[Willow Creek Association] 1999-02-03 - Hearing God's Callings

Part 4, Authoritative Commands

Genesis 35:1 (NCV) God said to Jacob, "Go to the city of Bethel and live there.

My three kids are 13, 11 and 6. I have two girls and the youngest is a boy. There is one lesson that I am continuing to learn as a parent, particularly with my teenager: Kids need clear directions and boundaries.Deep down they like authoritative commands and well-defined expectations. The more specific I am in dealing with my kids, the more they respond in a positive manner. For example, if I say, "after dinner tonight I would really like for you to do your homework, take a shower, if you have time clean your room and then you can play some," thirty minutes later I am repeating myself over and over again for them to do what I have asked. Finally, when I specifically state my command to them, "you will do your homework now, then take a shower, and be in bed at 9:00 sharp," then they hop to it.

When my commands are unclear, they are unsure of what to do. But when they are very clear and spoken with authority, they understand and follow directions. (Most of the time ; ) )

Throughout the Bible we read about God's callings for His people. His command to Jacob is very clear: He says "go." God does not say, "hey Jacob, if you feel like it, if you think you can, if you don't mind, if you have the time, how about going to Bethel and live there?" God says "go!"

Feeling unclear and uncertain about a decision in your life? Do you think God is calling you to make a change or improve what you are currently doing and continue as you are? Ask yourself, "am I receiving an authoritative command from God? Is it clear?" If not, then continue praying about your situation. Ask God for a clear command. If what you think is a calling is unclear and murky, then I would seriously question where the "calling" is coming from.

True callings from God are authoritative commands. Our God is not a God of ambiguity or confusion; He is a powerful, loving and authoritative God.

1 Corinthians 14:33 (NCV) God is not a God of confusion but a God of peace.

Lord, You are the Father and we are the sons and daughters, and help us to listen and hear your clear commands in our lives. Give us the strength, wisdom and courage to follow Your commands. In Jesus' name, Amen.