A couple of weeks ago a man decided to climb Mt. Elbert, the highest mountain in Colorado. It’s just a bit under 15,000 ft., so it’s doable in a day. He started in the morning, reached the summit, and started back down. He got a little disoriented, darkness fell, and he ended up spending the night on the mountain.
He was staying at a nearby lodge and when he failed to return as expected that evening, they reported him missing. At 10:00 that evening, five search teams went out looking for him. They called, left voicemails, and texted him but there was no response. They continued their search until 3:00 when they stopped for the night. The next morning, another team went out at 7:00.
Meanwhile, with the light of a new day, the man was able to re-orient himself and make it down off the mountain. He got in his car and drove back to the lodge. He had no idea he had been the subject of an intense search. When asked why he hadn’t responded to the phone calls, voice mails and texts, he said that he didn’t answer them because he didn’t recognize the phone number!
In 2 Thessalonians 2:14, Paul speaks of God calling us through the gospel—the good news of Jesus’ death for our sins, His burial, and resurrection from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). It’s not a call that is limited to a few elite individuals, it is God’s desire for the world (1 Timothy 2:3-4). If you are reading this, this call is for you.
And that’s the problem.
Too many times we’re like the man on the mountain. God calls, we don’t recognize the number, so we “miss” His message. We miss the message because we’re sure whoever is calling does not have our best interest in mind. They want to extend our car warranty or talk to us about repaying a student load we never took out. Either way, it’s not to our benefit to answer, so we don’t.
The man in our story got lucky. He made it off the mountain all by himself and that’s the trap we can fall into. You see, when God calls it’s not just that we don’t recognize His number—it’s that we’re not looking for Him because we think He is like the other callers—offering us something we don’t really need. Instead of listening to the call about Jesus, we associate it with our “church lady” aunt, a well-meaning but overbearing religious friend, or an obnoxious evangelist. We don’t need that—we can make it off the mountain all by ourselves. The problem is, it’s not them we’re rejecting when we don’t answer, it’s Jesus. And we need Him.
Make no mistake about, Christ is calling—will you hear what He has to say?