When God Calls

When God calls you, it will be to serve His purposes in you – to do His will. Whatever that will is at the moment, we are called to humble ourselves in His presence and cast away anything like pride or the dictates of the present social order. God must be the epicenter of our focus.

It requires our total trust in Him, regardless of what out human logic wants to impose. Trust is faith, and faith brings the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit, as we begin the journey of our transcendent path of spiritual realization. We are becoming what we were originally conceived for.

God shows you the direction, equips you for the task, you perform that task to the best of you ability, and you leave the outcome to Him. Moreover, those outcomes are faith-builders. When we make the decisions to be part of this process, we gather the strength to subjugate our flesh to the Spirit, whereupon we begin freeing ourselves of the knee-jerk reactions of the mind and its preoccupation with the world.

God’s calling will necessitate the shedding of our old self to become a new person in Christ. (Eph. 4:17 – 24). Thankfully, He continually helps us with that:

And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord [who is] the Spirit. 2 Cor. 3:18 AMP

To answer God’s call then, takes rigorous self-examination with regards to one’s alignment with His word, so that he or she are in a state of preparedness And when we rest in God’s will, we come to know the goodness that He implanted within in us, and can subsequently tap into it to bring forth the fruits of our calling. We radiate His image, and our lives are grander for it.

God trains you for your calling, and some of that ‘training’ can be painful. It may even feel punitive, but it’s not. He is coaching you, developing your spiritual integrity and fortitude  by removing layer after layer of worldly pollution.

When we are called, we will encounter obstacles, because our adversary tries to thwart out efforts. Yet God would not call us to strive for something that we could not do (because He backs us up). Our successes in Him builds our faith in our ability to be used by Him for each ensuing task upon our path.

When we answer the call of servitude, we are one with God and simultaneously set free from the world, and from the leash that it has tried to strangle us with. It is a joyful state as we come to realize that our calling also includes one that will culminate in His eternal presence through the grace of our Blessed Savior…

Goodnight and God bless.

A Little Bit of Our Human Side

We have an innate thirst for God that persists even when we try to deny His existence. Why? It’s because deep down we know that He is the source of unconditional love. Yet many think that love is hard to connect with.

The only reason it is difficult is because our human side wants to wallow in the ways of the world. When we do that, we are bound by the anxieties that are weaved within the present culture, which reflects the ongoing demise of this system of things.

Those who have not reached out to God face the real potential for drowning in meaningless chatter, falling prey to the fantasies of pagan idolatry, suffering the world’s negativity and of frittering away their short time on this planet on empty busyness, projects and causes – all designed to try to impart some self-worth upon the doer. None of these activities glorify God, denying them the love, acceptance, security and recognition that they so desperately seek.

The ultimate outcome is a life that is not lived.

We all live in a world that is under the sway of the devil himself, who is actively trying to recruit us in every moment. Thus, even though we live in it, we have to stop being at the effect of it. The only way to do that is to seek out our Creator in simple stillness. Regardless of how the world has humbled us, or even our own behaviors have humiliated us, there continually remains a loving, compassionate God that looks to restore us with His outstretched hand:

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Is. 41:10. NKJV

God also knows that because of pride, many need this humbling before they can see their need for Him. It’s what draws them to the truth, making them ready to take on a new way of being. It requires that one gets to know what their attachment points to the world have been so that they can ask God to help them let those go. And it’s easy to find those points, because they exist in the areas of life that are not working, where the mistakes are made – showing up in self-defense and aggression. This is especially so in our attachment to the past.

When you connect with God through Christ, your past is forgotten in His eyes. (Jer. 31:34) So if God forgets it, you should do the same.

Yet even when we walk our spiritual path – studying the word, meditating in His presence, and do our best to bring light into the darkness, we will feel that we have failed God from time to time. Only God knows whether or not you were successful and He honors your earnest efforts regardless of the outcome.

And it is here where we can begin to shift our thinking. First, we can let go of the burden that we can of our own become a good person. Jesus says that we cannot (Mt. 19:17); He says God confers His ‘goodness’ upon us when we walk in obedience. He places the gift of Himself within us through Christ by His grace.

We can acknowledge that by ourselves (in the flesh) we are empty – painfully clinging to the scraps of life that fail to fulfill. When we accept God’s invitation through Christ, the Holy Spirit fills us with the Godhead, imparting a love that that permeates our soul and spirit with such abundance that it spills out of us as well. As we stay in the presence of that love, we will stop clinging to the old way of life that left us wanting.

Our human side will not go away. It’s part of us until our eternal transformation. Yet when we continue to seek out our spiritual side, we’ll be able to place our flesh in it’s proper hierarchy, which is where it is in submission to the spirit.

Remember that your spiritual maturation is an ongoing process (2 Cor. 3:18); it will take time. Christ is the author and perfecter of your faith. (Heb. 12:2) Your faith is from Him! It is He who believes for you. You can always tap into Jesus to shore yours up.

In this maturity, we begin to take our minds off of ourselves so that we could dive into the unique purpose that God created for each of us – which always involves selfless service to others, which brings glory to our Father. It is the sharing of oneself. It is looking to God for our satisfaction.

Finally, to keep us empowered in our quest in advancing God’s kingdom, we give the Holy Spirit’s leading unctions pre-eminence in our lives for directing our actions, so that we speak God’s truth and spread HIs love. And we can do that when we place a little bit of our human side aside…

Goodnight and God bless.

Jesus Contact 22

Preparing for Jesus’ Return – part 2

In part one of this two-part series, we looked at some of actions necessary to take in order to be ready for Christ’s return. We saw that we have to have our spiritual house in order (being right with God by accepting the salvation that He offers (through Jesus) now. Because, if you die or He comes back (whichever comes first) and you haven’t made that commitment, you don’t get a second chance. You have to accept Christ and do your best to walk in HIs footsteps. To help you accomplish that, Jesus said to be persistent in your prayers.

Also, He told us to be on the alert for imposters claiming to be Him, or, know where He is. In addition, He said that we must remain humble, having the simple unquestioning faith of a child, so as to be able to enter the kingdom – throwing any ‘self-righteousness’ aside…

Jesus and HIs apostles are still making the last journey to Galilee when He is approached by a wealthy young ruler who asks Him what kind of good deed is it that must he do, in order to earn eternal life. (Wrong question, because you cannot earn your way to heaven.) Christ responds by telling the ruler to keep the Ten Commandments.

The ruler says that he is already doing that and then asks Him what else it is that He must perform. Jesus replies:

If you would be perfect [that is, have that spiritual maturity which accompanies self-sacrificing character], go and sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; and come be My disciple [side with My party and follow Me]. Mt. 19:21 AMP

Jesus is not telling the young ruler to make himself poor. He is trying to get this him to see his disobedience to the first of the Ten Commandments by making wealth his god. Sadly, the young man could not let his ‘god’ go and departed from Jesus, because in spite of all of his riches, his soul was poverty-stricken. Christ then says to His apostles:

“Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Mt. 19:23, 24. NKJV

Wealthy people are not necessarily wicked. They can enter the kingdom if they don’t make a ‘god’ out of their possessions. Wealth is a blessing from God. Jesus is only saying that it can be a great struggle for one to step into the kingdom if they try to keep a death grip on their worldly concerns.

The apostles are besides themselves over Jesus’ declaration. The cultural thinking of their day was that riches were blessings that gave one an advantage for attaining salvation. Now they are wondering if anyone can be saved. Jesus perceives their distress and says:

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Mt. 19:26 ESV

What He’s saying is that when you bring God into your life, make Him your focus and implement His wisdom regarding the stewardship of your worldly blessings, your passage to heaven remains intact.

In a typical human fashion, the apostle Peter tells Jesus that all of the apostles have given up everything for Him; and he wants to know what’s in it for them. Jesus doesn’t answer Peter’s selfishness at first. Instead, He tells him that their reward will be the honor of being able to sit with Him at the heavenly governing council. Then Jesus expounds upon what everyone will receive if they put Him first in their lives:

“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” Mt. 19:29, 30. NKJV

Again, Christ is speaking metaphorically. You don’t have to literally leave your house or your family in order to be able to follow Him. Just don’t make ‘gods’ out of them by prioritizing them over Jesus.

Notice too, the admonition at the end of Jesus’ reply, which was for Peter’s sake – to teach him that one must serve for the sake of serving, from their love for God – not for the express purpose to get a reward. Later on in their journey, Jesus would emphasize this again by telling the apostles to follow His example:

Just as the Son of Man came not to be waited on but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many [the price paid to set them free.] Mt. 20:28 AMP

On Monday of the last week of Jesus’ incarnate life on this earth, He re-emphasizes the importance of one’s focus of servitude:

“He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.” Jn. 12:25, 26. NKJV

On Tuesday of that same week, Jesus taught in the Temple for the last time. When He and the apostles were leaving, Jesus told them that near the end of time, the world will be filled with wars, famines and earthquakes, and that the followers of Christ will suffer persecution from an unbelieving world:

“…they will lay their hands upon you and persecute you delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought out before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. Therefore settle in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not to be able to contradict or resist.” Lk. 21:12 – 15. NKJV

“…he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Mt. 24:13 NKJV

It’s all about staying in faith…

Wars, persecution and tribulation; but then, Christ will return!

“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Mt. 24:30 NKJV

The majority of the world will ‘mourn’ because they rejected Christ; and at that moment, they will know that He is the real deal, and that they have missed the boat. Yet His return will carry a far different meaning for His followers – because they prepared for His coming!

“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift your heads, because your redemption draws near…when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.” Lk. 21:28 & 31. NKJV

On Thursday of Jesus’ final week, He tells His apostles that everything has now been set in motion for His imminent death, which will bring forth the glory of God’s redemptive work for His children. Then, He lays down the last aspect of how to prepare for His return:

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Jn. 13:34, 35. NKJV

He follows this with a demonstration of ‘communion’ and how we are to practice it regularly to remind ourselves of God’s grace through Christ – exercising our faith in the forgiveness of our sins that He facilitated with the sacrifice of HIs body and blood, symbolized in the sacrament that we receive.

Jesus then touches upon how to express our love:

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him and We will come to him and make our home with him.” Jn. 14:23 NKJV

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Jn. 15:11 – 13. NKJV

The love of God is the love that keeps on giving. We are commanded to prepare for the second coming of our Savior, but God doesn’t leave us to just our own efforts. He sends us the Holy Spirit to build upon them:

“When He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will tell you of things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” Jn. 16:7 – 14. NKJV

And with that, Jesus faced His persecutors and stepped up to the cross to make good the Promise – the one guaranteed for those who prepare for His contact…

Goodnight and God bless.