You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.... But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
—1 Peter 2:5, 9-10
Who are the called? Are they a special group of persons? What about my life? Am I called too? How would I know? What would it sound like? Do these questions ever cross your mind?
Your heart may sincerely be saying, “Lord, I do love You! I do belong to You! I am Your servant, and I truly want to serve You. But am I really called to be on mission with You in my world? Lord, just who are the called?”
Unfortunately, our “Christian culture” has not always been thoroughly biblical. That is, as we have made a difference between clergy and laypeople, so we have assumed a difference between the specially called and the common believer. In reality, all believers are the called! The difference lies not in whether all believers are called, but in the nature of the assignments given by God. But all believers are called by God, for Him to be free to accomplish His purposes in them and through them!
Let’s look briefly at some Scripture passages that assure us that every believer is called. In Exodus 19, when God created a special nation through which He would bring salvation to the whole world, He said:
“‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”
Did you notice that God said they would be a “kingdom of priests”—not a kingdom with a priesthood? Each and every one of them would be priests unto God. The Levites would be the ones assigned to train and equip the entire nation to walk with God as priests unto God so He could fulfill His purposes to save the nations of the world through them. This same truth is stated in the New Testament. Notice how Paul addressed the people of the church at Rome:
Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ.
For what did Paul say he received grace and apostleship? Yes, it was for obedience to the faith. There is little question that those who receive salvation from God release themselves, at that same time, to the call of obedience that comes from faith. They go hand in hand. When you received Christ into your life, did you understand that, at that same moment, you were releasing your life to be used any way God would choose?
Lord, I know that You have a plan to use my life
in this generation. Please make me aware today of
where You are working in my home, neighborhood,
church, and workplace. Make my heart ready all
through the day so You can use me. Amen.
Read the Book of Esther this week. By most definitions of society in that day, Esther was a “nobody.” She was an orphan, a woman, and an exile. Yet she was called of God and used by God to save His children in her generation.
All believers are called to be on mission with God. Do you realize that you were placed in the world in this generation for “such a time as this” (see Esther 4:14)? What assignment has God given you? Consider throughout this week: Are you faithfully living each day as a priest unto God?
As you work through these “Digging Deeper Through the Week” sections, record your thoughts and questions and God ’s responses in a journal.