Tuesday, September 28, 2010

AMBITION VERSUS CALLED

Ministry is a delicate sort.  It's success is dependent upon God's leadership; not our skillful approach.  Throughout history things that should have worked didn't while things which shouldn't have did.  Go figure.

So what's a human being to do with connections to the Living God who invites us into kingdom work?  We must learn to operate from His lead rather than our manipulative imagination.

We have great capacity to dream.  I encourage us to keep it up.  Our desires are to be tempered by His provisional calling.  After all, those led by the Spirit are flexible like the wind....Jn. 3:8.  The Spirit is our rudder and we must work at noting His direction.

Whether we are toying with beginning a new class on Wednesday nights or moving to Brazil, we will want to hear His call for such action.  I've headed out on my own too many times.  The result was many leaves but no fruit.  At other times, I've resisted His call only to find He really had been calling.

I was called to Preaching School when I was scared stiff to attend.  I was called to Memorial Drive when I told the elders "No".....twice. 

So how is one to discern God's calling? 

Pray.  Walk through the open doors and stay put on the closed ones.  Paul wished to enter territories God would not open.  It was because God had plans for that man.  So it is with us.  God calls.

You may sense He is calling you to the poor in Australia; but you must be open for He may be calling you to the poor....but in New York.  Some have glorious and ambitious hearts to reach the Chinese but might not realize God has a populace waiting in Los Angeles when one had assumed mainland China. 

The point is this; dream big and pay attention to God's doors.  Our imaginations can run us aground if we are self-appointed in our mission.  I didn't want to be at Memorial Drive.  God wanted me here.  It was a tough move.  I fought it.  Now....I'm thrilled.  The move wasn't easy.  The rewards have been heavenly.

Are you being called?  Watch for the open doors and stop in your tracks at the closed ones.  Try not to be discouraged with either.  He has been running this show for many years now...and He has proven His skill. 

Trust God over your own ambition.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

God's calling can be to deal with one person. God's calling may well be to deal with your own family members. Or God's calling may be on a grand scale. There are too many preconceived notions of God's calling. I suppose that's why we miss the calling so often.

Seeking our glory instead of working to honor God is a frequent source of error.

John 7 - Jesus said,
He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.

Anonymous said...

God Calling - this is a phrase that I didn't hear much in our circles growing up and even in my adult life. I think possibly because it's because it enters into an area where one has to beleive and be very convicted about God actively moving and speaking to you in various ways (doors opening/closing; desires being God-given, etc.), and then acting accordingly.
Other groups I've come into contact with recently speak often about this subject, as if they're very used to it. I think if you preached a sermon entitled "God's Specific Calling for your life" in our circle, you'd get a few funny looks.

Jay

Brian said...

I prayed this morning that God would reveal to me what my step to a personal decision should be. It is not by chance that you write this post, it was meant for me, too!

Thank you, Terry for mentoring me hundreds of miles away!