1 Cor. 1:9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Paul loved to talk about his calling. If you listen carefully to what Paul says, it becomes impossible to separate his calling as an apostle from his calling to be a Christian. To Paul, they were one and the same. He was separated from his birth for the purposes of God, there was no backup plan for Paul. From the encounter on the Damascus road to the revival days at Antioch, and even to his imprisonment and death, to Paul, it was all about God’s call upon his life. The power and center of this calling was fellowship or intimacy with God. This is the common bond we Christians share, we have fellowship with Christ that leads us to a place of community with all other Christians. We are bound together by our mutual calling. Actually that is the root meaning of the greek word for church, ecclesia, it means the called out ones. John Wright Follette spoke powerfully about this calling, listen to his words.
“I hear God call to taste His heavenly power.” Paul says that we are called unto a fellowship. As a rule, people think of God’s call as merely a call to heaven, but here we find a call to fellowship which precedes heaven. This fellowship is a phase of life right here and now on earth, and is for a specific and necessary reason. It is a relationship established by God and it deepens and comes into maturity as one yields to the demands and requirements laid down for its realization. It reaches past the external life of sense. Many hear God call them from sin and from the world, but I am not now speaking of that call. I speak of a call that comes more definitely to the Christian after the initial steps of salvation, of water baptism, and of Baptism with the Spirit. It reaches the ocean floor of the heart – the seat of desire and motives and the veiled recesses of selfhood. This call reaches the more subtle form of the ego. It gets at the real person. God longs to bring the soul into a conscious relationship with Himself as fire. Fire does so many things – it cleanses, frees, reduces, refines. The fire is heavenly and must be so, since no natural force or process planned by man can accomplish the necessary miracle. It demands all of our life.”
Follette has captured the true purpose of our calling and the purpose of the church. We are called to enjoy God, we are called to enjoy God together. From the first moments of Paul’s conversion The Lord brought new people into Paul’s life. He spoke a powerful prophetic word to a reluctant Ananias; “Lord, do you know what this guy has done?”, in order to bring Paul into the “fellowship” of the young church.
Our calling is powerful. It is the very focus of our Christianity. So get over it, you are called to be part of His church.