“Return, Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall! Take words with you and return to the Lord.” Hosea 14:1-2

“Return to me,” I heard God say.

“What? What does that mean?”

It was the year 2000, and I was about to resign from my corporate job of 10 years. I knew something wasn’t right; at the end of every day, I felt empty. Nothing filled me.

“Return to me” (O Israel) is from Hosea 14. In this chapter, God wooed His children back from their waywardness and stubbornness. And just like He did with Israel, He was wooing me back to Himself. He was calling me to return to my first love — Jesus — and to stop idolizing my career and prostituting my time for the almighty dollar.

I was lying flat on my face on a den rug when I heard God audibly say those words to me. I wasn’t sure what He meant or what would transpire in the days to come, but I trusted and obeyed. I quit my job, took a year off, and sought His will. During this time, I also went back and read one of my journals (from three years prior) in which I had written of my desire to work in ministry and serve the Lord. In His perfect and loving way, God orchestrated some events so that I could follow Him and my desires while I waited. A year later, He placed me in full-time ministry, and I continued to serve there for several years after that. He called me into His perfect plan, and for that I am grateful.

How about you? Are you called into Christian service? Do you recognize the voice of God?

Loving and merciful God, I am so grateful to You for calling me and others into Your plan for our lives. You are a good Father who loves His children so much. Help me to always hear Your voice clearly. Amen.

Take Action

Get quiet with God and spend some time on your face, asking Him where He wants you and what ministry He is calling you to. Praise Him and tell Him, “Send me” (Isaiah 6:8)



Tags: Hosea 14 Calling service