Monday, January 28, 2013

Called?

If you want to know your calling, don’t go “calling-looking.” Go God-looking. God knows where He wants you, what He is calling you to do, when He wants you to do it, and how He wants it done. Therefore, if you want to find your calling, look for God. When you find God, His calling will find you. – Tony Evans

Last week, We did a post triggered by Peter Watts’ “Confirming Circumstances” post, found here: http://bit.ly/XFt0Z2.  Peter mentioned a list of five ways to be sure we were hearing from God that were regularly taught at his church.  My post focused on those five steps, highlighting how easily we can twist circumstances and Scripture verses to suit the desired interpretation we want.  The following post was a gathering of some truly awesome responses to that post.  Knowing that we’re hearing from God is important.  But there’s more.  And less.  Take a look at what I mean.

I’ve actually, been regularly going back to the quote we started with, over several weeks.  I’m suspecting that Peter and I, along with Dr. Evans, are only several of a much larger group that God is giving this focus.  When I said there’s more and there’s less, it comes down to God.  He’s more than everything.  And less in the sense that we don’t really need to add a whole bunch of do’s and don’ts, must knows, etc.  Let’s consider my favorite verse again.

Matthew 6:33 (KJV)  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
 
If we’re seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness, we have to seek and focus on God.  Otherwise, we miss it.  In context, that verse is talking about our physical needs being met by focusing on God.  But, in application, there’s the spiritual part.  If we are focused on God, those five ways of recognizing we’re hearing from God automatically become a done deal.  Although we may not recognize all five.  Remember what Paul said.

1 Corinthians 13:11-12 (KJV)  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
 
We’re still only seeing a reflection of spiritual reality, and a bad reflection at that.  If it weren’t, there’d be no doctrinal differences and we’d be busy loving God and each other, instead of policing how wrong the other guy is for not understanding the Word the same way we do.  The Word instructs us to love God first, then love our fellow man.  That was intentional.  Our human nature doesn’t have the capacity.  Even our love is a poor reflection of God’s love.  Without God’s control and God’s guidance, what we take in is a poor reflection of Him and what we give out is equally as poor a reflection. See 1 John 4:20-21.
 
The fact that we do understand things so poorly is exactly why we need to be seeking God, not our call.  We don’t need to seek our call.  It’s all over the Bible.  Love God, love people, in that sequence.  The rest is all details.  Yes, there are callings to specific tasks and places.  I have friends who are missionaries in very interesting places in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East – places where I wouldn’t do very well.  But they started out fulfilling the Great Commandment where they came from.  From that, God fine tuned their call to some very tough mission fields.
 
Most of us aren’t going to be called to the foreign mission field.  But we’re all called to God.  Which is why we need to be in the Word, getting to know Him.  Because, as we begin to absorb Who He is and how much He loves us, we grow in our capacity to share that love with others.  Evangelization stops being beating someone over the head that they’re going to hell.  Instead it reveals a love greater than any threat of hell.  And people get their first real look at Christ in us, as we love them with His love!  Jesus was called a sinner because He spent most of His time with recognized sinners of all kinds and loved them.  He didn’t spend most of His time with the “spiritual elite”.  He didn’t waste His time.
 
There’s nothing in the Word that says that we need to study the Bible to be come intellectually superior about Scripture.  The Pharisees and Scribes cornered that one.  And we still have their spiritual heirs, today.  But it does say we do need to study the Word (see Psalm 119).  That’s so we get to know God.  I used an example, in a recent book review, of the lad smitten with a young lady.  He’s going to use every avenue at his disposal to find out her likes and dislikes, avoid anything that might trigger an allergy or bother her.  Our relationship with God is just like that.  In both cases there are “circular rewards”.  When we first get saved, we have a glimmer of the enormity of God’s love for us and how awesome He is.  So, we read our Bible.  As we see, more and more, how much God loves us, we love Him more and study more. Our love for Him grows, triggering a greater comprehension of His love for us, triggering….
 
Jesus prayed that those of us in the Body of Christ would have the same love and unity as He and the Father have for each other.  That means that the Catholics and the Baptists and the Pentecostals all need to get along and love one another.  The unsaved sinner is important.  But so is whoever is sitting next to us in the pew.  There could be a death, a serious illness, or a spiritual attack.  We all have those happen.  And discipleship and comforting are just as important as evangelism.

So, we need to seek God first, with all our heart.  If our call is something different from what we’re doing now, He’ll let us know, once we give Him preeminence in everything we do and think.  Yes, we’ll fail some at that.  But God isn't looking to call the qualified, He’ll qualify the called.  As the title of one of Carl Stevens’ booklets said, failure isn’t final.  But God is final.  Consider that scientists are ecstatic that they’ve come closer to proving the existence of what popular writers call “the God particle” – that one thing that keeps everything in order.  But they still miss what you and I know.  That particle still needs what older scientists used to call “the uncaused cause” controlling it – God.  God is final.

So, what are we doing today, to get to know God better?  And what are we doing to share Him with others?

5 comments:

  1. Seek is my word for 2014. I've never done the one word thing, and seek isn't the word I wanted. At first I thought I could tweak it to fit my agenda, but I discovered very quickly that my goal is only to seek God. Not my goal, not what's next, not my calling.

    What a timely post.

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    1. I read this at Carrie's recommendation. Good article. Many word is seek too and God is who I am seeking.

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    2. Great insights, Carrie. I'm glad this one spoke to you.

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  2. It's amazing how simple it is - to love God and love others - and yet we complicate it all the time with our agenda and our busyness, which takes our eyes off of the people we are suppose to be serving. We do need to weigh our lives against God's word and if we are failing in those two areas of love then it's time to re-evaluate.

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    1. God knows we need simple. Every time we go for complex, we mess it up. He knows that and He doesn't expect us to jump through hoops. God already did the hoop jumping at the Cross through Jesus.

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