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Called. Not Stuck. (Devotion)

Called. Not Stuck. (Devotion)

By Joe Cameneti, Jr. on February 10, 2013

Ever been stuck? You know, like in a place you didn’t want to be or in a conversation you just wished you could escape?

I’m sure we’ve all had our moments. You know, like when an unknown number pops up on your phone, and you just HAVE to pick it up and see who it is? Then… boom! A telemarketer has you! If you’re like me, you at least hear them out - even if you have zero intention of purchasing anything (I used to be a telemarketer – it’s of Satan).

But isn’t that a horrible feeling? It’s so limiting and confining. At times, it’s downright suffocating. I think many of us view God’s call in a similar way. It’s kind of like we think God is going to trick us into answering His call, and then… we’re stuck for good!

Maybe we don’t always see it in those exact terms, but far too many followers of God are wary of His voice because they just expect it to call them in a direction that terrifies them (especially young adults).

There’s a popular expression where I come from. It’s found on bumper stickers, t-shirts and license plates – and it mirrors this exact sentiment – Stuck in Ohio.

When I first saw this, driving down the road, I laughed. After all, it’s pretty funny, and most people really do feel that way. But just as quickly as I started laughing, God started speaking. I heard it so clearly, “You’re called, not stuck.”

Over the next few months, I was drawn to the story of a man in the Old Testament who heard God speaking this same thing. His name was Nehemiah, and God interrupted his comfortable life with a very uncomfortable calling – return to a city in ruins (Jerusalem) and rebuild it!

Keep in mind that Jerusalem had been in ruins for hundreds of years at this point. Nehemiah and his captive nation had never known anything different than this decimated rubble heap of a city. But somehow, God is asking Nehemiah to see things differently, and he goes willingly.

He prays for months, risks execution, endures a brutal journey and even fights off enemy attacks. In fact, at one point, Nehemiah and his Jewish brothers literally have a brick in one hand and a sword in the other! And after 52 hard fought days, the city walls are rebuilt, leading the way to a beautiful return of God’s people, not only to their home, but to God’s heart as well.

What would it look like if God’s people began to see their family, their job and their city in the same way Nehemiah did? What if we stopped believing that we have to get away to get purpose? Or move to a significant city to find significance? What if the sickness of “stuck” was confronted with the cure of “calling”?

I think so many people chase the pipe dream of purpose to “better” places when God is really calling them to stay where they are and better their own environment.

And in case you’re thinking, “Why would God use me? Why would God use my city?”

Don’t forget 1 Corinthians 1:27, “…But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”

So are you called? Or Stuck?

The person “stuck” in their city believes they get value FROM the city. The person “called” to their city believes they bring value TO the city.

“Stuck” sees the limits in their circumstance and surroundings. “Called” sees greater opportunities for God to display His power in spite of their circumstance and surroundings.

All that it took for God to move in Nehemiah’s day was just one person who wasn’t ok with the ruins. He’s just looking for one person to say “Not on my watch!” Will it be you?

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