Sunday, 7 March 2010

Life of Purpose

Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but of also wood and clay, some for honourable use, some for dishonourable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonourable, he will be a vessel for honourable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
-2 Timothy 2: 20-22
We often believe the purpose of God in a believer’s life is one big effort, one big activity he will do that will define his entire life and history. Some sort of climax in his Christian race. But the calling of God in a man’s life begins like a waterflow which the Lord opens in a man as a gentle flowing spring, which consistently increases in strength until it is big. Most times to him it is an ordinary thing, an everyday thing. It doesn’t have to be big before men. The calling is often a set of everyday work of love, obedience and faith that men will see in us and glorify our Father in Heaven. It is therefore good for us to begin to see every little opportunity the Lord brings our way to prove our love to Him as the requisite components that at the end will sum up as our calling.
Everything in a man’s life is a tool, a potential tool for the fulfilment of the calling of God upon him. For it is not consistent with the character of God to waste resources. Every talent we notice in us is a deposit of divine grace to accomplish a particular purpose(s) in the grand scheme of God on earth. For every good and perfect gift comes from God… Esther was so greatly endowed with physical beauty she could easily have missed the purpose of it: the Lord would later save a whole race by it. Her beauty-what we can safely call a talent-was thus a door that placed her on a platform to fulfil a purpose of God.
Has the Lord given you ten talents, you should know that each is a tool in the scheme of Heaven to fulfil a desire of God. And that you will account for each of them. Happy is that man that when knows perfectly the grace Heaven has bestowed upon him; and happier still is he that when called to give account will have the expected fruit to show for each.
A wise man once said that when the purpose of a thing is unknown abuse is inevitable. The danger in not knowing the graces upon us doesn’t end at the giving of account for them, but much more imminent is the danger of utilizing them against the very God that bestowed them. Talents are strengths, quarks of energy that must somehow manifest in us. When manifested in the spirit, they add up to the building of the Kingdom of God; in the flesh as vividly typified by the life of brother Paul, they actually work in the favour of Satan to pull down the Kingdom of God. Often you’ll notice that a teaching grace in a purposeless life will often manifest as talkativeness, or as a strong spirit of antagonism and criticism against the ways of God.
Let a man therefore be sensitive and diligent to identify those talents and natural inclinations within him and by developing a strong character after Christ submit them to the obedience of Heaven. And then he shall have taken a big step towards the fulfilling of his destiny in Christ.
 We often err and complicate things sometimes when we begin to identify and tag our calling by specific words. If not done by the Spirit this could constitute a great injury against us. One of the dangers in tagging our calling by human wisdom is that we immediately set an unscriptural limit to it. We begin to mentally compartmentalize and favour certain work above others. In the scripture above the Holy Spirit makes us understand that the vessel the Lord will use should be “ready for every good work.” Tagging callings often opens the door for pride and soon someone who sees himself as called to be a teacher will begin to have mental objections when called to serve the table in the house of God. But a wise man will direct his affairs by the word of God, will allow the Lord to call his calling as He wills, and if the Lord so chooses to make it unknown, the better he will be for it. He will be wise to know that the Lord has called us unto meekness, and that it is not what you do that matters but why you do it. Some who have done nothing more than wash the feet of a faceless believer-we shouldn’t be shocked-may end up receiving better commendation than a prophet that preached in Nineveh and the whole inhabitants of the land, man and brute, repented. Two mites from our widow’s effort often weighs more in the scale of God than giving up our bodies to be burned at the stake. What matters is who (God or us) our service serves.
We take a big step towards fulfilling our calling and destiny when we come into sincere personal consecration. There are no two ways about. Any man that seems to be fulfilling the calling of God upon his life without consecration is an accident about to happen; the very nature of God won’t suffer him to complete his purpose. Just like Samson such a one is programmed to self-destruct!
 Consecration means holiness and yet more, it goes on to mean holiness unto the Lord, “sacrificed unto God.” Just like an unprofitable servant, a consecrated man does not decide what he is called to do per time. When it is washing the most objectionable toilet he doesn’t shrink back; and when sent to meet with kings he doesn’t become over-modest about it. He has come to settle it within himself that only the Lord is his motivation and His obedience his motive. The seven chosen among the believers for to serve the table might have had cause to reject the call only if they had been mindful of the flesh. Or at best they would have done it grudgingly, if they had earlier confined themselves to a particular notion as to what their callings were. But because they were faithful and allowed “this mind to be in them as it was in Christ Jesus…who humbled Himself to the death on the cross”, God then brought the likes of Stephen and Philip to function in other dimensions as prophet and evangelist. Our concern thus should be what we do with the opportunity the Lord is giving us to wash the feet of the brethren rather than some other ‘higher’ and showy work. The truth is that we may never begin to work in the dimensions God predestined for us until we become consecrated to the point of humility and readiness to be whatever He wants us to be per time. It is the soul that bowed to lowly duties when divine necessity so requires that will later serve at the throne. There are no two ways about it.
To cap this section, it’s good to remember that every little and lowly and mundane act becomes great and noble and sublime when these three words qualify them: for Thy sake. This song captures it well: 
When it’s all been said and done                    When it’s all been said and done
There is just one thing that matters               All my treasures will mean nothing
Did I do my best to live for truth                    Only what I did for love’s reward
Did I live my life for You                                 Will stand the test of time

Lord Your mercy is so great                          And I will always sing Your praise
That You looked beyond our weakness         Here on earth and heaven after
And found purest gold in miry clay               'Cos You've shown me heaven's 
Making sinners into saints                                                       my true home

                                                                        When it’s all been said and done 
                                                                        You’re my light when light is gone.
So, the Lord looks for those that are ready to reach into fetid miry clay in service of Him. Only those are permitted to bring forth and present to Him the purest gold that had lied underneath the cesspit.
Talents in a man’s life often are no more than pointers to a deeper calling that lies in Christ for him. They are a guide, ensigns to get his attention riveted on God. He will never know talk less of fulfill this destiny until he becomes wholly yielded to God through Christ Jesus, for callings are properties of God; and it is written that the things of God know no man except the Spirit of God. Quoting this scripture more extensively, 
These things God reveals to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things that are freely given to us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
-1 Corinthians 2: 10-13.
It’s only those who are yielded to Him, the spiritual, that will be taught this dimension of the gospel called calling. This is why the Lord uses the man that has abandoned himself, his quest, and his world. For He said we cannot follow Him if we cannot deny ourselves first. The calling of a believer are hid in Christ and only revealed to those that are ready to walk the length of the road with Him. Be not deceived, it’s only these that He has promised to reveal Himself to. The destiny of a man, his calling, is the revelation-the manifestation- of the person of Christ in him and inside him to the world; 
Whoever has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.
-John 14: 21
So talents are only the marsh that surrounds a river, you enter the river only through consecration and discipleship.
The Lord doesn’t trust a man that doesn’t have a copy of His Son on the inside of him. He that is not for Him is against Him and it’s pertinent that only those that are for Him are those allowed to labor in their calling with Him. The scheme of Heaven on earth is all about the souls of men; whether from darkness to light, or from light to worship. These souls are too precious to Him to allow just any unserious self-motivated individual to handle them. If He would leave ninety-nine sheep to recover one, then it becomes easy for us to see why He won’t entrust His children to those who have not been crucified unto self. Until you are so crucified that you are ready to stay and fight, even die, when wolves come against the fold you are not permitted to shepherd His children.
We also should know that we don’t just decide and walk into this deep calling, He is the One who brings calling to us and us to calling. Moses tried it, his utter failure is an eloquent testimony to this truth. It would later take God, after He has led him away into a wilderness and equipped him, to bring him into his destiny. As a leader in Egypt he had noticed his leadership qualities, the talent in him, and concluded that his destiny was to deliver Israel physically from slavery. But that talent was only a pointer to a deeper purpose of God. He could never have known that he would be the one to bring Israel into the covenant of God; that he would be the one to receive the testimony; that he would be a prototype of Jesus Christ as the lawgiver until the ransomed possession was brought unto the perfect law of liberty. He never had an inkling of these strong destinies from the knowledge of his talents. Until he came and submitted in total consecration to God he never walked in these dimensions.
You and I.
We might as well start today to be wholly yielded to Him. There’s no way that a man will be so faithfully yielded to God that he won’t know and fulfill his calling.
Everyday live for Him. Let your life daily be a holy sacrifice offered gladly to God in spirit and in truth. That is purpose. That is calling. That is the whole essence of the life of a man. He is looking for veterans of consecration, obedience, and faith to accomplish His purpose and not just anybody. He is not desperate that He’d begin to use the Canaanites to do the service of the Levites. If needs be, He will wait until He finds a man after His heart. And until then, every service rendered in the arms of flesh will be no more than cinder and fuel for the fire that shall try all works of the sons of men.
The proof of your sincerity and commitment to fulfilling purpose is seen in your personal consecration and daily living a life that honors God.
May we have great joy when we stand before Him to give account for the gifts and the deeper callings that we have in Him in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Written 6th July, 2008.
(All scriptures taken from the English Standard Version)

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