When God’s Call Leaves You Confused
Why would God call me to something and then make it so hard? Does He give us a call and then abandon us?
Maybe you have:
- Taken a job that ends up being so different than you thought.
- Married your knight in shining armor, only to have him end up being a nightmare.
- Went on a mission trip that was one of your hardest experiences in life.
- Became a pastor and the church gave you nothing but difficulty.
Why would God do this? Or did we just read him wrong? Is God to blame, or is it ourselves?
That had to be what Abram was wondering in Genesis 12:10-20 when he obeyed God and went to Canaan. When he arrived at the land, the Bible says, “At that [very] time a severe famine struck the land of Canaan, forcing Abram to go down to Egypt, where he lived as a foreigner” (NLT, emphasis mine).
How can that be? God just told him to go to that land a few verses before. Then the very land he was instructed to do dwell was now struck by famine upon his arrival. That just doesn’t seem right.
Was God unaware of the famine to come? No. Did God send him there on purpose, knowing he couldn’t stay? Perhaps.
I’ve learned that there are times God calls us to things that may involve a test of faithfulness early on. The only reason I can fathom for a famine to struck the land of Canaan at the moment of Abram’s arrival is to test his faith. In some of my own life situations, God has called me and then He sends or allows a test to ensure I will not falter.
This little verse (12:10) in Genesis could be missed by us, but I am sure it was a big deal to Abram, and God. Notice what didn’t seem to matter to God:
- Time: This was going to prolong the plan, but God sent the test anyway.
- Convenience: This would be harder and even cost Abram more, but God would provide.
- Reputation: I am sure that his family and those around were asking if Abram was crazy; did he hear God right? Does he even know what he’s doing?
All that mattered to God was that Abram stayed faithful. So when God called you to something but it seems hard, especially at first, check your heart to see if this is a test of God that can only be passed by remaining faithful.
First, pray, remember and process if this call really was a call from God. If you are sure of that, then stay the course.
Then, ask God to sustain you in the test. He will never abandon you (Joshua 1:9), and he longs for you to ask for help. His tests are not about self-reliance, but Christ-dependence.
If you abandon the call of God when God sends you a test, you fail the mission. God can move on and find someone else to accomplish His goals, but it is best if you stay the course and let God do in us and through us the things He intended before the beginning of time.
Abram passed the test with flying colors. God still had his way, and the process of making a great nation through Abraham came to be. He was a sinful man just like you. If Abram can pass, so can you. The God of Abram is the same God today; rely on God and you’ll pass and be used significantly.