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Answering the Call: My Dunkirk

When considering my call into the gospel ministry from time to time I update just what I did when I surrendered to the call from God. Basically I took myself out of the mainstream of life and put myself in a separate life that caused me to think and do specifically what God said to do. I was “set aside” or “anointed” for this call and the commission of Isaiah in Chapter 6 is something I can relate to. Isaiah 6: In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. 2 Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.” 4 And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the [c]temple was filling with smoke. 5 Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7 He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.”

You may notice that the Seraphim were a big part of this whole moment in time as they said to one another. “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of His glory.” Then those same Seraphim came and brought the message of the call to Isaiah and they let him know that as a sinner, his sins were forgiven. That setting aside for service set Isaiah up for success as his sins were no more held to him and he was able to go about doing the work of the Lord, knowing that He was living in God’s grace from day one. Isaiah knew he was a sinner and that a call from God was probably not a possibility for him because he lacked the qualifications, namely he was a sinner. God not only called Isaiah, but also equipped him for service by giving him a clean slate. This is the same Isaiah who saw many miracles done by God and also told of the coming Messiah, so his call had much significance.

When the Lord called me the first thing I thought was “I am totally unqualified for this.” And I was right!! But through the years God has made me useful for his service through His grace and through the power of the Holy Spirit. In times when I knew I was in over my head, God came through because He wanted me to succeed. I don’t write in a conceited way, but those God calls, He equips and enables for what they are going to need to do. There is no seminary, or has there ever been one, that can equip a minister as good as God can equip them. I didn’t have a Seraphim touch my lips with a hot coal, but I have felt the touch of God on my heart and mind and that is enough for me. I AM CALLED!! It is amazing that the people who should know this better than anyone are church folk. But through my many years of service, I have had very few truly realize who I am. In fact, I met with a group of people at one church to get their input about making a decision and when I asked them their position one man in the group looked at me and said “You are the called minister here. Let. us know what you think should happen.” To which I blushed and had to realize “he was right.” From that moment on I have been trusting God to give me wisdom on how to fulfill the calling on my life and get on with it.

Right now I believe my calling is even more necessary as we have let those who are not called in this way to set into motion things in church life that are not working. Called men are grasping at straws to please and placate church members when they know exactly what should happen. What these called ministers need is help from those who are not enlisted in this battle in the same way. These ministers are finding themselves stranded on a beach with no cover and no help or defense and the bombs are exploding all around. Churches need to have a “Dunkirk” moment. This is a moment, much like the history of the Dunkirk story, where those who are the saints stand with their ministers and get them off the beach of defeat and get them to safe waters to protect these men from dying. People may not like their ministers, but they surely love their Lord and He commands the church to rally with those called men and women and get them off the beach.

In watching the Dunkirk story, I was amazed that the biggest threat to the men on the beach seemed to be snipers. They could line up their sights on these defenseless men and pop them one at a time. Oh sure the bombs were playing havoc on the big ships, but the individuals taken out one at a time was a huge cost to the cause. The enemy seems to have us ministers on the beach and snipers are lining up their shots to kill any who are left. And no one is stepping up to protect and save those who are being shot at by the enemy. In verse 8 of the Isaiah 6 scripture the Lord’s voice said, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then Isaiah said, “Here am I, Send me!” I had a choice on this whole call business. I could have said NO. But, I answered the call and enlisted by saying Here am I, send me. But the enemy has brought the battle to us and has pushed us back to our last resort, the beach and he is picking us off one by one. Here is another call for someone not called to be a minister in a church, but called just the same. “Who will go to the beach and save my called ministers?” To which, you have to decide what you will say. “Here am I, Send me!” or not me!! Look at what Isaiah said in verses 9-11 9 He said, “Go, and tell this people:

Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.’ 10 “Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, And their eyes dim, Otherwise they might see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed.”

At that time the prophecies of God through Isaiah were not going to be well received, but the message had to be said and Isaiah was faithful. They had to go through the process of disobedience completely to be completely healed and God was in charge. Hopefully the saints have gone through the process of disobedience completely and now they are ready to be saved and once again, follow the called ministers in their churches. Churches are closing at a record rate and the devastation has been immense, but I believe that time is quickly ending and now it is time to lift up those who are following the call and submit to their authority and “get on with it”Hebrews 13:17-18 says 17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.

That is all part of getting your leaders off the beach and away from those trying to pick us off one at a time. Just a side note. If you have a sniper’s rifle in your hand, time to put it down and stop killing God’s called men and women. This is your Dunkirk Moment. Will you be useful Sir?

The Pilgrimage continues…..

David Warren

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