Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
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The Calling of God
Romans 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
Before the world was created God knew each one of us, and had preordained us to good works. Good works of course are the things He wants us to accomplish while we are here on the Earth. He has called us and equipped each of us to fulfill the things He has predestined for us. Whether we use our giftings for His glory, and to fulfill His will is our choice and our choice alone. We will never be forced or pushed, yet He will never take these gifts from us. We are all born into this world unique, no two of us are exactly the same. Although we may share certain qualities and features with others, we still have a unique set of talents and abilities. With this set of talents and abilities and by the leading of the Holy Spirit, we can fulfill our destiny. If we donít, we really have no one to blame but ourselves. Many get sidetracked or discouraged and fall from their true purpose. There are so many reasons for this, everything from bad life choices to out and out disobedience. We canít undo the past but we can start right now to walk in the gifts and calling of God. I know what itís like to get side tracked and become discouraged, and loose my way on lifeís journey. However, I have found that when I truly turned back to Him, and gave myself over to Him, that all was not lost as the devil had made me believe. I had lost my purpose for a time, yet God restored my dream and gave me a vision.
His Word saysÖ
Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
One translation says; Where there is no revelation. This is a way of saying you have to have clear insight of what God has for your life. You have to have a clear vision of your purpose if you are ever going to fulfill your calling, and become what God has called you to be. If you donít have a clear vision, you wonít know where you are to go. There are many within the body of Christ like this, they just exist. They are just there. They have no clear vision of what they are to accomplish. They may have individual goals but this does not mean that they know Godís purpose for their life, or that their goals are in line with Godís goals for their life. If you donít know your destiny, how will you ever fulfil it? You may say, what are you talking about. Iím saying that if you are wanting to get to point B from point A and you donít know where point B is then you will never arrive. You have to have clear direction and know where the Lord is taking you if you are ever to arrive. This does not mean you will know every detail of the journey. We walk by faith and not by sight. We walk one day at a time. When God want us to do something different or go on from where we are currently, He will tell us. When He tells you to do something keep doing it until He gives you other instructions. You can go by what He doesnít say many times by as much as what He does say.
We all have choices to make in life, school, career, marriage, where we live, and so on.
Many times people let their emotions lead them, and allow their feelings to dictate what they are to do. We have all seen it. This is not the leading of the Holy Spirit. This is usually a fleshly reaction to circumstances that leads to walking by sight and not by faith.
This is often a result of we ourselves seeking to fulfill our own goals and ambitions. Iím certainly not saying it is wrong to have goals or be ambitious, I am saying we should have our goals in line with Godís will.
God will give His children clear direction. The Word tells us, For as many as are led by the Spirit of God they are the sons of God. (Rom:8:14)
He will lead us by His Spirit.
He could not hold us accountable for our actions if He gave us no clear direction could He? Yet we have a part to play in this, we have to avail ourselves of Him. We have to spend time in prayer and spend time in His presence, if we are ever going to hear Him. This is the first step we all must take before we step out and go. You have to know where you are going.
After we have direction, we have to have prepare ourselves. There is a time of preparation and study. Iíve heard it said that God doesnít call the equipped, He equips the called. God will not tell us to go if we have not been equipped to go. In other words, He will equip you before He sends you. He doesnít send babies out to do battle, He sends mature men and women of God. There will always be a time of learning and development. Take advantage of your time and learn from your Pastor and elders, those who have care over your soul. Listen to them!
He will teach you and instruct you, and as you grow in grace and understanding, He will give you more revelation. We all have to start at the beginning; there are no short cuts in the kingdom of God. Revelation builds upon itself. God can not reveal the deep truths if you can not grasp the basics can He. Itís not that He doesnít want us to understand, it is that we can not receive more until we have received little, and been obedient with what we already have. He just doesnít work that way. I believe that He keeps things from us knowing full well that we just couldnít handle more in our present babyhood state. We get in a hurry sometimes and just want it all thinking we could handle it when we really could not. The end would be disastrous for us. Our Father loves us too much for that. It is no different with earthly parents raising children. A loving parent would not make a child responsible for something that requires a much greater level of experience and understanding. You would not tell a 6-year-old to get in the car, drive to the grocery store, and buy the groceries for the week would you? I realize this may sound funny, yet many Christians do the same types of things. They get full of zeal and feel that they can just go out and fulfill their calling without putting in the time to learn, and gain the necessary experience that it takes to be successful.
God doesnít call babies into battle any more than we would tell a toddler to go out and cut the grass. When my son was about 4 years old, he used to follow me around the yard with a toy lawnmower and pretend he was cutting the grass. The reality was that he wasnít accomplishing as much as he really thought he was. Although I look back on those times with fondness, as a loving father I would have never given him the real responsibility of cutting the grass. It would have been an extremely unsafe situation for him, not to mention he just could not have handled it. It was quite a few years before he really was able to cut the grass on his own. By that time, I donít think he thought it was as much fun as it used to be.
Our Heavenly Father knows what we can accomplish and what we cannot. Sometimes we just need to be realistic about where we are in our faith walk before we can go on to the next level. He gives us what we can handle and are willing to walk in. Itís our part to be willing and receptive when that happens. We often think we are waiting on God when the truth is, He is waiting on us.
It takes a certain level of faith to even receive our calling, and begin to walk in it. If you were to receive your calling as a young immature Christian, you would most likely to be overwhelmed and get discouraged. Growth and development is a natural process, and it is no different in the spiritual realm. We have to grow before we can go.
It was no different with our Lord. The Word says Ö And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. (Luke 2:52)
In order to fulfill the plan of God Jesus had to increase in wisdom and stature. In other words, He had to grow up in the things of God as well as the things of the world.
The Apostle Paul says thisÖ that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head Christ. (Ephesians 4:14)
There is a purpose for our growth. God wants us to succeed, and we have to be mature and fully equipped in order to accomplish His perfect will. Some people think of this as drudgery, yet it is an honor to fulfill the calling of God.
There is no more miserable Christian than one who has walked away from his or her God given purpose. Regardless of what your calling is, you will never be truly happy until you realize it, and begin to walk in it. Regardless of whether or not you feel like you are important or not, there are no unimportant parts within the body of Christ!
I would like to leave with three Scriptures written by three Apostles as an admonishment.
1 Peter 1:17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your sojourning here in fear;
Take advantage of your time, you only have it once.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
1 John 3:11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,
Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you want to be a joint heir with Christ?
If so, I urge you to earnestly pray the following prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "Öand the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37),
So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.