YOUR CALLING AND VISION
We are all watching our world change on many levels. Governments, cultural norms, morals and just about every part of society is being shaken. Isaiah 60:1-2 speaks of our times:
“Arise, shine; for your Light has come, and the Glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth, and deep darkness the peoples; But the Lord will rise upon you, and His Glory will appear upon you.”
We see spiritual darkness increasing as the activities of the forces of anti-Christ are growing bolder and more and more people are “…calling evil good, and good evil, and who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness…” (Isaiah 5:20-21).
One of the strategies of satan is to keep us focused on his actions and on the growing spiritual darkness. He wants to discourage us, weaken our faith and hinder our fruitfulness. But God has strategically placed in those same verses a great promise to His people for “such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). He declared that when this great darkness covers the earth, that His Light and Glory will rise on us!
I see within that promise an expectation that the Lord will create new opportunities for each of us to become greater and greater “Vessels of Light” (Matthew 5:14). Think about that for a moment. What does it mean to be a “Vessel of Light?” What does that look like in your life? What will it mean for the “Glory of God” to shine upon you?”
As I meditated on this, I began to understand that the way to “pierce the darkness” was to become an “arrow of light.” One of the foundational truths you must have in place in your life to become such an “Arrow” is to understand God’s calling and vision for your life.
Knowing your spiritual identity, understanding who you are “in Christ,” and what God has called you to do, are crucial components that you need to have securely in place in your heart, mind, and spirit for you to be able to move forward as an “arrow of light.” Just as an arrow has a flight path and a target, so we are called by the Lord to be on a mission.
Everyone in the Kingdom of God has a ministry, a work of service. Are you fulfilling yours? Are you allowing other things to eclipse your destiny in God? Are you burying your talents? Are you being a good steward of your gifts and calling?
The Lord Jesus knew who He was, and what purposes His life and ministry were to fulfill. For example, He said of Himself:
“I must preach the Kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose” (Luke 4:43).
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19).
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfil.” (Matthew 5:17).
“… the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mathew 20:28)
In a similar way, the Apostle Paul’s life was firmly built upon the vision of God for his life. He understood His calling. When standing trial before the Roman King Agrippa, he testified in this way:
Acts 26:14 – 19
14 – And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
15 – And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
16 – But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
17 – Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
18 – To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
19 – Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:
Paul continually affirmed his identity as an Apostle and the purposes for which God had called him. Because he understood his identity – he knew who he was, and his responsibilities – what he was called to do, and his ultimate accountability to God, his calling and vision empowered him. He was unstoppable in the face of great suffering and persecution. Nothing but death stopped him.
Here are just a few statements Paul made about his calling:
“For if I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the Gospel. For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I (still) have a stewardship entrusted to me” (1 Corinthians 9:16-17).
“Of this Church, I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the preaching of the Word of God” (Colossians 1:25).
Paul is an example for us of a man who had received a heavenly calling and obeyed it. We are all called in different ways with different gifts. (Romans 12:6; Ephesians 4:7; 1 Corinthians 12). What we must all do, if we are to pierce the spiritual darkness coming upon the earth, is to truly embrace our calling. We must surrender our lives to the Lord so that we can faithfully steward the calling and gifts the Lord has given to each one of us. As you learn how to live in the power of these inner realities, the light of the Lord will shine upon you and through you!
You must be willing to stand boldly and obediently in faith upon God’s Word to you. Jesus said that this is the life built upon the rock that will never be destroyed (Matthew 7:24-25). What has God spoken to you? What has He called you to do? What vision do you have in your spirit?
If you are not sure of these things, stop and seek the Lord for His will. If you are sure but have not surrendered to your calling, then today is a good day to repent and embrace your calling and your destiny!!
You must be willing to take the risks necessary to fulfill the vision the Lord has given you. You have to face your doubts and fears and not let them define you or control you. You must be willing to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12), as you press into the fulfillment of your calling. You must be willing to take the risks that walking in faith requires. You cannot let your own negative thoughts and feelings control you. You cannot let anyone stop you. You cannot let anyone’s words define you. If someone does not receive your ministry, “knock the dust off your feet,” and go to the next person (Matthew 10:14).
Keeping your heart fixed on fulfilling your vision gives you focus. It gives you the ability to “not look” at the wrong things or listen to the wrong voices. You put on “Spirit of Christ blinders” so that you can keep your eyes fixed on the Lord and the plans and purposes He has entrusted to you. As you do that, you will increase in the knowledge of God and bear much fruit for the Kingdom of God. Remember this, with the vision, will come the “provision” you will need to fulfill it.
When God first called me, as a very young believer, I had a hard time receiving it. Then he told me to read Hebrews 3:12. I picked up my Bible and read, “Do not depart from the living God with an evil heart of unbelief.” As I continued to read the book of Hebrews, I came to chapter 10 verses 38-39 “But My righteous one shall live by faith; And if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.” The fear of God entered my heart. I told the Lord that I wanted Him to be pleased with me. I repented and asked God to help me to obey Him. Thank God, He did and does! I did what Hebrews 4:16 encourages us to do. “Let us, therefore, draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.”
I KNOW that the Lord will give us further insights into how we can go “higher and deeper” in the fulfillment of His calling and vision for our lives if we will only ask, listen and obey!