Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
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Your Blessed Place
I have seen so many Christians walk away from their God given place of blessing, that I have felt a deep sense of grief in my spirit. I know it must grieve the Lord. It should not and does not have to be this way.
I believe that the Lord has ordained us to walk in blessings, yet I donít see this as I should within the body of Christ. If we are to find the answers to hard questions, we must be honest with ourselves and open to correction if that is the case, and always open to the truth of Godís Word. With this in mind lets look at some areas that can help us find our God given place of blessing and stay on the course God has prepared for us.
It has been my observation through life experiences and through the Word of God that certain things that we do will hinder our ability to walk in our God ordained blessed place. Most Christians wouldnít say that they are out to deliberately walk away from Godís perfect will. However, how many of us can honestly say I am walking in the perfect will of God? Finding Godís will and walking in it, is also walking in the place that bring us into that place of blessing. Obedience is always the beginning of blessings. The opposite is also true, being disobedient to His will for our lives, whether this is done deliberately or out of ignorance to His will, will bring destruction in our lives and our families as well.
Hosea 4:6a My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
If we donít know His will, we canít walk in it can we? God does not want His people ignorant.
Ephesians 5:17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Many times God reveals His plan for us, but it doesnít mean we are at a place where we can fulfill that calling. We may be gifted in certain areas and have great potential, yet those gifts could be undeveloped and therefor unusable. There are many who have stepped out yet werenít at a place in their development where they should have stepped out. I hope you see my point in this. When we see the path before us, there is always a process to fulfilling what God has called us to do. As we develop and mature in Him, He can use us more. As we are obedient to what He gives us to do, then He can promote us. I have often said there are no shortcuts in the kingdom of God. There is a process in our journey we can not avoid, nor should we want to. Passing tests brings us into more responsibility and blessings. The greater we are blessed the more we can be a blessing to others.
Our giftings are always in line with our calling, they work together.
Romans 11:29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
We each are called for a specific purpose and God will not take that away from us. He certainly hasnít called us to fail. Failure is not part of His vocabulary. Wherever we are called our gift shall make room for us, and will be a benefit to others.
Romans 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5. so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them:
Our gifts are meant to be used. If not, what good are they? Our gifts should compliment one another as well. We should not be competing with one another, but rather completing one another. We help each other as we go and fulfill our calling in the process. As we take this mindset and realize our gifts are not for us, but for others, and to be used to build up others, we will be used more and more. We are blessed to be a blessing! They go hand in hand. The more we are used to bless others, the more we will be blessed. Glory, what a way to live!
We should realize everyone is called, yet not everyone is called as a pastor or preacher, etc. this does not minimize the gift. The gift is from God, and it is important for the mission you are called to fulfill. Others depend on you fulfilling your calling in order to complete their calling. We work together in order to build up the body of Christ the way God has called all of us to do. God ordains increase this way. If gifts are not being used, others will be affected. This is a serious thing in Godís eyes and we should realize that there are consequences as well.
Peter said 1 Peter 4:10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
One of the main areas we are all called to is our local body, or we could say local church.
The Word of God is very clear that we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. In other words, assembling is ordained of God and has an important purpose.
I believe this should be at the very core of where our gifts and calling are to be exercised.
The word tells us in 1 Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
Our gifts are different and have a different purpose but all gifts are from God and all gifts are meant to edify the rest of the body of Christ.
Even as each of us has a calling and a purpose, each local body or church has a specific calling and purpose. If every church were the same then we would all be in competition
with one another. God has not called his body to compete with each other. Churches are competing for the same people. This should not be. Different bodies should be complimenting one another, not competing for people. The gifts in one body should compliment the gifts of another, for together we are much stronger than apart. This is happening on a major scale within the body of Christ, between churches and even within churches there is competition for different areas of ministry. It seems that there arenít enough people to go around. The truth is there are enough people, we all have a place and the importance of our place should never be minimized.
1 Corinthians 3:3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?
Are we mere men or are we children of God? The world is full of envy and strife and division, yet we are being pleaded with to not let it be so with us. How can blessings flow in the midst of division?
1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
The Scripture is very clear on this, and there is much more on this that could be said. We must understand that we can not go on to greater blessings until we put aside our petty differences and begin to think of the greater purpose. Fulfilling Godís purpose requires our cooperation with Him and the authority we have been placed under. If we are seeking to fulfill our own agenda then we will be at odds with Godís agenda. Wow.
God definitely calls people to specific bodies for a purpose. When you are called to a place you should know that you are called to share in the same vision and purpose of that body, and that your gifts and talents are needed in that place. If God truly calls you there, then He knows the purpose and function of that body within the body of Christ doesnít He? You should also be aware of that vision and overall purpose God has called that body to and share in that vision as well. You should have the same goals and common purpose that has been laid out by the pastor and elders of that particular church. If you donít then you need to question and seek God as to what your purpose is, or get in agreement if you truly know that God has called you there. For the truth is, if God calls you to a place and your not in agreement then you are in disobedience and we already know what the Word says.
There are many within the body if Christ who are AWOL Christians. They donít like to take orders, or they donít like the way a certain thing is happening, so they just leave. We have all seen this happen, I know I have. My purpose is not to offend but to edify, if God has called us to a place then anything we do outside of that blessed place is disobedience. How can God bless us when we are in disobedience? If you are where God called you then you need to be an obedient son or daughter and stay where you weíre called to stay. This doesnít mean that the church is perfect for there are no perfect people in this world, but in order to fulfill Godís plan it will take many men and women of God who are committed and dedicated to fulfilling the call God has placed on their life. Some get offended if they are not recognized on a regular basis. The truth is that shouldnít even be a consideration. Are you being obedient to the calling of God or to the calling of men? God will place you where He wants you and the gifts He has placed in you will make room for you as you are obedient and submit to the authority God has placed you under. Our attitude should be to fulfill our mission, and in doing so fulfill Godís purpose for us. If we all will take this attitude, then we together can accomplish so much more than we could ever accomplish alone. Amen
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.