By Dr. Ricahrd Ing
June 8, 2007
GOD’S CALLING ON YOUR LIFE
Many Christians sit around pondering on what God has called them to be. They think, “If only I knew what God wanted me to do, I would go for it! If I only knew the will of God for my life.” Often, the saints mistake the word “ministry” for “calling.” A ministry is something that a person does, but a calling is what a person is to become. A ministry speaks of doing a particular task or job, but a calling speaks of what God has called you to be. Doing and being are not the same. A person can do the work of an evangelist but not have the gifting and heart of a true evangelist. Another can do the work of a shepherd but not have the anointing or heart and mind of a shepherd.
In Philippians 3:12-13, Paul says,
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.
What was it that Paul was striving to attain? It was perfection in Christ Jesus. Paul admitted that he had not yet attained perfection, but he was following hard after it. He was trying to “apprehend” or “capture” the very thing and purpose that Christ Jesus had apprehended or captured Paul’s heart for – perfection in Christ Jesus. He continues, “I press toward the mark for the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:14.
What was Paul pressing toward? He was striving for perfection in Christ Jesus. It was his high calling of God in Christ Jesus and it is your high calling and mine too.
Every generation of Christians since Jesus returned to heaven has had the same high calling from God, and every Christian has been apprehended or captured by God to strive for that high calling in Christ. That high calling is to become perfect in Jesus Christ!
The writer of Hebrews said, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” Heb. 12:1. What race? The apostle Paul said,
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. 1 Co. 9:24-27,
In other words, those who are running a race must run all out because there is only one winner. Paul encouraged us to run all out to obtain the incorruptible crown that is our inheritance and destiny. Ro. 8:29. He runs with certainty and for real, not as one who is merely sparring and shadow-boxing.
In Philippians 3, the apostle explains that he above all men, was headed for great things in the flesh. He was the prized pupil of Gamaliel, one of the greatest teachers of the law in his time. Paul was slated to become head priest one day, and that meant fame, riches and a good life. Moreover, he was zealous for God. But, once Paul met Jesus and understood what was being offered to him as his inheritance and destiny, he forsook all of these things of the flesh.
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. Phil. 3:7-8.
To “win” Christ is to be like Him.
As a new Christian, I was into many things – horses, golf, making money as an attorney and businessman. One night I had a dream:
I found myself in the middle of the McKinley High School front campus where there is a large expanse of green grass. In my hands was a golf club that one of our members had given me. It was an adjustable head club. I was trying it out. As I took my stance, my right foot (which was bare) stepped into a huge pile of dog poo. It was wet, thick and up to my ankle. Oh man! I hobbled over to one of the buildings on the side and found a water faucet. What a relief! I could wash the dung off my foot. But when I opened the faucet, only a few drops of water slowly dripped out. Plop! . . . Plop! . . . Plop! It just made a few holes in the doggie poo!
The very next morning (which was a Sunday), I was sitting in the front row and my pastor was giving a sermon. He quoted the exact same scriptures above and said, “You know what dung is, don’t you?” I nodded my head up and down.
God was telling me, “All the things of the world are like doggie poo compared to what I am offering you!” Over the years, I was able to let go of my businesses, law practice, real estate company, etc. and serve the Lord. I quit golf for a while, sold my horses and went all out for God. Although I golf today, I average only 20 times a year – less than every other week. Golf is not important. None of the things of the world and flesh are even remotely important as compared to the destiny and high calling that God has given me and you.
THE HIGHEST CALLING OF ALL
In his book entitled The Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation (Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc. 1980), Watchman Nee says,
If Christians view as their greatest responsibility on earth the saving of people for their souls, then they have failed to accomplish the highest will of God. They ought to realize that they have a responsibility even greater than the saving of people for their souls: that they are to bring this age to an end and bring in the kingdom of God. Their highest responsibility is to witness the destruction of God’s archenemy Satan and all his powers of darkness. They ought to view this as the chief objective of all their works. (underlining added) P. 159.
Nee goes on to say that, “We do not demean the work of evangelism, for the saving of men and women is a most glorious task which we should never despise; but in the work of saving souls let us not lose sight of the kingdom.” P. 159. The defeat of Satan’s kingdom on earth is the highest will of God and therefore, our highest responsibility.
If Watchman Nee is correct, although saving souls is very important, defeating Satan’s kingdom and bringing the end of the world to bear is even more vital and the greatest responsibility and calling of the Church and every saint. Only then will Jesus come back to usher in the Millennium Age.
The Scriptures are clear that Jesus is presently seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven and will not come back until all of His enemies are destroyed. 1 Co. 15:24-26; Heb. 10:13; Ac. 2:34; Mt. 22:44; Mk. 12:36; Lk. 20:42. I believe that His enemies will be totally destroyed when He returns. Rev. 19:11-19.
In order for all of Jesus’ enemies to be destroyed, there has to be a group of Christians that will confront the demonic kingdom and defeat Satan’s minions. So long as the church remains neutral, ignorant or immature, Satan’s kingdom will never be destroyed and revival/harvest will not take place either since Satan will resist revival/harvest with all of his might. He knows that the last revival marks the end of his reign on earth.
Past revivals were not worldwide and did not involve widespread spiritual warfare to defeat Satan’s kingdom. These revivals were resisted by the devil and all died out after a while. These revivals did not threaten Satan’s rule on earth. Few Christians knew spiritual warfare and fewer were engaged in it during those times. While healing the sick and winning souls are a form of spiritual warfare, direct confrontation is needed to bind up Satan’s strong men and cast out devils. Satan would gladly give up a few hundred thousand souls or even a few million, so long as his kingdom is not in any real danger of coming to an end.
However, the last and greatest revival of all time will culminate with the defeat of Satan’s kingdom and usher in the Millennium Age. Rev. 12:7-10; Rev. 19:11-21. The devil is intent on preventing it. That is why God is raising up His end-time Army.
It is this generation of end-time saints that are called into the highest calling of all – to confront and defeat the kingdom of darkness so that a revival/harvest will take place and Jesus can come back.
Unless and until the saints come together to directly and consistently confront and battle against Satan’s kingdom, total victory cannot be attained. This war is clearly highlighted in the entire Book of Revelation and large parts of the Book of Daniel (especially beginning from Chapter 7 through Chapter 12).
At the present time, the Church is either sleeping, ignorant or disobedient. Multitudes are seeking the good life and many shepherds of God’s flock are preaching “Peace, Peace, Prosperity, Prosperity,” when there is war!
It is this generation that has an even higher calling from God than all previous generations. We have been called to be overcomers in the Army of God and His true church to carry out God’s highest will for the end times. Many Christians throughout the generations would have loved to see this day and have the honor and privilege of being in the Army of God or His true church for the end times.
If Watchman Nee is correct (and I believe he is with all my heart), the highest calling of God is to be an overcomer in His End-time Army, to confront and defeat the kingdom of darkness so that Jesus can come back and usher in the Millennium Age. While evangelism is very important, it is second to our high calling in Christ Jesus. “If Christians view as their greatest responsibility on earth the saving of people for their souls, then they have failed to accomplish the highest will of God.” The highest will of God is for us to confront and defeat the kingdom of darkness, to be overcomers. Our calling to spark a revival and unite the churches are the results that will spring out of successful spiritual warfare. That is this church’s calling and that is your calling. Has this highest calling superseded or done away with our calling into perfection in Christ Jesus? Not at all. The “overcomers” in Revelation, Chapters 2 and 3 are those who have reached perfection in Christ Jesus. Confronting and destroying the demonic kingdom, sparking a revival and uniting the churches is our ministry; being an overcomer is our calling – who we are to be. It is our destiny and our inheritance. Ro. 8:29.
A few years back, a member of this church and a personal friend was coming to church weekly. His wife, however, refused to come to church and would roundly criticize him for wasting time with religion. She would hide his Bible and refused to join him in church. One night, she woke up after hearing a voice say, “Esau! Esau!” She sat up and heard the voice once more, “Esau! Esau!” The next morning she asked her husband what “Esau” meant. Her husband replied, “That’s the story of Isaac who had two sons, Esau and Jacob.” Esau was the older of the two and destined to inherit all of his father’s blessings and possessions. Esau was a strong hunter and a very vigorous person. Jacob was plain and stayed in his tents.
But Esau was foolish. One day he went hunting and had not eaten for days:
And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: and Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright. Gen. 25:29-34.
My friend’s wife wept when she heard that story. She knew that God was saying to her, “I have called you to inherit the kingdom. Why do you sell your inheritance away for a mere pittance?” In other words, God had called my friend’s wife to be a Christian and to have life everlasting and she was turning her back to God and His great calling for her.
My friend’s wife repented and she began to attend church. Eventually, she became even more zealous and diligent than her husband.
The Bible says that what Esau did was a calamity to him. Jer. 49:8. Malachi 1:2-3 says, “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.”
Why did God hate Esau? It was because Esau considered his precious inheritance from God as worth next to nothing, so he sold it and gave up his destiny and calling from God for a measly bowl of porridge. In the end, all the generations of Esau’s family were cursed.
Those who fail to recognize the calling of God upon this last generation of saints and refuse or neglect to run the race unto perfection required by such a calling, are Esau’s that despise their birthright and destiny with God.
Do not be deceived into thinking that you have the option to stand on the side while your leader and brethren fight the battles by themselves. God hated Esau and cursed him and his generations. There is no option for you or me. Either be a Paul or an Esau.