Proving God’s Choice!

“So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.” (2 Peter 1:10 NLT)

What things shall we do? According to Peter, we should:

Supplement our faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, our moral excellence with knowledge, our knowledge with self-control, our self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with Godliness, our Godliness with brotherly affection and brotherly affection with love for everyone.  (verses 5-8)

When we are able to demonstrate these things, we prove to all who may wonder, or question, God’s calling upon our lives and the fact that He has chosen us. In order to perfect our faith and do all He has called us do, we must consistently seek Him and constantly reflect and assess where we’re headed and how we’re doing in being all that God wants us to be. If we do these things, we won’t have time for the enemy to influence our thoughts or what we do.

We must realize that if we allow our thoughts to be influenced by the enemy, our behavior will soon demonstrate what we’re thinking. The same is true when our thoughts are focused upon pleasing God–our behavior demonstrates what we’re thinking.

This then is why Paul admonishes us to think on those things that edify who God is–purity, integrity, honesty, lovely, true and of a good report–never being ashamed of what we do–then those watching us will know to whom we belong.

If we think on these things (all the goodness of Him)–we will not lie, manipulate, deceive, cheat, or spread negative rumors about anyone or anything.

If we think on these things–we’ll make every effort to make sure that our behavior cannot be condemned or make God ashamed of us.

Whenever we allow the enemy to influence our thinking and ultimately what we do, we give him free reign for more people to become unbelievers in the Lord Jesus Christ! This then, is the battle we are currently fighting–the battle of the mind and the enemy’s influence that makes us a public spectacle–leaving those watching shaking their heads in wonderment and turning away from anyone and anything remotely related to Christianity.

Faith–increased by hearing and hearing and hearing The Word, developing relationship with God and hearing His voice when He speaks, provides the impetus we need to keep going, gathering knowledge and maintaining the highest moral standards to prove God’s choice in His selection of us!

When God Calls!

“Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you.” (I Corinthians 1:26 NLT)

What a sobering revelation to know that the world–those who knew us and some who didn’t–considered our calling into the ministry of the Gospel–foolishness!

Re-reading this passage of scripture this morning, reminded me of the reaction of people when I informed them that God had spoken to my heart and told me to “teach His Word!” Very few people who knew me, believed me (they were stuck on my past life) and many thought I had just lost my mind (they thought I read too much). There were even a few who told me flat out, “My pastor said, God don’t call no women to preach!” This came from men and women who professed to be Christians.

While I struggled with understanding this calling into ministry, I also leaned on The Word and was in constant prayer. One of the first things I did was to tell God, “If You want me to teach Your Word, then You’re going to have to teach it to me.”

I headed for the main library in our city because I knew it held a large religious section. I pulled information from book after book after book. I purchased books about Jewish history and studied the illustrations that were available of how people dressed, the culture of family, and worship. During a commercial advertising a center for Bible Study, I recognized God’s leading me to see it and went to the school.  I refused to try to tell anybody anything that I didn’t understand about the Bible.

On Father’s Day, nine months after I knew I had heard God’s instructions to me, I delivered my first message and people received it. Their positive response to what was said, gave me the confidence I needed to continue to discover all I could and I am still seeking knowledge because I realize that no matter how I live, I will never know it all.

Over twenty-five years later, there are still people who are skeptical about God’s calling me (and many others) into ministry. There are still some people who refuse to understand that God is not concerned about what we know, but our willingness to obey Him. It is He who qualifies those whom He calls. It is He who speaks to others who are in a position to confirm and recognize the calling on our lives. It is He who leads us to get the recognition and certification (ordinations) needed to operate according to the church and state protocols. It is He who has the first and last Word about what He wants us to do and say!

When God calls us to do something, we have no need to worry about what others will say. When God calls us into ministry, and we follow His directions–everything works together for our good and for the good of the people. When people call people into ministry–they are out of order and where there is no order–chaos reigns!

Now while there may still be those who consider me foolish and unwise–they say–God knows who I am and what I am capable of doing because it is Him, still molding and shaping, me to do His Will. Hallelujah!

Know Your Calling

Before we were born, God knew us and had a plan for our lives, a special calling–a role for us to play. “Before you were formed in your mother’s womb, I knew you.”

We have all been “called” to do something great. However, greatness is relative–dependent upon what it is we have been called to do. For some-the greatness lies within our ability to love others, for others–greatness lies with our determination to be obedient, and yet with others–greatness lies within us the ability to lead and develop great leaders.

Look within yourself–deeply. Know that you have been called to greatness, regardless of how small or how big the act. Greatness is not measured by the act, but by the participant’s willingness to get the job done.

We are all called to do great things, but not all of us are called to do the same things. Know your calling and see the greatness arise within and without.