The 700 Club recently shared the testimony of how a homeless drug addict came to Christ after Jesus appeared to him. And what struck me as much as anything were the words that Christ spoke to this man.
Joseph grew up in a dysfunctional home. Both his mom and dad were drunks and drug addicts and continually fought. His dad was also physically abusive.
By the time he was five, his mother’s memory was starting to fail, and it finally reached the point, she could no longer remember who Joseph was, and he ended up being raised by his violent father.
As he grew older, Joseph turned to drugs and became addicted to meth and cocaine. He then turned to selling drugs, which proved quite profitable.
But after nearly being killed at the age of 28 in a robbery, Joseph sold everything he had and turned to living on the streets.
A few months later, in an act of desperation, Joseph cried out to God asking why his life turned out the way it did.
At that moment, Joseph was stunned when Jesus appeared to him in the form of a man, saying:
“I love you and I have plans for you.”
As soon as the Lord said these words, Jesus disappeared.
But during that brief encounter, Joseph experienced a liquid love, that set him free. Over the next few days, Joseph entered a faith-based drug rehab program, and turned his life around.
But it was Jesus’ words “I have plans for you,” that really struck me, because Joseph grew up in a violent, non-christian home, but God still had plans for him.
This helps us understand one of the more puzzling stories of the Bible, the moment that God called Saul to be the first King of Israel in 1 Samuel 9.
The prophet Samuel poured oil over Saul’s head and anointed him as God’s choice to be king (1 Samuel 10:1). Saul had been so intimidated we are told that he went and hid in the baggage, so God even provided a sign confirming this calling (1 Samuel 10:2-7).
Now Saul was among only a handful of kings who God chose. Most of the remainder were dynasty kings, who had inherited the position because their dads were kings.
But despite being God’s choice, Saul ended up being a disobedient abusive king who was easily manipulated by evil spirits (1 Samuel 16:14) and God eventually had to remove Saul,
So, why did God call Saul in the first place?
Didn’t God realize this was going to happen?
I have no doubt that God did, but add that all of us have the potential to go bad.
So why did God call Saul to be king?
Well, I don’t believe Saul was called when he was anointed by the prophet, I believe the call took place much earlier, while Saul was still in his mother’s womb.
Because this was the time, when Jeremiah received his call to be a prophet to the nations:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV)
God’s plans and call for your life were formulated as you were growing inside your mother.
Because of this, I believe God has a call for every person on the earth, Christian or non-christian. Some never fully fulfill them, because they never embrace Jesus as their savior.
Some people’s lives are so messed up, they are incapable of fulfilling them. Others like, Saul, don’t deal with issues and eventually implode.
And because you were called in the womb, these giftings and callings are irrevocable.
29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (Romans 11:29 ESV)
No matter what happens in your life, God’s calling is irrevocable, even if you screw up. This means even later in life, it is still waiting to be fulfilled.