In the last post, Part 4, we began searching for a prophetic pattern regarding the way the Lord calls us to labor in the vineyard.
We started with Samuel and Amos, but I think two examples are not enough to establish a baseline; after all, they may be flukes.
So we're going to need several more examples in order to see if any predictable patterns emerge.
But first we need to talk about the "voice of the Lord." Who better to explain it than the Lord himself:
Behold, that which you hear is as the voice of one crying in the wilderness― in the wilderness, because you cannot see him― my voice, because my voice is Spirit; my Spirit is truth; truth abideth and hath no end; and if it be in you it shall abound.
See? The voice of the Spirit is the word of God. It calls us.
If you're wondering why the Lord should take notice of us, a bunch of nobodies (I mean, doesn't he have someone better suited for this job?), remember that it is "all hands on deck" in these last days.
So the Lord makes due with what He has to work with; what right do we have to be picky?
We're weak. We're simple. We're sinful.
Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work; For behold the field is white.
"It doesn't take skill. It doesn't take wisdom. It doesn't take good looks, fame, or fortune. It doesn't take strength. It just takes submission.
"It is just the willingness to take upon you the name of Christ. It is the determination to serve him to the end. It is the simple, child-like desire to serve him. When he calls, you say, "Here am I, send me."
"It doesn't mean you are the best match for the task at hand ― you aren't. It doesn't mean you are the best fit for what is at hand ― you aren't. However, if you stop and look around, you'll see hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people (maybe even billions) who are NOT volunteering for the job. What separates you from them is that you said yes, and they all said no."
"God will make up for what you lack in being able to perform the job. After all, the works are His."
Elijah and the Still Small Voice
Wait! God calling me by the voice of the Spirit isn't special enough!
Where's my certificate? My spiritual quinceañera? And what about the pageantry ― the burning bushes and thunder, the pillars of fire and singing angels with hot coals and beautiful gowns?
Listen. When God needs something done, he's probably going to ask in a still small voice.
Remember Elijah, who fled to a cave after he defeated the priests of Baal on Mount Carmel (now that was dramatic)?
We find Elijah majorly depressed hiding in his cave when the Lord speaks to him.
But the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:
And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
(1 Kings 19:11-12)
Nowadays when prophets are called we hold press conferences. Bright lights and flashing cameras and periodontally-enhanced smiles.
But the work of the Lord goes on largely unnoticed, as it did when the Lord called to Elijah in a still small voice.
Sure, it would be nice if the Lord dispensed flashy Las-Vegas-style revelation, announcing our calling by airplane-flown banners, but please don't discount the personal voice of God that enters into our minds and hearts.
And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?
(1 Kings 19:13)
That was King-James-speak for, "What the heck, Elijah?"
You see, Elijah was feeling sorry for himself. He was having a pity party with a few ravens as party guests.
The children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
(1 Kings 19:14)
Wow. See? No one said being on the Lord's errand was easy (or joyful).
Don't believe the tabloids: being a prophet is rough.
Go and Do the Works of Abraham
It's funny how one of the ways the Lord comforts us is by lifting us by the bootstraps and getting us moving again.
And the Lord said unto him, Go . . .
Here was the medicine Elijah needed.
There are times in all of our lives when we are called to "Be still, and know that I am God" (D&C 101:16).
But 9 times out of 10 the Lord calls us to "Go" ― to press forward in faith, trusting in the word we have received from God.
. . . Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria.
(1 Kings 19:15)
So Elijah gets another task. Miles to go before he sleeps. No rest for the weary.
And remember how he was feeling sorry for himself, believing he was the only righteous person left in Israel? Well, the Lord has something to say about that, too:
Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
(1 Kings 19:18)
None of us are alone. Sure, we always have the Lord we can count on. But he will guide us to others who share our love for Him, in the great "fellowship of his sufferings" (Phil. 3:10).
We may not look like much, but that's because our countenances have received His image.