In this post, we begin a new mini-series on the character traits that Yeshua expects us to possess concerning His calling for us.
Calling ~ Part A
“Therefore, brothers, try even harder to make your being called and chosen a certainty. For if you keep doing this, you will never stumble.” (2 Kefa 1:10)
A calling is personal, humbling, and intentional. It is initiated and instituted by God and not requested or sought out by those who desire it. We are called by God Himself, we are chosen by the King of kings, and we are selected by our Creator, even conscripted into a love relationship with Yeshua Himself. When we answer or accept that call, we enter into an unusual and divine relationship with our Lord. We are no longer our own; we were purchased with a costly price (see 1 Corinthians 7:23; Acts 20:28).
The fact that we no longer belong to ourselves but to the One who called us is significant. Not only does this identify to whom we belong and place us in God’s kingdom, but we are also identifiable to the enemies of Yeshua as companion targets for attack. Realizing we are secure in our calling as long as we abide in Yeshua gives us great comfort. But we must be aware of our vulnerability to temptation and to attack as God’s chosen ones. Rabbi Sha’ul puts it this way: “For we are not struggling against human beings, but against the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers governing this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.” (Ephesians 6:12)
We have been called by God, and we have been commissioned by our Lord to go and continue His ministry while we remain on the earth. Yeshua limited Himself to what He could do while in human form. But as Spirit, Yeshua is now able to work through every individual in which He has taken up residence (see John 14:23). As Sha’ul said, “For to me, life is the Messiah, and death is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) Kefa also reminds us, “Indeed, this is what you were called to; because the Messiah too suffered, on your behalf, leaving an example so that you should follow in his steps.” (1 Kefa 2:21). We can make our calling sure by abiding in Yeshua and letting Him live through us each and every day, bringing glory and honor to the Father through us. What an exciting relationship we have with God and our Lord Yeshua!
1. Seek First God’s Kingdom
“But seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Mathew 6:33)
Everyone has values and priorities in their life. You can look at a person’s bank account statement to discover what many of these priorities are. The Bible tells us, “For where your wealth is, there your heart will be also.” (Mathew 6:21) You use your time, money, energy, creative thinking, and resources on your priority items. We all have things that interest us and that draw our time and attention and money into them.
Yeshua wants us to put first things first and make sure the vast majority of our thoughts, actions, energy, and time is spent on what is truly important and what will truly last.
If we neglect what is eternal for what is temporary, our treasure is based on misplaced values. Yeshua promises to give us everything we need once we have our heart in the right place. But when we chase after the things we think we need instead of focusing on kingdom matters, we assume responsibility for what Yeshua promised to do for us. Yeshua doesn’t provide those things we are already providing for ourselves. When we seek first His eternal kingdom, we receive so much more in the here and now than we had ever known was possible.
Wouldn’t you rather have your needs supplied by the Lord than to try to manage all those details yourself? He provides your job, home, friends, support, health, safety, and a myriad of blessings when you honor Him first in your life. King Solomon learned this truth, telling us to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB) Then in almost the same breath, he instructed his young reader to “Honor the LORD from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine.” (Proverbs 3:9-10 NASB) Putting everything in God’s hands is the path to joy and provision.
Application: Do you trust God to supply all your needs or just the ones you can’t manage on your own? Have you ever given Him the chance? If you have been spending all your time in your work taking care of your own needs, then you have not been spending much time in His work. His work is eternal; your work is temporary. His kingdom will last forever; yours will be gone in the blink of an eye. Seek His kingdom first, and let Him take care of yours along the way. You will be shocked at what God does in your own life as you invest in His work. When you work, work as unto the Lord. When you play, remember that the time you invest there also belongs to the Lord. Use all of your time wisely so when you might give an account to the Lord on judgment day, you will have nothing that will cause you shame.
Remember always the words of Yeshua: “If you love me, you will keep my commands.” (Yochanan 14:15)
In my next post, we will this mini-series on the character traits that Yeshua expects us to possess concerning our calling by examining the Great Commission.