Volume IV, Number 3 - November 2008
Following God’s Call in Life Recently, I have been doing some study on the life of David. Especially the early years when we find him meeting Samuel and following a calling to become the next king of Israel. God had great plans for him at this stage but the path leading into the future was very much a mystery. He had a calling, he just did not know how to follow it. David must have pondered this as he served Saul and went about doing other comparatively menial tasks. On the other hand, his meek spirit demonstrated that he had earned the title in Scripture of being “a man after God’s own heart.” So, how does this aspect of yielding ourselves to the
will of God play out in the not so epic proportions of our lives? We often think, particularly here in America, that we are to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. And that may be true, in terms of how we pursue a career. However, it is a mistake to apply the same logic to accomplishing a calling from God. Moses saw himself as a one man liberator of Israel, but when he was in exile in Midian we do not
find him going to leadership school or amassing an army or planning a protest rally. No, we find him tending sheep for his father-in-law...for 40 years! His initial attempt failed as he took matters into his own hands, but that paved the way for him to be taught to be the most humble man who ever lived (Num. 12:3).
God could save him, but accepted if God chose not to (Dan. 3:18). The important thing was to defend the Name of God at that time and place. The sad fact is that many of us do not choose to order our priorities around what is important to God. So, why should we expect God to place importance on what we think
Our perspective needs to change to reflect what we claim to believe; that God is in control, not us.
David seems to have avoided the mistake Moses made by refusing to grasp at the promise of being king. Instead, he strove to be available for whatever God would have him do next. If God wanted him to invest in the artistic pursuit of harp playing, he
is a priority? Our perspective needs to change to reflect what we claim to believe; that God is in control, not us.
...the path leading into the future was very much a mystery.
To do that we have to accept a few things about the nature of God. For instance, David discovered God’s priorities by making a practice of finding out where God was leading and getting in line. He knew that God was jealous for His Name, that He was loyal to His chosen people and that He alone must get the glory.
did it. If God wanted him to go risk his life by picking a fight with a giant, then David accepted the challenge. Now, in this last instance, he could have said, “Hmmm...this is really not a good career move for me, I think I will practice some of my kingly leadership skills and delegate this to someone else.” No, he marched into what many assumed was certain death, and threw down the gauntlet. Like Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego he knew that
Now this last attribute is one of the most difficult things for us to accept. It makes God sound like a narcissist. I mean, who does He think He is? God or something? But seriously, this really is the defining question for how you will live your life. Do you live as if you believe you are equal to God? Do you live to glorify God or for your own glory and success? The catch 22 here is that in order for you to seek your own glory you must reject association with God’s glory. The end result of doing so is that
God comes to oppose you in making a justified claim to the glory that belongs to Him. That kind of makes it difficult to be successful. David must have seen this played out when Saul started revising the
He will chisel away any aspect of you that stands in the way of accomplishing His purpose in you and through you. instructions God had given him, debating with God’s prophet and, the coup de gras, making a grab for the priestly office. All these actions showed that Saul’s first priority was his own glory. And, as night follows day, God removed His Spirit from Saul and the downfall of Israel’s first king began. So, back to the original issue. How does God lead us in pursuing our calling? First, He needs it to be clear that it is His calling and not just your idea with His Name slapped on top of it. So often, young Christians take the calling of ministry and assume that it means
a path that leads to a certain position. They think that now that they have the destination, they don’t need to check in with God until they arrive. This is wrong. The trip is the shaping that God does to prepare them for the ministry. Our lives are never about what we will do for someone else, rather the purpose is about the changing that occurs in us. And that change spills over onto others and encourages them to follow the calling God has for them.
in God’s plan. It may be some pretty rotten stuff that you can’t imagine God could use. But if you consider that He knows the number of the hairs on your head and when a sparrow falls, then He must know what his dearly beloved child is going through. Sometimes, it is not until it is over that can we see what God has wrought. The danger is in giving up on God in the middle, and risk holding onto a part of you that is actually doing you harm.
Beware, of simply seeking selfinflicted qualifications when it is the God inflicted lessons of life that you need to learn. You may wind up in the unfortunate position of fulfilling your vision while missing God’s calling.
You see, when you let something go, God is there waiting to replace it with something infinitely more valuable. So, the sacrifice is really only the view from this side. From the other side, it’s a gift.
Second, following a calling is all about sacrifice. You see, God is not interested in your glory, but He is concerned for His glory. That means He will chisel away any aspect of you that stands in the way of accomplishing His purpose in you and through you. Moses had to lose his palace brat mentality, Paul had to lose his exalted Pharisee image and David, even after he was king, had to be humbled to bring him back to giving the glory to God. You may be thinking that what you are going through right now is not
Finally, your commitment to your calling will be tested. You will be pushed to define what God is asking you to do, defend what He has been doing and relinquish those things that are not of Him. This will be a time that tries your faith and you can only succeed by desperately seeking God. That’s what David did when he “followed after God’s own heart.” He went through the tests, made the sacrifices and gave the glory to God because his focus was on pleasing God, not man. We should strive to do no less.
A New Addition to the Morgan Household On October 1st at 10:34pm, Grace Kathryn Morgan was born. She weighed 10lbs. 2oz. and was 21.5in. long. We are delighted to welcome her into our family and look forward to sleeping through the night in a couple weeks. Grace
Speaking Opportunity A local congregation (Poulsbo Nazarene Church) invited me, on October 26th, to share the Launch video and speak on forgiveness. The message was well received and I was invited back as new modules are completed. That makes 7 speaking engagements this year, so far.
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