic barriers and bring religion out into the larger and freer atmosphere of the Christian faith. Would anybody ever imagine that in order to break down Pharisaic restrictions the Lord should call for a man in Tarsus, a Pharisee of Pharisees, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, nourished in exclusiveness? But it is the Apostle Paul who breaks down the barriers and rescues the early Christian faith from the bonds of Judaic restriction.

Centuries afterwards the religion of Europe is becoming a deceptively attractive appearance for indulgence. The Father's house has become a den of thieves. The doctrine of grace has been wiped out by a system of man-devised works. Religion is devitalized; morals have become dissolute. Wanted, a man who in Europe should be both scourge and evangelist! Where shall he be found? The Lord called a man that was in Eisleben, in the house of a poor miner, and Martin Luther came forth to defy the Pope and grapple with all the corruption of the established religion. A fire was wanted to burn the refuse which had accumulated over spiritual religion, and the fire was kindled in a little village, in a little home far away from the broad highways of social privilege and advantage.

When God would make an apostle to send out to the regions beyond lying in darkness, away at Northampton, at a shoemaker's bench, He prepares William Carey. There is a servitor at Oxford, the son of a butcher, and at the right moment God brings out George Whitefield. A youth is being prepared by God in a small rectory, and at the time of his showing forth Wesley came with a mighty, flaming evangel which set all the kingdom on fire.

Let us think also in wider orbits of the Divine Presence in the individual life. For instance, in what sweeping lines the Almighty moves on His journeys in seeking to bring us to Himself, and to fashion us into the grace and strength of His own image. He lifts an ensign to some remote circumstance, and there flows forth an influence which sets us on the road to God. Even in the individual life He calls His ministers from distant Assyria and from distant Egypt, and our life is turned toward the home of the Lord.

Our God still moves in these vast orbits. He brings a disappointment and it throws its dark shadow upon our life, but the shadow has been one of the healing shadows, and in that far-fetched discipline the soul has come to its own. 'I will come in clouds.' Even the clouds are under command, and they do the King's bidding. Another word of the Psalmist comes to mind. It is a great word: 'Thy faithfulness reacheth to the clouds.' 'I will command the ravens,' saith the Lord God. We can never tell in what remote circumstances our Lord is even now preparing our tomorrow. But one may be perfectly sure He is at work over the wide fields. 'Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him.' The Lord is thy Keeper.

Love Tim