For a while, I’ve heard God calling my name. It wasn’t a loud call; he didn’t use a booming voice. Instead it was an insidious, gentle and haunting call. While insidious and haunting may not seem befitting to describing God’s voice, if you’ve ever tried to run from God’s purpose, you can understand why, in this context, I have given his voice these attributes.
I was born and raised in the church. However, throughout my childhood, I was always in trouble: I was suspended repeatedly from third to tenth grade, I had no respect for authority, I tried to run away, I had charges almost pressed against me. During my high school years, I truly began to build my own personal relationship with Christ and my behaviors started to change as my love for God increased because I saw how he changed the trajectory of my life. Despite my transformation as a teenager, as a young adult, I was entranced and enticed by the world in a different sense. In the midst of being lured by a lifestyle that seemed most easy and fun, I heard God’s call. At the time, I did not know what to do and, I was nervous about being young and living what I thought was a restricting lifestyle for Christ so…I ran from it.
Circa age 25, the call began to become louder. It was the Summer of 2015; I went on a women’s cruise with my church titled, “The Completely Yes” Conference. Without a doubt, while staring at the ocean, I heard God tell me that I would spread his gospel across the world. It shook me so much, I walked away from the window. I spent the entire day second guessing myself, second guessing God. “Like, maybe the salt in this good sea water has me tripping or maybe God whispered in the wrong ear. You know who I am, you know what I’ve done. Why would you choose me? I am not even living right Jesus.”
I felt God’s overwhelming presence and tug that left me dumbfounded and confused. After choosing to live a lukewarm lifestyle, after choosing my will over his, after choosing to practice fickle faith, I could not understand why God still was still persistent in telling me that he chose me over it all. I did not understand what he saw in me.
For a while, I continued with this same dialogue with God. I’d hear his voice and feel his gentle nudges and then, I’d inform him of all of my flaws and shortcomings. There was no way God could use me and I just felt like I needed to let him know this. Oddly enough, during the time I struggled with walking in my purpose, I began to see a quote quite often:
” Jacob was a cheater. Peter had a temper. David had an affair. Noah got drunk. Jonah ran from God. Paul was a murderer. Gideon was insecure. Miriam was a gossiper. Martha was a worrier. Thomas was a doubter. Sarah was impatient. Elijah was depressed. Moses stuttered. Zacchaeus was money hungry. Abraham was old, and Lazarus was dead…God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.”
This quote made me stop and reflect on all of the people I had read about in the bible. There was not one person who I could find that did not possess whose life was without blemish. As a matter of fact, some of these people had what were just a hot mess before Christ and all struggled with their issues even after accepting the call; There were whores, cheaters, liars, and crooked politicians all transformed and used by Christ. I began to understand that God uses imperfect people to carry out his perfect will.
In the bible, one of the greatest crusaders for Christ was Paul. Paul was a Pharisee who vehemently persecuted Christians prior to being transformed by meeting Jesus & becoming filled by the Holy Spirit. His life teaches us that there is no transgression or past that will prevent God from using you, not even denying Christ and killing his people. In 1 Timothy 1:16 Paul states “This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners– and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.”
I spent years running because I thought I was not ready; I did not walk in my call because I was not perfect. And then, I realized, if I waited to be perfect, I would never fulfill my purpose.God is not waiting for you to be perfect. He is waiting on you to accept your purpose. While I am not suggesting we play with our lifestyles and find reasons to justify our sin, I am encouraging you to become deliberate in living for Christ, while accepting the flaws that we all have. Do not give yourself the requirement of fulfilling the prerequisite of being before you walk in what God has called you to do. God is calling flawed souls walk in his will in order to give hope to a flawed world.
What call are you ignoring because you deem your imperfections as enough to count you out? Don’t allow your past to haunt you. Do not ignore his call because you know your downfalls. The creator does not need to be reminded of the limitations of his creation. If he is calling you. Answer.