Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael

by Liz Shaw

What is your calling in life? We will all have different answers but there is one call that is the same for each and every one of us. That is God’s call, His own personal invitation to follow him. God calls us to a relationship with him, he loves us unconditionally, we are all called to turn away from our sins and turn towards God and His plan for salvation. You may have an established relationship with God, a developing relationship and interest in one or not even really thought about it. Imagine God is at one end of the telephone, he wants to connect with you. Do you have your phone constantly at your side, forever looking at it any chance you have? Do you look at it occasionally when you have time? Do you use it only for emergencies or is it switched off?

Have you received the call from God and answered it? Is your response what your relationship with God is like? Is it on mute, is God’s trying to get through to you but you are putting up barriers. Do you let him go to answerphone and think I can’t deal with this now, When life is tough do you think I don’t have time or room in my life for God right now so I’ll respond another time. Or is it on constantly with you responding back and it becoming a two way conversation?

While I have used the example of a telephone call as the link between you and God, He can and does speak to us in other ways. In John 1 v 43-51 Philip and Nathaniel had the honour of meeting Jesus in person. Nathaniel was initially skeptical about the idea of a Messiah coming from Nazareth but Philip encouraged him to come and see. Nathaniel reacted with a confession of faith proclaiming him to be the Son of God because He knew that Jesus spoke the truth about seeing him under the fig tree. In contrast we can look at the story of Samuel where it took three attempts by God before Samuel realized whose voice was speaking to him. The Lord called him and he answered “Here I am” and ran to Eli thinking it was him
speaking. Eli told him he hadn’t called him.

This happened again and again. Eli realized that it was actually the Lord calling Samuel who did not yet know the Lord and told him to say “Speak, for your servant is listening” when he was called again. Samuel did as he was told to and said these words. He received a message from God which he would pass on to Eli. On my own journey I can remember a time when God was trying to talk to me but I wasn’t listening and trying to ignore the signs. I was seeking a deeper relationship with God and feeling frustrated at my Church at the time. I was resisting making changes as I had been going there all my life. Through a visit to a Christian Resources Exhibition I ended up going for a week’s mission trip in Kosova with Smile International. I had a fabulous time sharing in fellowship with other Christians, meeting and helping people in need and experiencing prayer like I’d never done before but I came back to the same frustrations and life carried on. A year later I went back but I came back again with more questions than answers. A few months later a friend of someone from my trip who I had never met said two words to me “false loyalty”. These words struck home and I realised I was staying at my Church out of this false sense of loyalty when really I wanted to move so I moved eventually to St Mary’s. So for me, it took time to really listen to God. God can work at any place, any time and through anyone he chooses.

God is calling you, He wants to be in a relationship with you. Being open we come to know the truth. Will you answer Him straight away, will you put Him on hold or choose to ignore him? Be ready to listen and respond like Samuel did by saying “Hear I am.”

Love & Blessings from Liz Shaw