Friday, September 3, 2010

Comparisons of calling

A delicious maple soy latte, tunes of praise, and reading about Christ’s triumph…what more could a cold-breezy afternoon hold that would overwhelm my soul as it does now. Lord, you are good.

It seems strange that a new year begins in January, when now is the time of new beginnings. Maybe God did it that way so January wouldn’t be so gloomy. Good one God. New beginnings-beginning a second year with Here’s Life Inner City. I feel far too blessed to be given the opportunity to serve God with them an additional year. Just think, getting to learn more about the Lord’s character as PART OF MY JOB; witnessing people fall head-over-heal for Jesus as PART OF MY JOB.

I’ve had a few conversations lately about callings…

(I just had a flashback to Augsburg College where every chapel concentrated on researching the issue of vocation)

What a good topic though. It may be perhaps one of my favorite things to talk about. One conversation surrounded how to you discern calling. Another on why God calls some to be tent-makers and others missionaries and everything in between. One common snare in my life is to compare callings.

I was reading a blog a few months ago about this 20-year-old girl in Uganda who started an orphanage and cares for the village, sharing Christ with all who’ll listen. I found myself instantly wishing I could do that, along with some much more holy thoughts that I’m sure I had. Wink.

The past few years, I’ve journeyed with a friend who seems to be made to do full-time ministry. It’s been a difficult road for her, since God has not giving her the
call yet. She’s busy making tents, so to speak.

Sometimes I sit on my couch and don’t want to do a thing! I wish at moments of heartache, especially during support-raising seasons, that I wasn’t called to do full-time ministry. And surely there are far better people than I to preach the gospel.

Another friend has been working in the secular world for a number of years. BANG! God gives him the tickle in his heart to do something else. Let me clarify, not something better, but something different. Something in ministry.

What does this all mean? (by the way if you haven’t seen the Double Rainbow youtube, please watch now)

Moving past the truth that everywhere you are you are a light for Christ. This is true, people in secular working fields are desperate for Jesus just as much as the homeless man or African child. But what to do with this comparison of callings? We all do it. And Biblically, what do we do when we are discontent with the current vocation?

Two thoughts come to mind.

One: Christ is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in him. (John Piper). Regardless of the specifics to the vocation, God is glorified. God may design your vocation based on what will give him glory.

Two: the mystery of the Body of Christ. God was pretty spectacularly clever in his design for us to thread together and work for the same goal. It takes on the image of a spider’s web: all connected, holding fast together.

Romans 10:14

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

In the passage above, the mission is that every knee shall bow and tongue confess, ‘Jesus is Lord.’ To accomplish this goal one person must share the news, bring the unbelievers, to another they must send the speaker. There is a web amongst the church created.

It comforts my soul to know that whatever the task at hand, God is using it to accomplish further glory. I pray my heart would seek not to compare callings. Rather, I’d be so satisfied with the Lord and who his is in all his glory, that I’m far better occupied to compare. It seems to come back to the age-old sin of mine-to ponder myself above my God.

To your Name be the glory.

Revelation 22:7-21

7"Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book."
8I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. 9But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!"
10Then he told me, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near. 11Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy."
12"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
14"Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
16"I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you[a] this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star."
17The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.
18I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
20He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon."
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
21The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen.

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