Parasha With Passion – Weekly Torah Inspirations – #24
Parashat Vayikra (He called), opens with these words in Leviticus 1:1−2, “Now Adonai called to Moses and spoke to him out of the Tent of Meeting, saying: “Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, and tell them: When anyone of you brings an offering to Adonai, you may present your offering of livestock, from the herd or from the flock.”
Jewish history began with God’s call to Abraham, to leave his land and family and enter into covenant relationship with Him. Later, God called Moses to establish His people as a nation.
There are many who were called into ministry and prophetic service throughout the scriptures. In (1 Samuel 3), a small boy named Samuel, dedicated by his mother Hannah to serve God in the sanctuary at Shiloh, was called by God to be a prophet and judge to Israel.
Also, there is a particularly vivid account of the prophet Isaiah’s call, a vision in which God was enthroned and surrounded by angels:
“Then I heard the Voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Likewise, God calls His servants into ministry in our day. We all have a different call. We all have unique talents and skills that brings the glory of God to the world. The fact that we are here, in this place, at this time, with these abilities, is not an accident or a coincidence. I believe that God’s divine providence orders our steps for His divine purpose. There is work to do for the kingdom and God is calling us to it.
Parashat Vayikra reminds me of the story of Dr.Viktor Frankl. Dr. Frankl was a psychotherapist who survived Auschwitz during WWII. During his imprisonment, Dr. Frankl brought inspiration to those imprisoned with him at Auschwitz. Dr. Frankl helped those who had lost all hope find strength in God to survive:
“But in the darkness, I had acquired a sense of my own unique mission in the world. I knew then, as I know now, that I must have been preserved for some reason, however small; it is something that only I can do, and it is vitally important that I do it… In the solitary darkness of the “pit” where men had abandoned me, He was there. When I did not know His name, He was there; God was there.”
How Do You Discover Your Call?
How do you discover your call? Dr. Frankl explained that a calling has four characteristics:
First, your call is unique to you. We are not all called to be Billy Graham or Rav Shaul. We will have varying degrees of influence in our ministries. Nonetheless, take the sphere of influence that God has given you and do whatever it is that God has called you to do for His glory. When our work is done, may we hear, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21)
Second, your call will often be displayed through your abilities. As God’s children we all have something to contribute to the Body of Messiah. Each contribution is important, unique, and purposeful. If you can sing – sing! If you can dance – dance! If you can bake cookies – bake cookies!
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do with your all strength…”
Third, walking in your call gives you joy and renewed energy. I believe that the test of a call is the love of the drudgery it involves. Real achievement requires back breaking preparation. Professional athletes often train until exhaustion. Yet, the goal of excellence exhilarates the athlete with endurance.
Fourth, your call will compel you to forsake ease and comfort and do what He has called you to do.
“But if I say: “I won’t mention Him, or speak any more in His Name,” then it is like fire burning in my heart—shut up in my bones—I weary myself holding it in, but I cannot.”
Respond To God’s Call
Parashat Vayikra introduces us to the book of Leviticus, which details Israel’s offerings and sacrifices to God. Beloveds, it takes sacrifice to walk in our calling. You show me a man or woman used by God; I will show you an individual who has shed some tears and made some sacrifices.
We all want a successful ministry right? However, success is not the goal in ministry – obedience is the goal. Take a look at Jeremiah, God called Jeremiah to be a prophet to Judah. However, God warned Jeremiah that no one would listen to him, the people of Judah would reject him, and would even to try to kill him. Yet, Jeremiah was successful in his calling. How’s that for success?
We all desire a platform to share God’s word right? Take a look at Ezekiel. God gave him a platform. As a prophetic act, God told Ezekiel lay upon the walls of Jerusalem, shave his head, strip naked, bake bread over coals of dung, and prophecy to Israel that just as he was a reproach to look upon, so had Israel become a reproach to God! How’s that for a platform?
How about Hosea? God used Hosea’s private humiliation as a public display of His unconditional love towards His unfaithful people Israel. Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Hosea, are just three examples of those whose lives were emptied until the only thing that was left within them was OBEDIENCE.
Beloveds, God has a call for each of us. We all have a task to perform, a kindness to show, a gift to give, love to share, loneliness to ease, pain to heal, and broken lives to help mend. Respond to God’s call. Walking in God’s divine call is what gives a life meaning and purpose.
Weekly Scripture Reading:
Torah: Leviticus 1:1 – 5:26
Haftarah: 1 Samuel 15:2-34
Next Torah Reading: Tzav