Christian Living » Called of God
GOD'S CALL TO HIS PEOPLE
We can prove our faith by our commitment to it, and in no other way. Any faith that does not command the one who holds it is not a real belief; it is a pseudo belief only. It might shock some of us profoundly if we were brought suddenly face to face with our beliefs and forced to test them in the fires of practical living. Many of us who call ourselves Christians have become extremely skillful in arranging our lives so as to admit the truth of Christianity without being embarrassed by it and what it might ask of us and what it might cost us. (A simplified revision of a quote by A. W. Tozer)
Christians habitually weep and pray over beautiful truth, only to draw back from that same truth when it comes to the difficult job of putting it in practice.
RECOVER FROM FAILURE AND GO ON
You are still in God's hand. Don’t you know that every day with Jesus is a new beginning? The Lord never condemns you or says, “Sorry, You didn’t qualify.” His mercies, He tells us, are new every morning (see Lamentations 3:22–23). Whether you have lost 7 days or 70 years, the Lord says to you, “Return to me with all your heart. I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten” (Joel 2:12, 25).
Don't give in to inner condemnation. We are not to condemn ourselves neither are we to commend ourselves. The devil is in the business of condemning us, and our commendation should come from the mouths of others or from God himself.
A HOBBY OR A LIFESTYLE?
Make the time to learn to pray. Commit your life daily for the sake of His kingdom. Begin to invest your life in a lost and dying world. If you want to be a world revolutionary, if you want to live for another kingdom, then your service for the Lord can never be just a few hours of work every day. It must be your life.
God is not looking for only strong, rich, confident people. He is looking for those willing to live according to what they know, committed to a heavenly kingdom, who come to Him with their inadequacies and weaknesses, ready to be filled with His power and live with heartfelt urgency to change the world.
A SURRENDERED WILL AND CONSECRATED LIFE
When I let Jesus live in and through me, my self is no longer the one that directs and dictates to me. Now it is Christ, His will and desires, living and acting through me. This is why the habit of compartmentalizing our lives must end. All of me, all that I am, belongs to Christ. It is a daily practice to learn this principle and live it out in our lives. The choices we make are ultimately not collective ones that we make as a church, a family or even a couple. They are choices we make as individuals.
When the Lord calls you to consecrate your life to Him, He is looking for a living, breathing, moving sacrifice. Once your life is given over completely to the Lord, you will no longer be intimidated by any circumstances or swayed by what others think. If this is your decision, know that you have chosen to walk a narrow road. When Jesus called His disciples to follow Him, He set some conditions before them. There will be inconveniences, difficulties, pain and suffering, counter-attacks by Satan. But praise the Lord, whether you are standing or have fallen, you can rejoice because you have surrendered your self to Him. When everything has been said and done, and the earth as we know it is only a memory, Jesus will say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Paul was not moved to live as he lived by any factor other than his relationship with the Lord. He was motivated to do everything he did for one reason: Jesus. He said; "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Can we honestly say that in our heart and live it out?
For the people of God to stand firm and even to survive in the days to come, we must relinquish our lives and all they mean to Jesus, to be His—to be approved by Him, to
please Him, to belong to Him. All that you are and do must be centered around Him and
His purposes. Then, as you walk through life, every emotion you feel and every life circumstance you face will be secondary. Are you His? Then life is yours. He is more
than worthy because of who he is and because he was the only one who lived, died and resurrected for you!
It is a sign of true godliness to desire nothing but the Lord Himself! It is no simple thing to take second place and let someone else get the honor. It can only be done by those who truly love God! True motivation from the Lord always manifests itself in genuine humility.
ARE WE READY TO LOVE AS GOD DOES?
To love is to be vulnerable. Love anyone or anything and your heart will certainly be wounded and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; but in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—your world will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, and irredeemable.
Any church or organization not motivated by love for God will rely on agencies, plans, programs, schedules and all sorts of gimmicks to get the job done. If we are not motivated to do what we do by the love of God, we will surely dry up in our prayer lives, too. What keeps us going in feast and famine is the kind of relationship with the Lord that only prayer can bring!
WHAT IS OUR MOTIVATION?
Horizontally motivated persons can be involved vigorously in the work of the Lord. They can also be demanding and judgmental. They may express intense concern about the moral condition of society or become zealous for world evangelism. But when the internal relationship is gone, only a shadow of that reality remains. Check yourself – What motivates you?
What is the key to living with the right motivation? The right answer is found in Colossians 3:23, I Corinthians 10:31 and Galatians 1:10.
OUR MOTIVATION SHOULD ALWAYS
BE TO PLEASE GOD ABOVE ALL!
MECHANICAL CHRISTIANITY IS POSSIBLE
Paul wrote that the were blessed with “every spiritual blessing” (Ephesians 1:3) and prayed for them for “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation” (verse 17). But now I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance.I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place. Revelation 2:2–5
When you find yourself in a situation like this, the Lord wants you to come to Him and say something like this: “Lord, I’m still doing all these things, but now it’s only mechanical. The spring is wound and things keep going, but my heart for You is no longer involved. I don’t have the same love for the lost; I do these things because I have to do them. It’s been a long time, Lord, since I cried over the lost world. My concerns have turned to myself and my own problems.
Somewhere along the way many of us have become so familiar with certain kinds of information that our hearts have become hardened and cold. Here are the questions we should ask ourselves: Does my heart burn when I hear the name of my Lord and Savior blasphemed and cursed? Do I still desire that the Lord be exalted and honored everywhere and in all things? Does my heart still beat with the same tenderness and passion for the dying world? Are there tears in my eyes for the body of Christ and its failure to proclaim the gospel with power and authority? Does my heart yearn daily for the lost and dying millions to come to Christ? When I hear news of the world around me, does my heart break for those who are going to hell? Do I get up in the morning to invest time with the Lord and pray for the lost?
The cry of the lost world comes loud and desperate to our ears. Let us be willing to hear and respond to it. God is waiting to do ministry and miracles through us, but we must bring our hearts back into focus and run from those things that keep us bound and ineffective for the work that needs to be done.When our hearts are right, we can no longer live for ourselves, our own needs and desires, struggles and disappointments. Instead we will be ready to make sacrifices, laying down our very lives, if necessary, so that others will know Jesus.