Being Faithful to Our Call

Camus Prairie Sunset-1

Camas Prairie Sunset – taken by Michael Clark

 

Now the LORD had said unto Abram, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And.. I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee…” (Gen 12:1-3, KJV)

The call of God contains both grace and truth. Truth is the separating instrument. “Get thee out.” Grace is the promise. “I will bless and make a blessing.” Man often grasps at the grace, the “I will bless” of God, and fails to comply with the demand thereof – “Get thee out.” Now this does not only apply in the matter of our salvation in its first steps, but it comes in new revelations and calls at different times in the Christian life. ~ T. Austin-Sparks [1]

The call of God on our lives demands change. When He calls us, he calls us out. First there is the initial call to come out from the world system and its ways among its people. When His Spirit comes into us, we quickly find that we no longer want to do the things that we once allowed. We no longer enjoy the things we once found entertaining or laughed at things we once thought were funny. We have changed, not because we have rigidly adopted a new set of religious laws to keep, but because we have found ourselves immersed in His love for us, God’s ways are what we long for.

Many of us at this point, like Abram, leave our country (our nationalism) and its ways and our worldly families (and their desires) behind as we seek that kingdom which has foundations whose Builder and Maker is God, the kingdom of heaven. But also like Abram’s father, Terah, we often settle for a habitation that falls short of what God has in mind for us–a land called Christendom. As Abram did, we head out with Terah, our old man (our old human nature), and find a place where it will be appeased as we try to please God. We get sucked into the religious ways of man which are less demanding than the ways of God. Just how long we abide in the ways of Christendom varies. Many of us go from one religious camp to another seeking the truth of our original call, but always something is just not quite right, so we move on, hoping the next church or fellowship will be the right one. Even when Abraham entered Canaan he looked for the city of God, but never found it because he was a pilgrim and sojourner in a strange land.

Therefore sprang there even of one [Abraham], and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. (Heb 11:12-16, KJV)

For us who refuse to settle for a worldly counterfeit, the call from God will continue to be “get thee out,” and “keep seeking my face.” We would like to find a place and a family here on earth we could settle down and be in a comfortable fellowship with, but He puts a desire in us to find a heavenly abode with a heavenly people and not settle for anything less.

Many of us want to be blessed by God and be a blessing to those around us, but the promise was clear–we must first get out of our former comfort zones. We must leave those who have settled there and seek not only God’s grace, but God’s truth in our lives as well. In John’s gospel we read:

For from his [Christ’s] fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:15-17, ESV2011)

Grace upon grace, yes, we all want the grace of God to abound in our lives and to not live under the law, but both grace and Truth came through Jesus Christ. God desires not only to bless us, but He also wants us to live lives true to Him. He desires truth to dwell in our inward parts (Psalm 51:6) — in our hearts. Both grace and Truth are ours only as we live our lives in Christ and not in our own fleshly ways or the fleshly desires of those who want to pull us down to their level. T.A. Sparks continues:

The call of God to some fuller and higher acceptance of truth and ministry; of testimony and witness; of surrender and experience, will undoubtedly come by one or another of the Divine forms of visitation to such as the Lord wishes to lead in grace. This will be timed, definite, and challenging. A messenger may come as out from nowhere; the nowhere of [no] reputation, recognition, worldly fame or honour. He will deliver a message, only staying long enough to leave its essential implications with those who hear. Then, having passed on, things can never be the same for them again.

The “call” has sounded. The crisis has been precipitated. The issue is between the life which has been with its limitations known or unrecognised, and that which God offers. But, as usually is the case, this truth is going to call for a “getting out.” Getting out, it may be, [out] of a certain popularity, a comparative easy going. There may be a risking of reputation, a loss of prestige, a disfavour among men, a being labelled “singular,” “peculiar,” “extreme,” “unsafe.” It may mean a head-on impact of all the prejudice, tradition, and disfavour of the religious world. It may involve exclusion, ostracism, and suspicion. These are the accompaniments of all calls of God to advance with Him beyond accepted standards. This is the cost of path-finding for souls. This is the price to be paid for the higher serviceableness to God and men…

“These shall war against the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings; and they also shall overcome that are with him, called and chosen and faithful.” (Revelation 17:14)

Oh, beloved of God, let us go all the way and whatever it may involve – it will never be in advance of the apostolic suffering – aspire to be of “the called, chosen, and faithful.”  [1]

[1] http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/002783.html

~ A Special thanks to Susanne Schuberth for bringing this article by T.A. Sparks to my attention ~

 

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12 comments on “Being Faithful to Our Call

  1. This is a perfectly timed reading. Thank you! Get thee out! And I’ll be on my way.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. amongtheforgotten says:

    Once again I was able to spend some time recently with a young man who seems willing if not intent to walk within the lines through which you are speaking. Yesterday we discussed the difference between what is stale and fixed in Christiandom and what is stirring, enlightening and spontaneous in following Jesus.

    Looking back, is it really any wonder why the people in pews lacked interest or became bored or even fell asleep during services? It is not as if the truth was never told, often it was, but that truth was never enough as you speak. It was like holding out the promise of a steak dinner and yet refusing to deliver. Is that the Jesus you and I are seeking? Hardly.

    There can be no substitute for what God desires, how He desires to work or the instruments or means He chooses. If any of these fail to materialize as He desires, His work will be stifled and some other “idea” or “program” will surely be introduced in its place. Sadly, these other things only serve to anchor souls to what is earthly in nature, shrouding if not altogether obscuring the call of God to move on or move out.

    Despite what we may attempt to do for God, those things we erect and boast most highly of, nothing can compare to the ongoing revelation of Jesus Christ Himself. If we lose Him we’ve truly lost everything.

    “The call of God on our lives demands change” Sadly, that is the thing religious men hate the most and they fight against it, not just because its uncomfortable, but because there is always a cost associated with each change. Change forces us to embrace the cross despite our hesitation to do so.

    Our Father is not as predictable as we would have Him, and that is a wonderful blessing few have taken advantage of. But until we loosen the reigns upon our own creations (get out) and the restraints they place upon our fellow believers, we’ll never really trust Him or allow Him to build what only He can in the Spirit (spiritual blessings) in ourselves and as a testimony to this world at large.

    Nice picture Michael. There always is light the other side of the hill provided we wait for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pat Orr says:

    Thank you for the blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks a lot for special thanks and for publishing what has been on our minds lately, Michael. This excerpt by Sparks spoke to me two days ago because I found you and me and our spiritual situation perfectly described there. One might add here that some people listen to the wrong calls and spirits and therefore cannot take what we share on our blogs. Instead they work behind the scenes and try to destroy that spiritual fellowship God bestowed on us. It is so crucial to be able to discern the spirits, isn’t it…?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Susanne, sorry about the delayed response to your comment. I have been waiting on the leading of the Lord before writing much of anything, lately, just as you have. As for people listening to wrong spirits and claiming it is the Lord they are hearing and speak for, yes, it is critical to “know what spirit we are of,” just as Jesus told the sons of thunder when they were so sure that they were God’s prophets and wanted to call fire down from heaven like Elijah and destroy a whole Samaritan village just because they would not let Jesus and the disciples pass through it. The problem with so much of what calls itself “prophetic” these days is that they do not know the difference between the Old and the New Covenants and want to be the “lone voice” standing tall for God among a people who do not have His Spirit as was the case in the O.T. Thank God that we who are the Lord’s have been given His Spirit and the gift of discerning of spirits as well. As Paul wrote, “Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the others judge.” And John’s warning is apropos for the time we are in…

      “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1John 4:1, KJ2000)

      God bless you, dear sister, and thanks for the fellowship in Christ and your comments.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Amen to your explanations about how God’s prophetic messages can be heard today as we live in the New Covenant, Michael.

        Yes, testing the spirits is so important! And it is not always that easy to discern the truth from the lie unless our heart belongs to God first.

        May God bless you too, dear brother. You’re welcome as to anything I can offer. Thanks for continued fellowship in the Spirit!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        Susanne, as Paul was talking about special ministries in 1 Cor. 3, he said ALL things are ours as we are Christ’s and He is God’s. What you have IN Him is mine and what I have IN Him is yours for we are members of one another and HE is the Head. This is what the whole body needs to understand and to do away with any exclusivity among us. Being one with you IN Christ has been a real joy, dear sister. ⭐

        Liked by 1 person

      • Very well said and so true, Michael! ⭐

        It has been a great joy to walk with you IN Him, my brother. I am so grateful to God that He put our spirits together so that we could become one heart and one soul as Acts 4:32 described it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        Yes, dear sister, it truly has been a wonderful experience. ⭐

        Liked by 1 person

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