“You must be born again” (John chapter 3:7). But why, how, and what does it actually entail? I think many Christians see that phrase “born again” merely as another way of saying “become a Christian” and of course the world’s media has thoroughly corrupted the phrase as well, [likewise the word “charismatic”] so that the original meaning has been swamped by modern ideas.Continue reading
There is a commissioning going on! Can you feel it?
The Lord as the Commander is walking up and down the ranks again and looking into the hearts of his own, seeking any who are prepared to spend and be spent for the task ahead. “Your people shall be volunteers in the day of Your power”. Psalm 110:3
In the services, they say “never volunteer”. If you don’t, if you can’t, then it doesn’t matter – you are still in the services, no shame there. You’ve done nothing wrong. Anyone who is not ready will not be condemned – that tug on the heart will simply pass them by, and there’s no shame in it. Perhaps you are a parent, a good worker, an accountant, plasterer, student…? God called you to be the best you can be in Him, and if that is to be a fine mother to your children and to share the gospel with your neighbour, you are fulfilling your commission.
Recently (just to bring this down to a personal experience if I may) I got very involved, almost obsessively – because I’m a perfectionist – with a project that interested me. Not a christian one but just a hobby. Nothing wrong with it, except it took up a lot of time and energy.
After a bit I sensed the Lord suggesting I was putting too much of myself into it but I brushed off those thoughts. I almost felt irritated, like with a nagging parent. (Lord forgive me). I thought, what’s wrong with doing this, I enjoy it. Then one day the sense of “nagging” (conscience!) wasn’t there and that was even MORE worrying!! Lord, why aren’t you on my case about this any more? But – he’s not a nagging spouse or parent, nor does he MAKE us commit to better things. He said “Tricia, if you enjoy this, I’m not a spoilsport.. do it. I can wait. I want you to WANT something else. I’ll wait until YOU want it!”
Of course, the next day I did willingly abandon that project (unfinished), and afterwards I felt SO much better, like a burden had lifted. I had no more interest in it, amazingly. I’d come to the place of wanting to volunteer my time to his cause. He will wait. He won’t bully us into it.
So, if your life in God is fulfilling and clean and fruitful, God bless you! Stay as you are, without any condemnation. But for some there is another commissioning. They already feel it. They are already having the dreams and scriptures and thoughts that are leading them down that path and they cannot rid themselves of the sense that they have not done all that they were called to do.
And if you are thinking I know what this is all about, know what’s ahead, have some understanding of that call and the task, you are wrong. All I know is that there are challenges ahead that we need to be ready for. I don’t even know if this is for ME or not, but I’m prepared to consider it. I trust God to know what He’s doing.
God looks on the heart, not even necessarily the lives of his people. When he called Moses, what did he find in the desert but a murderer, a coward, a weakling who had run away from his calling and still needed props to do what God told him. When he came to Gideon, he found him hiding in the winepress. When Jesus rose and returned to Peter, on the surface was a sinner, a liar, a backslider… but that was not what God saw in Peter’s heart. Behind the failings and weaknesses was a contrite heart that was malleable enough for God to use.
Each of them had to reach a place of utter brokenness and breakdown, before they could be used.
Was the human weakness and cowardice then turned to power and glory – NO! But it was acknowledged and left behind, replaced by God’s leading and will. Paul had to carry around his “thorn” all his life because of this. God would not remove something in his life that continually humbled Paul, because it kept him in the place where God could use him.
Anyone who senses this calling and commissioning (to whatever) needs to know they have to leave their own plans behind, and commit to God’s path, God’s leading, God’s directions, God’s power, and the flesh must die away.
That is the ONLY way God’s work can effectively be done. In your life and in the lives of others.
** Please see this poem about ” The Old House” at http://www.birthpangs.org/articles/biblical/this-old-house.html