It’s a familiar story found in the Gospel of John, chapter 11. Jesus raises his friend, Lazarus, from the dead. But, have you ever wondered what would have happened if when Jesus called out to Lazarus and commanded “come forth” if Lazarus had simply ignored him? Or what if Lazarus had thought to himself, “that can’t be Jesus talking to me”. Well, we know what would happened, Lazarus would have stayed dead in the tomb.
I remember hearing the story one Sunday in church of the affluent husband and wife who were lying in bed at night and the wife asked him, “what would you do if God called you tonight and told you to go start an orphanage in Nigeria?” The husband replied, “God wouldn’t ask us to do something like that”. They rolled over and went to sleep. Sure enough, that night God appeared to the husband in a dream and told him that he was supposed to go on a mission trip and start an orphanage in Africa. The husband got up the next day, dressed for work and went on with his normal life. Would that be you?
God calls people. We know that. The Bible is full of people that God called to do extraordinary work. We all know the stories of Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Mary, Joseph, the apostles, the list goes on and on. But how might things be different, if they had ignored that call or even said “no thanks”.
A common criticism of Christians today is that our churches and its members have become too complacent. Are we making as much impact as we should? Or even better, are we making the impact where God wants us to? Are we truly listening for God’s voice in our lives or simply fulfilling the things we personally want to do under the guise of God’s word? Years ago, Nike came up with a cool slogan to sell sneakers. Maybe our slogan could be: Pray. Listen. Do.