Thursday, February 11, 2021

What God Calls You To Do Requires Spiritual Strength Not Yours

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:8-10

I may have a very clear understanding of what God wants me to do, and I may be doing it, but there is this issue of faith, or lack of it, that will raise its head every now and again.  Let me explain. 

It is clear that God has me, Martie and me to be correct, helping those who cannot help themselves.  In particular, He has made me very aware of the plight of widows.  James 1:27 says “religion is expressed in its purest sense when we help widows and orphans in their affliction” (paraphrased by me).  I have seen the mighty hand of God at work.  Do you remember the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18? Right after that victory, Elijah was exhausted and even ran for his life in fear.  How did that happen.  In my experience, when you are anointed by the Spirit of God for a particular work and that work is accomplished to and for the glory of God, you will be physically and emotionally exhausted at the end.  You will have a supernatural ability in the midst of the work, but after, you become very aware of your weakness in light of Jesus’ strength. (2 Corinthians 12:9) I just had a conversation about this with a friend and co-laborer yesterday. The work he is called to looms large and is more than he can do – but he knows that God is in the work and it is going to stretch his faith and challenge his obedience to the call.

Like Elijah    when you are “recovering”, you are vulnerable.  When you find yourself outside of the boat and your flesh kicks in  and you start to doubt and perhaps you ask yourself, “What am I doing?!?!” I recall a time when my family called upon me to bring Spiritual comfort to a family member who was at the doorstep of death. I had just read a post on Facebook about people who have suffered the loss of a loved one and the thought came to me.  “What good do you think you can possibly do in light of what others are doing? Who do you think you are?”  Have you every wondered that in the light of God’s call on your life? The truth is, what God calls you to do is between you and God.  It has nothing to do with what He has called others to do. The temptation is to take your eyes off of Jesus and focus on other things, other people.  If you do, you will immediately start to sink.  That is what happened to me. On the face of it, it seemed improbable or perhaps even impossible.  I mean how can you go from standing boldly for God at one minute and doubting that what you are doing is right the next. (Zechariah 4:6) “It’s not by strength or by power but by my Spirit says the Lord God of Hosts.” 

As Jesus followers we all live with this tension between the Spirit and the flesh. Once again, Proverbs 3:5-6 says trust God and not yourself.  If you are depending upon the world and trusting in yourself to do what God has clearly called you to do, you will fail.  You can’t do it.  Don’t compare yourself to others when considering your God-given purpose.  God will always ask you to do what is not humanly possible.  You will always need the power of the Spirit to do it.  And when the task is accomplished, you will feel just a little bit, or even a lot, of the weight of what you have just done. And it will exhaust you.  Maybe even make you fearful or doubtful.  When that happens … praise the Lord and be humbled that He would use a sinner like you or me for His eternal purposes.  Amazing!

And he (Jesus) said unto me (Paul), My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Does that describe you? I want to encourage you to let your light Shine Bright my friend and give God the place and glory He is due.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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