Now that we’re solidly into 1 Corinthians in Sunday school (trailing just a few chapters behind where I am in my quiet time), I’m finally almost caught up on blogging about my thoughts from Exodus.
Today’s thought was inspired by the dedication of Aaron and his sons as priests (Ex 40:12-15). As I read this passage, something occurred to me. The Bible doesn’t record God ever asking Aaron and his sons to be His priests. In fact, they are pretty much just told that this is their new job. The Levites as a whole aren’t asked if they are willing to forego their land-owning rights in favor of being God’s priestly tribe. Instead, they are simply assigned that role.
As I contemplated that reality, I began to process through a list of the heroes of the faith found in Scripture. Noah wasn’t asked to build an ark. He was told to do so. In the same way, Abraham wasn’t asked to leave his home and move to the land God promised him. He was commanded. God didn’t consult Jacob about his willingness to send his beloved son off to Egypt, and Joseph’s opinion wasn’t sought when he was forced into slavery. The decision was made for them as God orchestrated life’s circumstances to that end.
Of course, there are examples of people in Scripture who try to do it their own way instead of God’s. Samson and Jonah both come to mind. But, even in their situations, God’s way and will prevailed.
Even the disciples were not given a choice as Jesus said, “Follow me.” And at Paul’s conversion, he wasn’t asked if he would be willing to follow Jesus despite the cost of doing so. He was told that he would see all that he would have to suffer for Christ’s sake.
Our homeschooling curriculum provides some wonderful biographies of people who have given their all in service to God. As I ponder each of their stories, I can see a similar pattern. They were compelled to serve. They couldn’t resist His call on their lives. He didn’t ask – He commanded. And they obeyed.
God’s call on our lives is not an option. He does not say, “Would you be willing to serve me in this way?” Instead, He commands. He orchestrates. He accomplishes His purpose through us. Some of us know what it is He’s calling us to do. Others of us watch the pathways of our lives unfold and feel as if we are in the dungeon with Joseph, wondering how in the world God could be glorified through the misery we are experiencing. Either way, He is in control. He is orchestrating. He is working His will and His plan. And we are a part of it!
Our choice does not lie in whether or not we will do what He has called us to do. Our choice lies in how willingly we follow along with His plan. He will accomplish His plan through us, whether it be as He did through Jonah and Samson or as through Aaron and Paul, it will be done!