LOCATING YOUR CALLING
Why does God want the totality of your life before He shows you your calling? The answer to that question is found in John 7:16–17, where Jesus said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If any man is willing to do His will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from Myself.”
You must be willing to do God’s will before you know His will. Many of us say to God, “Show me what You want me to do, and I will let You know whether I am into that or not. Let me know the plan, and I will tell You whether I plan to do it.”
No, God’s plan is not up for negotiation. God is only going to reveal your calling to you when you are committed to doing it ahead of time. God will not negotiate His will.
As Romans 12:1–2 says, you must give all of yourself to God and none of yourself to the world system that wants independence from God.
God says if we conform to this world, He will not reveal His calling for our lives. We must say, as Moses said to God at the burning bush, “Here I am” (Exodus 3:4). In other words, “What do You want of me, Lord? I am ready to obey.”
Giving yourself totally to God is giving Him full power over your life. When you do that, you experience the abundant life He has promised to give you.
Verse: “And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” Mark 8:34
Prayer: Father, give me the faith to commit to you ahead of knowing the whole picture. Help my unbelief where belief is lacking. I do want to serve You, I do. Teach me how.
Let God Use Your Detours
Part of experiencing the fullness of your destiny is in understanding your detours. Far too often, we fail to understand our detours and, as a result, we wind up viewing them in a wrong light. When this happens, we give room for things like impatience, bitterness, regret and doubt to grow. Rather than allowing the detours to produce the development we need, they actually set us back spiritually thus setting us up with a need for more detours in order to grow. It can become a vicious cycle.
For example, when you were in school you would have to take regular tests. These tests let the teacher know where you stood on the material you needed to learn. If you were unable to pass these tests, then more assignments and more tests would have to be given. Have you ever known someone who “tested out” of a class or an assignment? This happened when they felt they had enough knowledge to pass the test without having to do the work. In this case, they took a test and if they scored high enough, they could skip the rest of the course.
I never “tested out” of a course but I know people who did. Most of us have to go through the learning process – unfortunately some of us more often than others – in order to gain a mastery on what we need to know.
God is not going to bring you to the fruition of your destiny until He knows you are able to handle it spiritually, emotionally, physically and the like. If you cannot handle it, you will lose it rather than use it for His glory. That is why He focuses so intently on our development as He takes us to our destiny.
Giving thanks IN, not FOR, is your secret to victory!
We are told in Scripture, “In everything give thanks.” It is a decree from God, recorded by Paul. It is a divine expectation.
The psalmist says: “It is good to give thanks to the LORD ” (Psalm 92 :1).
Psalm 100:4 says: “Give thanks to Him, bless His name.”
Psalm 103: 1-5 says: “Bless the LORD, O my soul and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul and forget none of His benefits; who pardons all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases; who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with loving kindness and compassion; who satisfies your years with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.”
God has given us ample reasons to thank Him.
In fact, the Bible goes so far as to say that it is evil not to thank God. Paul says in Romans 1:21 that unrighteous men “did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”
God is the entity that is the most taken for granted in the universe. There is absolutely nothing we can do that is not dependent on Him. Every breath we take depends on Him to provide the oxygen as well as to make our lungs work. Everything we have is supplied by a source beyond us. The money in our wallets was printed from the paper from trees that God made in the ground that He owns. The cars we drive were fitted together from the metal that God placed in the earth. The gold jewelry we wear around our necks or wrists or fingers is from a deposit God provided. Scripture says over and over that God is the source of all good things, so we know He doesn’t want us to forget the fact that He gave us everything we have. It is all His. Yet we are all ungrateful at times, unhappy with what we have and wanting more of what we don’t have. These attitudes prevent us from focusing on God’s graciousness.
As I get older in life, I realize how many things I used to take for granted that I don’t take for granted so much anymore. I spent the entire day yesterday at my annual physical at the Cooper Clinic for my doctor, Dr. Cooper, to analyze, test, prod, probe and discover whether my body is functioning as it should, or if I need to make adjustments in my lifestyle or even in my schedule. Some of you may be in the same boat as me. You may be joining the group of us who are aging faster than we thought we ever would. Some of you may not be there just yet – but, hang on, because you will be here one day. We forget to be thankful for what we have when we take it for granted. This leaves us open to complaining more than we should and focusing on what we don’t have rather than being grateful for what we do.
God says to give thanks in everything. That doesn’t mean you need to give thanks FOR everything. You don’t need to give thanks FOR that bad day. Or FOR that bad relationship. Or being passed over at work. Financial hardship. Whatever it is – you are not to give thanks FOR the difficulties, but rather IN the difficulties. That is a very important distinction, and one I think we often miss. Giving thanks IN everything shows a heart of faith that God is bigger than the difficulties and that He can use them, if you approach Him with the right heart and spirit, for your good and His glory.
It’s hard to give thanks FOR everything – and because it is, we often skip over it. But when you realize you are not called to give thanks FOR everything but rather IN everything – you are on your way to living the victorious Christian life.
Do me a favor? Say a prayer of thanks right now. And I’ll thank God for you!