Answering the Call to Ministry

“To Answer the Call”

Blue Lake Walk to Emmaus #201

It has only been a short time since my previous personal revival in which I was in-filled with the Holy Spirit.  That was an awesome day, but the pilgrimage I was embarking on was going to form the person I was to be the rest of my life.  After putting to death any fear I harbored about my future at the altar, any feelings of uncertainties were cast away.  After taking part in this Holy time, I began to pray to the Lord silently about the plans He had for me.  I no longer wanted to try something as a trial to see if the Lord approved.  Instead, I asked the Lord to show me what I was to do.  While I was praying this at the altar, a member of the Lay team came up to me to tell me that the Lord had placed a word on his heart the Lord wanted to use me in ministry.  I tried to downplay that thought in my own mind.  I also began to picture myself in certain roles and professions in what He was calling me to do.  The thought came to mind that spiritual leaders usually have resumes full of their gifts and many areas of service.  On my resume the small amount of good I do and the limited use of my spirituals gifts would surely put me at the bottom of any pile of consideration.  That is until I reread II Corinthians 5:17.  When Christ is in us, we are a new creation, the new has come and the old has gone.  I then also remembered the vision and the theme of our walk.  God causes all things to work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.  This scripture alone should put my resume very close to the top of any pile needing experience in God’s grace.  He does not let the pain we suffer in life go to waste.  It was such a blessing to me to know that part of my previous testimony had touched so many people during the walk.  I truly give God all the glory and I praise Him for using the Holy Spirit through me to speak into people’s lives.

The next time we were in the prayer chapel, we were given another opportunity to draw close to the Lord.  This time I figured I better be a little more specific in what I prayed for.  I silently began asking the Lord what His desire for my life was and what to do.  Shortly after praying, a member of the clergy came up to me to let me know that the Lord told him that my Lord and God wanted to use me in ministry and that the Holy Spirit would guide me and that He had been calling me for some time and to once again believe in His plan for my life.  I kept myself in an attitude of reverence asking Jesus what I was to do and He told me, “First you must take another step of faith.”  I felt like I needed to realize that when it’s God’s will, the way will be made clear and the obstacles in our way will be removed.  I now know that beyond a shadow of doubt that God has placed a calling on my life and I recognize and submit to that calling.  I realize that my life is God’s gift to me and what I do with it is my gift to Him.  Even though our 72 hour spiritual journey is completed as pilgrims, I now take up the cross in my fourth day journey which is the rest of my life.  We must continually evaluate our priorities in life.  I learned that this can be easily done by looking at your checkbook to see where you spend your time and money.  We are totally undeserving of God’s grace yet He does everything He can to pour His mercy out over us.  The only thing to describe why He does it is His Love for each and every one of us.  God’s calling was placed on me to attend this walk; it was no accident, it was no coincidence, it was God’s prevenient grace that setup the events to make my latest divine encounter a reality.  We are incapable of restoring the image of Christ in us; only God can restore us.  All we have to do is ask for God’s grace and we will feel His agape (unconditional love) on our lives.  We have all fallen short of His glory and I praise God I am past the point in my life when my past haunted me and when I was afraid of what tidbit of information might surface.  God purifies our lives and fills that void in our hearts.  Talking from past experiences, please make sure that you fill that void in your heart with God, whether it’s spending more time with Him reading, worshiping, or just meditating.  The last thing you want is for just another stronghold to take the place of the one you just got rid of.

Above all else, we must make God our first priority in our lives.  In my own life, I am amazed how many times asking God used to be the last thing I did when I needed something.  As I am growing in the word of God and listening to His voice I had to first become informed of the truth and then allow that truth to transform me.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, and the new has come.  What this means is, when Christ changes us on the inside, people should see that change on the outside.  One of the many great things that happens when Christ is in us, is that we have a transformation of our heart and mind.  It is a beautiful time in which after no man can separate us from the grace of our Father in Heaven.  One thing that everyone in the world has in common is our need for Jesus.  To fulfill the great commission and make this a reality, God’s love must motivate us in all we do.  We are all different in the body of Christ, but we serve the same purpose. 

In my own life, one area I continually struggled with was wanting to be in control and always wanting to be a part of the solution.  A lot of our early Patriarchs made this same mistake like when God promised Abraham a son through Sarah, but instead of trusting in God’s plan, Abraham thought he would just help God a little.  We have an uncanny way of becoming our worst enemy and sometimes we just plain out sabotage God’s grace.  Pride and guilt are some things that I had to deal with in the past as well.  Pride won’t let us admit we are the problem and guilt posts an unusable stamp on our forehead.  In both these cases God can’t redeem us until we release ourselves.  Committing many good acts will not make any difference either, only God’s grace will make you whole again.

Jesus is telling me to follow Him and to feed His sheep.  This was something in my own mind that I knew I must want to do for the right reasons.  I was told a story that if I could do something else and be happy in it, that I should do that, but if I couldn’t be happy in it then ministry was what I was most likely being called to do.  Everyone has the choice to either plant crops, water crops, or to harvest crops; whatever we decide to do, we must do it with joy in our heart.  “For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.  In this passage of Matthew 25 Jesus is telling us that what we do for one of His children, even the least, we do it as if it were Jesus.  I am taking a huge leap of faith believing the Lord is going to open up the next door for me to walk through.  I am doing my very best to be obedient to the Holy Spirit.  Daily, I am trying to make the fruits of the spirit as evident in my own life as I can.  These traits represent the evidence of Christ in our lives.

I had to hit rock bottom for me to want to change.  I pray that no one would have to make the same mistakes that I made.  I pray that they will turn back to the Lord before the world scars them and that the Lord will restore them to wholeness by His holiness.  I truly have faith in the plans God has for my life as I put to death any uncertainty or fear.  I am putting my faith into action because faith with no works is dead. (James 2:17)  God is continually working on us and through us; sometimes we simply just need to get out of His way.  The last thing we want to do is wrestle with God like Jacob.  I realize I can either bow before my Almighty God, or He can break my knees.

We all have spiritual gifts and abilities in which we can better the kingdom of God.  For me personally, I have several core gifts, but I also have a few others that fade in and out depending on what season of my life I am walking in.  The best thing you can do is have a servant’s heart and work wherever you are needed.  Church work and the work of the church is not the same thing.  The work of the church is equipping the body of Christ to bring others to faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.  We can’t do it alone, we need the church, the church needs us, and the lost needs both of us.

I sincerely praise the Lord for the new work He is doing in my life.  I thank Him that His light is more powerful than darkness, that His truth is stronger that the enemy’s lies, and that there is more grace in God’s heart than sin in men’s.  It only took one shed drop of blood to guarantee that Satan is nothing but a fallen angel doomed to eternal destruction.  Recently my faith was seriously tested when I was going through some really hard times.  The only thing that can make these hard times even harder is when the enemy adds to the onslaught.  It is especially during these time that that we must command the forces of darkness to cease their assault in the name of the Lord Jesus.  We must wield the sword of the spirit with power and authority because it is the word of God.  We must plead the shed blood of the Lamb over ourselves and share our testimonies of God’s faithfulness with others.  If God is for us then who can be against us?  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  These aren’t just words, they are God breathed weapons and inspirations, so when we pray we must pray in the name of the Lord God Almighty and in the power of the Holy Spirit.  God not only fights for us, He actually fights in our place while we rest in the safety that only He can provide.  Whatever the enemy meant for harm in my life the Lord is going to use for good.  The Lord is my rock and the next time the enemy attacks, he will approach from one direction and flee in seven different directions because I am a child of God and He has given me dominion and authority over the devil.

Blue Lake walk to Emmaus has truly changed my life.  The Holy Spirit did such a wonderful thing in me and through me as my spiritual maturity has strengthened and my call to servant hood has been allowed to surface.  Thinking back over many of my past experiences both good and bad, He has allowed me to see His hand truly working all things together for good.  There was a time when I walked with the Lord very closely.  Then there was a time when I ran from the Lord in every direction but His, but even during that time of my life when I turned my back on Jesus, He stayed right beside me.  Although, I experienced much pain and deep spiritual scars, I truly believe that God was protecting me from so much more.  You see, God will never let us bear more than what we can handle.  The decisions I was making in my life caused my family tremendous pain and suffering, but I can’t even imagine the sadness it brought to my Heavenly Father who sacrificed His only Son for me.  I can however see the over abundant joy brought to my Heavenly Father that manifested by my decision to have a Christ-centered life.  By allowing the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross to cleanse my life, I bring glory to God the Father.  It humbles me to think that God would have sent His only son to die just for me.

Keep me in your prayers as I do the same for you. De Colores…   

 

By: Jeff Davis, Table of Peter

Yet those who wait upon the Lord will gain new strength, they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired and they will walk and not become weary. (Isaiah 40:31)

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