Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Is Your Life By The Will Of God?

Imagine the confidence you would have if you knew for certain that the things you did were the will of God. Imagine the confidence you would have in life knowing that you were living the will of God. Called by God. Directed by God. Filled by God. The Apostle Paul often reminded the targets of his letters that he did what he did because Jesus willed it:

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God. (Ephesians 1:1)

We know it wasn't Paul's idea. His idea was to chase down everyone who called on Jesus' name and throw them in jail or have them killed. It seems he was willing to go to the ends of the earth to rid the world of these  foolish people. Instead it was God's will to send Paul to the ends of the earth to proclaim the name he was persecuting.

I don't know where or why we lost that sense of calling; that sense of God's will and purpose in our lives; that sense that we are compelled by the love of Jesus. There should be no doubt in our lives of God's calling and choosing.

Personally I think the problem is that most people have never sought the face of God or had an encounter with Jesus. A lot of people were simply raised in the Church and continue to walk in their parents' faith. They have no sense of calling or purpose, just an obligation to carry on the tradition. When I was a kid I heard a preacher say "God doesn't have any grandchildren". In other words spiritually you can not be an offspring of your parents or anyone else. Your faith and experience must be first hand.

Too many people adhere to growing into an awareness of Jesus. Maybe this is possible but the ones who I have met who are the most passionate and aware of God's calling are those who have encountered Jesus. There is that moment when you are suddenly aware of his presence, where you are overwhelmed by his holiness, your ugliness, his love and his forgiveness, all at the same time. It is an incredible moment. A moment that you will always look back on whenever your faith seems weak.

I often remember that moment, almost 30 years ago now, and I am strengthened in the remembering. I am strengthened because I am reminded that this life wasn't my idea. It was Jesus who chose me, I did not choose him. I was moving in the opposite direction. I was not seeking his face. I was happy in my rebellion and then Jesus met me. He chose me, called me, sent me, directed and guided me. This life was his choosing and because he chose it I know I can trust him in it.

It is an incredibly encouraging reminder that we operate, live, work, minister in the authority of Jesus Christ. It is an incredibly liberating reminder that everything we do is done for the glory of God. Our entire life is permeated by the purpose of God and we are simply his agents, his workers, his partners in ministry. We can all say that we are what we are by the will of God, but it is in the real knowing and experiencing this that will bring you much joy and encouragement.

No comments: