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Thread: Where in the bible does it say God calls us to do a certain thing?

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    Where in the bible does it say God calls us to do a certain thing?

    Kind of wondering about this since its used alot on the board and among Christians in general. As our pastor pointed out some people have been literally sitting and waiting on God to call them to do something for years...

    He was giving example of people asked to serve in church saying well if God calls me to do that I will...and they don't do anything at all.

    And some think if God has called us to do something 'doors will open' and the 'path is made easy' for us to do that thing...yet if we read just the story of Joseph in the bible, clearly his path was far from easy and most of it was totally out of his control...yet as the bible says, 'God was with him'. (one example of many in his story: Genesis: 39:21 But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love.

    So I am wondering...what is the scriptural support on saying 'God calls us' to do a certain thing?

    Thanks

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

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    Re: Where in the bible does it say God calls us to do a certain thing?

    Not much!

    God requires us to be stewards of all of the gifts he gives to us, including brain power, energy, and opportunity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RabbiKnife View Post
    Not much!

    God requires us to be stewards of all of the gifts he gives to us, including brain power, energy, and opportunity.
    The idea seems to be IF God has called someone to do a certain thing..it will work out for them..if it doesn't work it, it means He didn't call them to do that in the first place.. And I have heard some amazing examples given how 'God made a way' for a certain thing to happen...so its sounds right..

    But when I read the bible..I just don't see anyone following God having smooth sailing on anything He had them do..it was hard, dirty, sweating..at times life threatening work!

    So where did we get these ideas from in the first place?
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

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    Re: Where in the bible does it say God calls us to do a certain thing?

    Pop psychology preaching.

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    Re: Where in the bible does it say God calls us to do a certain thing?

    I haven't been able to get my arms around this either. While I certainly sympathize and understand why people want direction and validation from the Almighty, at some point, it begins to feel like using God as a divining rod. There is an incapability to progress unless God points the way with a big neon sign.

    Kuddos to MG for linking this concept to the story of Joseph. I can't imagine him thinking "Does God want me to jump in this pit or not" or "Should I accept Pharaoh's promotion"

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    Re: Where in the bible does it say God calls us to do a certain thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by moonglow View Post
    The idea seems to be IF God has called someone to do a certain thing..
    Sometimes people just don't listen for they know not His voice
    The LORD is my Miracle

    G_d was gracious He has shown favor


    Hope is a seed
    God plants in our hearts
    to remind us
    there are better things ahead.
    -Holley Gerth


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    Re: Where in the bible does it say God calls us to do a certain thing?

    The biblical examples show us people who committed the way to God, and God, through what they faced, helped them to mature and grow, as they committed all they had to Him. At least, that is how I read the lives of Abraham, Joseph, David, and many others. God never said it would be smooth sailing, He only promised that He would never leave us or forsake us. Mary Stevenson's famous poem is a good echo of God's promise to never leave us:

    Footprins in the Sand
    Mary Stevenson

    One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
    Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
    In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
    Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
    other times there were one set of footprints.

    This bothered me because I noticed
    that during the low periods of my life,
    when I was suffering from
    anguish, sorrow or defeat,
    I could see only one set of footprints.

    So I said to the Lord,
    “You promised me Lord,
    that if I followed you,
    you would walk with me always.
    But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
    there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.
    Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?”

    The Lord replied,
    “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
    is when I carried you.”
    God happens!
    'I Can Only Imagine'

    Bless the Beasts and the Children:
    http://youtu.be/AhR36gV6vW4

    On cautionary note:
    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectPeter
    When they say something... it is about anyone's guess what it is they really mean... but NEVER ask for clarification of their mysterious language... they are often very happy to give it and that's when the discussion goes FREAKY!

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    Quote Originally Posted by HisLeast View Post
    I haven't been able to get my arms around this either. While I certainly sympathize and understand why people want direction and validation from the Almighty, at some point, it begins to feel like using God as a divining rod. There is an incapability to progress unless God points the way with a big neon sign.

    Kuddos to MG for linking this concept to the story of Joseph. I can't imagine him thinking "Does God want me to jump in this pit or not" or "Should I accept Pharaoh's promotion"
    Now I know many Christians didn't like the movie Bruce Almighty but your post reminded me of when he was driving his car praying for a sign from God and the truck in front of him was filled with signs to STOP, slow down, etc...which he ignored and wrecked his car...

    I do believe God guides us in difficult times for sure and is with us as He was with Joseph. Joseph had totally no control over what was happening to him for years and years and years, yet he could decide how to handle each situation he was in and he always honored God...so God was with him. The only time God got upset with him is when through his own efforts he tried to get out of prison instead of relying on God.

    I image most of us would want out of prison..especially being falsely accused of a crime! Yet He had to just wait on the Lord in this case. But he wasn't waiting on God to give him the thumbs up to do a certain thing. He fact again he had no control over how he got out of prison. So it wasn't a matter of him waiting on the Lord to tell him what to do...or being called to do a certain thing either. God gave him the spiritual gift to interpreting dreams and so he did what naturally came to him and in the end..that is what got him out of prison.



    We know there are certain things we should be doing without having to ask God..worshiping Him, prayer, bible study, taking care of our families, being good stewards of what He has given us (I mean seriously I hope no one is asking God if they should clean house or mow the yard)...those things are a given. Serving in church should be a given too yet people get stuck on that one for some reason..
    deciding a job career..if its not illegal or against anything God says, why not then?

    Well anyway as our pastor said...you don't have to wait to 'be called from God' just do everything for His glory. Obviously with that in mind I don't think anyone is going to decide to be a serial killer or something...

    Thanks slightlypuzzled..I know that one by heart.

    Ta-An

    Sometimes people just don't listen for they know not His voice
    Maybe they don't need too.

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

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    Re: Where in the bible does it say God calls us to do a certain thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by moonglow View Post


    Maybe they don't need too.

    God bless
    How can you hear that you are called unless you can 'hear' ??
    The LORD is my Miracle

    G_d was gracious He has shown favor


    Hope is a seed
    God plants in our hearts
    to remind us
    there are better things ahead.
    -Holley Gerth


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    Re: Where in the bible does it say God calls us to do a certain thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ta-An View Post
    How can you hear that you are called unless you can 'hear' ??
    That is my question though..where does it say in the bible we have to be called to do something?
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

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    Re: Where in the bible does it say God calls us to do a certain thing?

    Acts 13:2 KJV As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
    Romans 1:1 KJV Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
    Romans 1:7 KJV To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    1 Corinthians 7:17 KJV But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.
    2 Timothy 1:9 KJV Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
    Hebrews 11:8 KJV By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

    Mostly, we are called to be witnesses, to testify of Christ and what he had done in each of our lives. We are called to love our neighbor. That takes on many forms.
    We are called to obedience, and that takes on many forms.
    Perhaps a better question is, are we called to do nothing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kahtar View Post
    Acts 13:2 KJV As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
    Romans 1:1 KJV Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
    Romans 1:7 KJV To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    1 Corinthians 7:17 KJV But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.
    2 Timothy 1:9 KJV Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
    Hebrews 11:8 KJV By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

    Mostly, we are called to be witnesses, to testify of Christ and what he had done in each of our lives. We are called to love our neighbor. That takes on many forms.
    We are called to obedience, and that takes on many forms.
    Perhaps a better question is, are we called to do nothing?
    Those were very hard for me to read..since I don't read KJV so I looked them up in the New King James version and in some I added more for content purposes:

    Hebrews 11:8 Hebrews 11:8 (New King James Version)

    Faithful Abraham

    8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

    2 Timothy 1:8-10 (New King James Version)

    Not Ashamed of the Gospel

    8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,

    17 But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches. 18 Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters. 20 Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called. 21 Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it. 22 For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called.

    Romans 1:7 (New King James Version)

    7 To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints:

    Romans 1
    Greeting
    1 Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God 2 which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. 5 Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, 6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;7 To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints:

    Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


    For the last two verses on that last passage:
    Adam Clarke's bible commentary:
    Verse 6. Ye are the called
    Ye Romans are all invited to believe in Christ Jesus, for the salvation of your souls; and to you, with the rest, my apostolical mission extends. This appears to be the most obvious sense of the word called in this place-to be called by the Gospel is to be invited to believe in Christ Jesus, and become his disciples. The word sometimes means constituted, or made, as in Romans 1:1.

    Verse 7. Called to be saints
    Invited to become holy persons, by believing the Gospel and receiving the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Or, here, the word may have the meaning of made or constituted, as above; to all that be in Rome, CONSTITUTED saints, for they had already received the Gospel grace, and were formed into a Christian Church.


    Mostly, we are called to be witnesses, to testify of Christ and what he had done in each of our lives. We are called to love our neighbor. That takes on many forms.
    We are called to obedience, and that takes on many forms.
    Perhaps a better question is, are we called to do nothing?
    Most of those the call is being called to believe..to be followers of Christ. Abraham literally followed God where as now most of the time we spiritually follow Christ. Paul and the other disciples were given direct instructions from Christ to go out into all the world to preach the gospel. This was new ground that was being broken. And now we have missionaries that do this...but do they have to wait to be called by God directly like these first disciples?

    Being obedient and witnessing again are all givens and we shouldn't have to be called by God to do such things.

    I don't think the question should be are we called to do nothing? Many people are currently doing nothing because they think they have to be personally called by God to do something...

    Thanks for the verses..that at least gives me a clue of where this idea came from in the first place. That people think they need to be called to serve in church...or to witness to someone, or take a certain job...anything that requires a yes or a no, they say they have to be called by God..are waiting on Him to call them to do that..so they sit and don't do anything at all.

    Given our nature (God given) talents and spiritual gifts it seems we would be naturally drawn toward helping with certain things in church. A person that loves kid would want to help in those areas...someone that doesn't isn't going to want too and probably shouldn't. Someone that likes to sing is going to want to be part of that in church and so forth...but yet many won't do anything because they are waiting to be called by God.

    This is just one small example of course out of many out there.

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

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    Re: Where in the bible does it say God calls us to do a certain thing?

    I was thinking of these scriptures when I read the question:

    I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
    Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
    (Romans 12)

    Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
    But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
    For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
    Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. (1 Corinthians 12)

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    Re: Where in the bible does it say God calls us to do a certain thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by moonglow View Post
    I don't think the question should be are we called to do nothing? Many people are currently doing nothing because they think they have to be personally called by God to do something...
    This, in my thinking, is the real issue. It is true, to a certain extent, that God's direction is necessary. There are just as many out there busying themselves 'doing good things', and not waiting on the Lord for His direction. In other words, they are doing good things, not God things. And doing it in their own strength and abilities.
    So there you have both ends of the pendulum.
    Somewhere in the middle is a person who is willing to do whatever God (Holy Spirit) direct him to do, and is willing to wait for God's timing.
    Most of those sitting in the pews 'waiting to hear from God' already have, and are simply not willing, or not believing until thunder and lightening appear and a booming voice from heaven says 'Go do this........' They are expecting some grand ministry in which they are immediately set up on a pedastal and the whole world acknowledges that they have been 'called of God'.
    God doesn't work that way tho. A little step here, and when one is obedient with that, another little step there. One little step at a time, and our obedience and faith is the key factor. And sometimes those little steps lead us into difficult and even impossible circumstances in which only God can get us through it, or out of it, only by His power are we able to do it. But in each case, obedience and faith are tested and exercised.
    And there are no booming voices, no burning bushes (well, sometimes there is), no thunder and lightening. Just a still small voice saying 'Go speak to that person', "Go pray with that one" 'Go feed that one'.
    In cases of being called to missionary work or other situations that we would consider 'life-changing', He will confirm what He speaks in your heart through two or three trusted others, like the pastor, or spouse, etc.
    But honestly, if one is listening, the simple act of walking through the mall is often where He speaks and directs us, or our workplace.
    Listen, trust, obey. That is truly what we are called to do, regardless where it leads us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kahtar View Post
    This, in my thinking, is the real issue. It is true, to a certain extent, that God's direction is necessary. There are just as many out there busying themselves 'doing good things', and not waiting on the Lord for His direction. In other words, they are doing good things, not God things. And doing it in their own strength and abilities.
    So there you have both ends of the pendulum.
    Somewhere in the middle is a person who is willing to do whatever God (Holy Spirit) direct him to do, and is willing to wait for God's timing.
    Most of those sitting in the pews 'waiting to hear from God' already have, and are simply not willing, or not believing until thunder and lightening appear and a booming voice from heaven says 'Go do this........' They are expecting some grand ministry in which they are immediately set up on a pedastal and the whole world acknowledges that they have been 'called of God'.
    God doesn't work that way tho. A little step here, and when one is obedient with that, another little step there. One little step at a time, and our obedience and faith is the key factor. And sometimes those little steps lead us into difficult and even impossible circumstances in which only God can get us through it, or out of it, only by His power are we able to do it. But in each case, obedience and faith are tested and exercised.
    And there are no booming voices, no burning bushes (well, sometimes there is), no thunder and lightening. Just a still small voice saying 'Go speak to that person', "Go pray with that one" 'Go feed that one'.
    In cases of being called to missionary work or other situations that we would consider 'life-changing', He will confirm what He speaks in your heart through two or three trusted others, like the pastor, or spouse, etc.
    But honestly, if one is listening, the simple act of walking through the mall is often where He speaks and directs us, or our workplace.
    Listen, trust, obey. That is truly what we are called to do, regardless where it leads us.
    While I agree with much of what you have said, I have never ever had anyone come to me and say God said I should do something that was on my mind. In fact if you don't mind (not trying to be difficult or challenging here at all...just tired) can you post the scripture that says we have to have things confirmed through other people before we do it? Why can't God Himself just tell us? I never understood that actually. I usually just ask Him.

    Gosh if I waited on people telling me something was ok I would have done nothing...

    I do agree with what you are saying about how sometimes people jump into something without praying first. That is something else the pastor mentioned. While yes we are to go witness...share the gospel..sometimes we need to wait before a certain person we are thinking about talking to is ready. The timing isn't right. And we can blow it by pushing it on someone who isn't in the right state of mind yet. Not praying and talking to God about it first.

    That reminded me of a lady I used to work with that acted like we were all unsaved heathens and could not talk without throwing God or Jesus in every sentence. It was bible thumping at its worse..it really was. She just drove me up the wall.
    And I agree...our mission field is actually all around us! We don't have to go far away over seas to do that.

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

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