A Lesson From Abraham
“By faith Abraham, WHEN HE WAS CALLED, OBEYED by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (Heb 11:8-10)
“Now these things happened to them as an EXAMPLE, and they were written for OUR INSTRUCTION, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” (1 Cor. 10:11)
“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for OUR INSTRUCTION, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Rom. 15:4)
Men craftily design and disseminate their humanly-invented doctrines and dogmas, founded in strife, envy, self-aggrandizement, and selfish-ambition, and aimed at controlling and corralling others, like crabs in a bucket, to preclude them from fulfilling their callings and dreams. Like Joseph’s family, they surmise their calling is to be “dream killers.”
One such concept posits that you may have a “calling” from God, but you dare not “go out” to pursue it, until you’ve received your “commissioning,” for “calling” and “commissioning” are not the same thing. And, very often according to them, THEY are the ones who will determine and decide when you are “ready” for your commissioning, which must come from them, when they lay THEIR hands upon you. In the meantime, you must “sit at their feet” and “serve” them to “prepare” you for your “commissioning.”
Clearly, that is contrary to what GOD thinks, and HIS Word, Will, and Ways!
In the example of Abraham, he obeyed God’s call and went out “WHEN HE WAS CALLED!” He did not “wait” for a “commissioning” from some other man or organization of men.
And, it was “BY FAITH” in God and His ability to perform what He promises, not by the purported “authorization” of men, that he went out in obedience to God’s calling!
Furthermore, “he went out, not knowing where he was going,” because where he was going did not even exist “when he was called,” and could not be either conceived or built by the hands of men, “for he was looking for the CITY which has foundations, whose architect and builder is GOD! That “city” was/is the Church-Bride of Christ (cf., Rev. 21:2; Heb. 12:22,23; et al.), which was not even manifest yet when Abraham went out looking for it!
In God, in the Kingdom of God, your destiny is your ultimate destination. God’s calling on your life is your identity. Your calling defines you and the course of your life, in so far as God is concerned. Your calling is a prophetic snapshot of your life in God’s mind; i.e., your destiny.
On the map designed by God, all roads lead to your destiny, i.e., your intended final destination. Inherent in your calling is your destiny. The call from God is His call TO your destiny.
God’s “call” is His personal invitation to you to perceive, accept, and assimilate, that is, line your life up with, His purposes and plans for you.
Your sense of self-worth along the road of life is inextricably linked to your calling, the invitation from God to your ultimate destination. If you get into total agreement, unanimity, with it, and therefore align your life to it, then you will live with a constant overall sense of self-worth. If not, you will live under a constant cloud of unworthiness, diffidence, inferiority, and defeat.
Abraham, Father of Multitudes, did not attain unto his destiny until he reached his destination when he left this life and was joined with the Heavenly Father (of whom he was a human type while on Earth) in the Heavenly Jerusalem. The Heavenly Jerusalem, which John the Revelator in the vision he was given (which is yet to come to pass) saw coming down from Heaven to the Earth, the genuine Mount Zion, IS the “City” Abraham “went out” looking for, the city which has foundations (apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus the Cornerstone [Eph. 2:20]), and “whose architect and builder is God!” “I will build MY Church” (Mat. 16:18), Jesus declared, and indeed He perseveres in that task yet today, more than two millennia later!
Abraham and his life was an example for all believers to emulate. It is incumbent upon us all to take a lesson from Abraham and what God reveals to us about him in His Story.
God’s calling upon humans, in terms of its essence and its source of empowerment, is not a natural thing, but supernatural. Like the Kingdom itself, it cannot be perceived with natural eyes, but rather only with spiritual eyes, because the source of empowerment is the Holy Spirit Himself. Anything whose power source can be seen with natural eyes, is perceivable through natural eyesight, it is NOT of the Spirit, and therefore is not from God!
A familiar and oft-cited motivation industry mantra is: “Whatever the mind of man can conceive, it can achieve.” But, that applies only to human, earthly, natural achievements, and human, earthly, natural achievements are NOT God things, or Kingdom things, per se! God things are not initially conceived in the minds of men, for their architect and builder is God. What an architect expresses in a blueprint was first a concept in his mind before it was laid out on paper.
Kingdom things are concepts originating in the mind of God; He is their originator, author, inventor, “conceiver,” the “artist,” the architect, the builder. Kingdom things are never conceived in the mind of men, but only in the mind of God. Then God—the master architect and builder—REVEALS them to the mind of men who receive them as a revelation from God. God is the Builder as well as the Architect of Kingdom things, but He never by-passes His Church; whatever He does on Earth, He reveals and “transfers” to men for the building or manifestation in the natural of the pattern delineated on the Spiritual blueprint.
Thus, the concept espoused by many that man must commission you to what God has called you to is nonsensical and ludicrous. The calling to Kingdom assignments and accomplishments, which are spiritual in nature, can only originate from God, and therefore the commissioning to fulfill them can only originate with God as well.
The lesson of it all is: Man can’t conceive or build what you are called to spiritually, for its Architect and Builder is GOD, not men! Men can neither call nor commission you to your God-appointed destiny. It is obvious and a certainty that no man or organization of men can call or commission you to what they cannot even conceive.
You will not reach your destination the first day, or the second day, or most likely for many, many days, but you must journey on every day, because your calling is a journey! In the process of the journey, God will make the man in whom he has deposited the empowerment to fulfill the calling. The achievements of the calling fulfilled is your gift to God; the making of who you become during the course of the journey is God’s gift to you!
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. (Psa 51:17)
For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite. (Isa 57:15)
“For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into being,” declares the LORD. “But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word. (Isa 66:2)
God calls not the self-qualified, self-confident, and self-empowered, but qualifies and empowers the called who have a humble broken, contrite, and obedient spirit!
“Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but OUR ADEQUACY IS FROM GOD” (2 Cor. 3:5).
Those whom God calls are at all times keenly aware and ever-mindful that their adequacy to fulfill their calling comes from God and not themselves!
If you are called by God to a Kingdom-assignment, it is not because you are in any way adequate, qualified, or able within yourself to accomplish the task, but rather because He has given you an opportunity to prove your pliability in His hands, your willingness to be re-made into His Image, and that you have a contrite spirit that moves you to rely entirely upon Him and His Spirit to empower you to accomplish what He needs you to accomplish. There are no “cush” assignments in the Kingdom!
Obey your call from God when He calls you! Don’t look or wait for the affirmation, approval, and agreement of others. The call is an invitation to embark upon a journey to attain unto your destiny, which is your destination. All along the way, there will be tests, trials, tribulations, and troubles, but if you will by faith persevere through the fierce resistance opposing your advancement and surmount the mountains that attempt to stand in your way and stop you, you will eventually and inevitably arrive, attain, and apprehend…at the end of your course. You will not arrive at the start but the end of the journey, when you, like the Apostle Paul, “have finished (your) course.” The ending place will be far from your starting place.
“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Heb 11:6)
The truth of the matter is that regardless of the particulars of each believers’ particular calling, the end goal is always the same—in the Kingdom, all roads lead to the final destination of a place called, “FAITH!”
As an addendum to this article first published on my ministry website, SLM Online, that there could not be a more critical message than this one in a day when the Church’s most desperate need is genuine Holy Ghost inspired and driven leadership. Unfortunately, in this hour, myriads of pulpits in the churches in America, in particular, are filled with pious pontificators that are more performers than they are genuine leaders.
Every now and then, the Holy Spirit will begin speaking to me about a matter, and leads me to post what He speaks to me on my Facebook Timeline. When that happens, what usually ensues is a series of posts related to the topic that come in short bursts. One of those times was a few days ago. The issue was one I’ve been writing about for several decades, i.e., geunuine, Spirit-led servitude-based leadership in the Body of Christ juxtaposed to the self-centered, self-aggrandizing, hyper-authoritarian “leadership” prevalent today particularly in the Pentecostal/Neo-Pentecostal ecclesiastical realm. The following is the series of thoughts the Holy Spirit spoke to me in this regard, that is so very appropos to the subject of this article that I had originally written and posted on my Facebook Timeline as a note in April 2011. I offer these Spirit-given comments as stand alone commentary without further amplification because they speak resoundingly and profoundly for themselves.
The only peerless person ever to live was Jesus Christ. The future and capacity of leaders in any arena who view themselves as peerless is limited and will fall far short of greatness.
Genuine, Heaven-endorsed spiritual leaders are not narcissists who arrogate themselves above others to occupy the pinnacle of a hierarchical chain-of-command because they view themselves as peerless, but rather they are consensus-builders who deliberately seek to establish horizontal relationships with peers and colleagues and thereby construct a team of leaders working together in real concinnity (individual parts harmoniously working together as a whole) and mutual esteem to accomplish the purposes and plans of God on earth.
Satan does all he can to promote religious performers adept at captivating people because their message poses no threat to him whatsoever.
The Church’s desperate need in this hour is battle-tested, fire-tempered, Heaven-commissioned generals to command the armies of God!
Christendom today is inundated with performers posing as leaders whose pontifications are devoid of power to spiritually advance believers.
Don’t be duped by and drawn into following the motivational TV performers posing as leaders who’ve never been tried in the combat of life and whose message is more about drawing attention and disciples to themselves than equipping and empowering believers for the work of service/ministry.
Leadership implies movement. Genuine leaders motivate their followers to forward movement or advancement as opposed to permanently occupying an oasis of spiritual enlightenment they happen to come upon in the deserts and wildernesses along the journey toward the Promise Land. Performers pontificate to a seated/stationary audience from a stage built to be seen, not lead.
Genuine leaders are driven to advance followers to where they are. Pontificators of humanistic piety performing on stages not so driven are not spiritual leaders ordained by God but mere thespian performers.###