A Higher Calling In God!
It never ceases to amaze me that just when I think I am mature in Christ, you know, when I think I have a handle on my salvation, I learn something new. Yet, looking back, in each stage of my salvation I thought I had it all. When I was in the Feast of Passover, I thought that was all there was, I did not believe in Pentecost. (My religion told me that the Pentecostal experience had died out and was now a demonic way of attracting attention). I was about 30 when I experienced the gifts of Pentecost. For many years I grew in my Pentecostal experience and did not even know there was a Feast called Tabernacles. Yet, Father opened my understanding to this "new" feast in my mid 40's. It truly was my Heavenly Father who graciously brought me to each new relationship experience for it certainly was not anything I did.
I was walking in my Pentecostal condition when I came into the understanding that there is another calling in God, a call of sonship. At first I was childlike in my belief that just BE-ING was all I had to do. After all, a son is a son, not a daughter, not ever going to be the Bride, but instead is the Christ, what more did I need to do but BE? I, like a child, use to think it was enough just to smile at people when I walked by. After all, it lifted their spirits, acknowledged their existence, gave them a reason to smile, (if just for a moment), and it made me feel like I was giving of my self. I actually thought that people would see Jesus in me and be better for it. At first, BE-ING was enough, but as I mature I find that I have more to give. Now I know that people need more than just a smile, they need the Word of God that has been planted inside of me. It is this Word in me that brings forth the Christ which has been placed in them. (Eph 2:1) It is Christ who sets the captive free, feeds the hungry and heals the hurting. I am thankful I have come to the age of knowing that I have more to give than just a smile, I have to do something that shows who I am. I need to open my mouth and say, "I am a part of the body of Christ and I have an older brother who has shown me and will show you, by example, the good life we are to live." (Heb 2:9 - 11) To my joy, I am finding as I mature there is MORE to accomplish.
Growing In God´s Favor
Now, if you disagree with me because you think that BE-ING is enough, that is all-right, for there is NO condemnation for sons who are just now coming to the place of maturity. It is OK to be in hiding, after all, we have a great example in Jesus. His life, from 12 to 30, was hidden from public view. At age 12 he understood who his real father was for he told his mom, "How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father's business?" (Luk 2:49). We are know Joseph was a carpenter, so it is logical to accept that Jesus must have been talking about his real father, God, for he said this when they found him in the temple talking with the priests. Then we are told that for the next 18 years Jesus grew in wisdom, stature and favor with God and man. (Luk 2:52). (WOW, to think that Jesus grew "in favor" with God!) All this to say, we should not be surprised to find it takes time for us, and for others, to mature in the things of God. It was about age 30 Jesus came to maturity. His ministry started and Jesus begin to "flow" in his calling. And boy did he ever go about it will all his heart! He did not walk along whispering, "God loves you, so do I." Instead he preached, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe the gospel." (Mar 1:15) I guess he could have gone about his merry way, saying "I′m ok, you′re ok, believe what you like we′re all going to the same place," like so many today preach, but instead he risked popularity and proclaimed the truth. Once he knew his calling he set forth with all his ability to become what he felt God said he should be.
How Long Do We Hide?
So, when are we to manifest as the sons of God? I remember when I was waiting on my ministry. I guess I expected God to do something so special in me that it would be evident to everyone I had a "ministry." Instead of waiting, I needed to realize that ALL things are of God who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ. This was possible because he was IN Christ. Since then he has given us the Word of reconciliation. It′s up to us to tell others that God is not imputing their trespasses against them. It is important to realize that we are Christ′s ambassadors , and we are told to implore others to be reconciled to God. (2Co 5:18-20) What a wonderful ministry, this ministry of telling others that God has not charged them with their trespasses! The only problem is that we can only be his ambassadors if we open our mouths and speak. It is when we step out from our hiding place and start telling others about God′s great love toward them that we find our ministry and manifestation.
There are other reasons why we need to speak out and not stay in "hiding." The first and foremost reason on my heart is because we have a responsibility to LOVE others. How can we say we love someone when we let them continue to believe whatever "god" they worship is going to save them? (Save means to save, deliver or make whole) Moreover, it certainly would be a shame to withhold such a great knowledge from someone, just because I thought they might not agree with me. Mat 7:12 tells me, "Therefore all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." We have a better salvation and we can bring this full salvation to others just by telling them about God′s great love.
Another good reason to come out from hiding we find in the book of First Peter, "Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:" Here we see that it is after our faith is tried we might be found glorifying our Lord when he appears! Not only is he going to appear but we are glorifying him when he does! If this isn′t enough we go on to find the reward we receive from coming through a trial, "Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls." (1Pe 1:6-10) How wonderful!
A Need For Preparation
It is up to us to enliven the seed planted in the dead, so they might arise. (Col 2:13) Sure, it is possible we will be persecuted for our belief′s, but we are told that there is a reason for fiery trials, "That is why Jesus, in order to sanctify the people by his own blood, also suffered outside the city gate. Therefore go to him outside the camp and endure the insults he endured. For here we have no permanent city but are looking for the one that is coming. Therefore, through him let us always bring God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name." (Hebrews 13:13-15 ISV)
We need to keep a clear head and be ready to spring into action while watching for the appearing of Jesus Christ. His appearing most often comes when we are with others for he has already appeared to us."When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory." (Col 3:4) It is up to us bring forth the name of Jesus Christ, which is above all other names, so his glory might be seen. You see, I can be someone′s brother, but if I do not tell people whose brother I am, they may never know, and even if someone else does tell them, I have lost the chance to proudly introduce myself and my family. I ask you, why should we hesitate? Our family is the crowned head! (Rev. 17:14)
Being Like Father
"Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, you are gods? (Joh 10:34) And again in Isa 41:23, "Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together." It′s important to note that we are gods, plural, not God singular. This shows us the need for the BODY of Christ, which is speaking of sons. We are not to be like those doing what they want when they want, boasting they are GOD, but instead, we as a BODY, need to be in agreement in spirit. Each member doing that which glorifies God. What an import we will make as sons of God when we no longer say "Jesus, loves you and so do I," and then go about our merry way. Let us come to the maturity where we say, "because Jesus loves us, God loves you, I love you and I′m here to set you free!" WOW! Talk about a world changing attitude. It is time to truly become what we are proclaiming! We are the brethren of Jesus Christ! His blood is coursing though our veins. As he is so are we in the world! Now is the time to come out of "hiding" and proclaim Jesus Christ is Savior of the entire world.
So, Who′s Hiding?
I have found that some would rather say to everyone, "I′m ok, you′re ok." "After all God has reconciled everyone to himself." Although this is true, I would ask, are these denying the power of the cross and of JESUS? In times past I believed the power of the cross was in MY salvation, but now I know it is in the salvation of ALL. How do ALL know that this salvation has been made available? It is when they hear the proclamation!
Coming Out From Hiding
So how do we get to the place where we manifest him? The scripture says "As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him: Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving." This is a good starting place, for we can become rooted and built up in him when we study the scripture, (leaving behind the doctrine of men), and when we fellowship with other sons. We have already learned we have the ministry of reconciliation and now it is up to us to tell others about God′s wonderful love for them.
Let us remember our first love, when we first came to the knowledge of God′s love for us, wanted to tell everyone. Sure we made many blunders and mistakes in our presentation, but we couldn′t contain our excitement. We loved him so much and were so thankful for his salvation, we couldn′t wait to share the good news. We do not want to leave our first love. (Rev 2:4)
It is important to realize that it is up to each of us as individuals to take responsibility for continued faithfulness. Paul tells us, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." We can be "spoiled" if we believe any more or any less than in Jesus dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily and that we are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power. We′ve been told we are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands: Buried with him in baptism: risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. He has blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. Jesus spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly when he triumphed. (Col 2:8-15) Praise be to God for these truths! We have been given an answer concerning our ministry, we have been told what keeps us from being "spoiled," and we have been given a reason for feeling triumphant! WOW, how could we do less than bring this salvation to everyone who gives us opportunity?
The Importance Of Bringing Salvation
We know that Jesus brought salvation to all mankind, but Peter speaks of salvation of the soul, "Whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls." (1Pet 1:8-9) Salvation is that which frees one from the corruption they have endured for so long. It is up to sons to bring the salvation. Jesus brought the redemption. The truth is that he has redeemed all mankind, and yes, he does love them and nothing will change that, but it is ONLY when people come to the knowledge of what this means for their lives, that they are changed. Imagine the following scenario if you would: A man accidentally killed someone and fled to a distant country, in hope to escape the death penalty. For in his hometown the law was a life for a life. He was far from friends and family when a good friend of his, who had been out of the country for a long time stopped by his hometown to look him up. When this friend heard the entire matter, he loved the man so much he said, "let me pay his penalty." Since the magistrate did not care who′s life was given, they said that would be fine and they killed the friend. Now the penalty was paid in full and the murderer could return home to his family, friends and a good life, with out fearing prison or death. The trouble was, he did not know what his friend had done for him. He lived a pure and good life in the foreign country to which he had fled and people liked him. There was even a visitor from his home land who knew the situation and that the penalty was paid. Even though this one would stop and talk to him, there was never a mention of the forgiveness of the sin because he thought, "It′s none of my business, if he wanted to talk to me about it he would say something." So the man whose penalty had been paid lived and died in his lack of knowledge that the sin had been paid for and he had been redeemed. You see, although redeemed, he was not reconciled, or reconnected.
Sons Arise! Give Witness Of Your God
I tell the above story so one might see how important it is to give verbal witness of what our Lord has done for all mankind. Let us get past the place where we are still waiting for God to do it. He has sent us, in his image of love, to be his witnesses. The problem is many are still saying "It′s ok for me to believe like I believe and it′s ok for you to believe like you do, after all, we′re all going to the same place in the final analysis." And yet, we look at one another and question why sons delay their manifestation. Why are sons walking around with such great joy, but only inside? Why are we letting others live in sin and misery, having the answer, and yet not lifting a finger to take the burden off others? I proclaim it is time for Sons to rise up and break forth into joy, proclaiming what our Older Brother has accomplished
They Still Don′t Understand
I am sure that many, like I, have all their lives told others about Jesus, but not everyone to whom we gave the witness grew to know him and some who did, are not walking in recognition of him in their lives. Some of us may be at the place where we are saying, "What′s the use?" "I′m tired of telling others about God and not getting any results." I want to encourage you by the reminder that Father opens the understanding. It is our duty, our ministry, to keep telling others about God′s open arms so they will find wellness in being reconciled to Him. And after we have told them we realize that it is up to them to seek and to find. We are to assist them in any way we are able but ultimately, anyone who is truly in this walk has a real hunger to find the answers. They are seeking and longing for the awakening that will produce the manifestation.
I would like to point out here that there is a difference between how we awaken that Christ seed now and how we used to get people to say the "sinners prayer," (a rehearsed confession). Today we introduce Jesus as the lover of their soul. We just want others to know what Jesus has done. It′s not the sinners prayer that changes people, but knowing Jesus. We are to give testimony of our Lord, not a rhetoric which others are to repeat. It is up to us to introduce the one who loves them. Yes, just as they are, they do not have to change to make him love them. If they acknowledge him and his way, they will change because he will bring it. It is true that at some time they will have to make changes so they might grow into the salvation that HE bought to them. It is important for one to grow in their salvation because this brings deliverance, holiness and soundness. It comes spirit, soul and body.
There Are Others
As I look back on my past days in the legalistic religious system, I remember thinking, "if this is all there is to my relationship with God, then why should I bother leading others to Christ?" Before you stop reading, let me say, I was at a point in my life were I believed there was nothing I could DO to please God. No matter how good I did on one day, before I knew it, I was "sinning," again, and sinning meant I was going to hell. Truth was, I was living in a daily hell. What I needed and wanted was to hear the good news. I needed someone to tell me about the Great Love and Acceptance of God, just as I was. This love and acceptance is what lead me to the salvation of my soul. (I might add, a daily salvation, but alas that will require another writing). Remember salvation means deliverance and wholeness. And it is this good news I desire to share with others, for do I not have a ministry? Most certainly I have the ministry, the ministry of reconciliation. Yes, I want to reconcile others to the love of their God, but first, I must open my mouth and speak.
We pray you are blessed in all spiritual understanding.
"Ask God and he will liberally give." (Mat 7:7-12)