Article # four: High Calling
F A R
Mannie has no clue regarding the high calling in her life. Rarely does she give the matter thought, being more concerned with her weight (overweight) than her appointed destiny. Fitting in, doing what is expected, impressing – this is full-time ministry.
Our dear sister is not without occasional praise reports. The other day a box of church library books disappeared, and after earnest prayer was guided to check the recycle bin. There on top of boxes of shredded financial statements was her missing prize. “The big truck pulled up to the bin just as I was retrieving the books,” she told the ladies’ prayer group. “One minute later it would have been too late. Praise the Lord!”
Such answered prayers confirmed she was doing what God called her to do, to faithfully serve in the library. But how far from reality. Had she been in the high place God called her to be, had she been in His supreme will and not merely permissive, had she been a dweller of “the secret place,” had she been the branch abiding in “the true vine,” her praise report might be something like…..
“Several young ladies the Lord had brought into my life for training and discipling are now working full-time in ministry, three in other countries. They are totally sold out to Jesus Christ, and their light shines brightly. Also, the Lord is calling Merf and I to minister to whoever in the city of whatever this summer…..”
D a v i d W i l k e r s o n : What is destiny? In simple terms, destiny is God’s purpose for your life. It is your appointed or ordained future. Destiny is what God has predetermined you to be and to become, in His divine will. (Times Square Church Pulpit Series 7-8-1996)
Mannie never chose the lower calling, she simply chose not to choose Christ. She wanted Christ, but not enough. She wanted a distant Christ so she could do her own thing, be the lord of her life, and live for the people she loved more than Jesus.
J E S U S : Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth. (Mat. 6:19)
Mannie works hard doing what her Savior told her not to do, accumulating such earthly treasures as approval of peers, new kitchen appliances, an assortment of worldly memories, self-esteem, friendships, financial security.
Remorse is not far away. The judgment seat awaits.
N E A R
J E S U S : Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. (Mat. 6:20)
That’s what Merf’s doing.
No longer will he compare himself favorably with others because most others are squandering much of their lives. He wants more eternal treasures than Joe Average has. And he knows not to depend on evangelicalism to open doors of opportunity. Jesus will be his door-opener and door-closer.
Merf does not yet know what the high calling on his life is, though he gets occasional glimpses. He knows he will one day preach God’s truths to the world and to the church, but where and to whom and by what means has not been revealed. But it will be.
P a u l : I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2Tim. 4:7)
Merf’s highest calling is to gain Christ, to develop a life of worship similar to Paul’s, worship that is not in speech only but worship with noble actions. A surrendered life causes all the details of life to fall into place, and when time is up he will be satisfied he had “finished the race.”
L u k e : As John was finishing his course. (Acts 13:25)
Had John the Baptist been less than passionate for the God he served he would not have finished his course. And Merf’s no different. The lukewarm don’t get the job done, are not sufficiently concerned. Hey, what’s on the box tonight?
D a v i d W i l k e r s o n : Beloved, if you’re going to walk in your destiny, the only thing that will set you apart is your desire to surpass all others in the knowledge of Jesus. No one will spend more time alone with Him than you. (Times Square Church Pulpit Series 7-8-1996)
And what is the treasure in heaven most will not attain? This is my opinion….
The treasure in heaven is the same as the treasure on earth…. Jesus. Relationally, we will all have some of Jesus up there because we all have some of Jesus down here, even the most lukewarm. Those who have much of Jesus here will have much there. Distancing oneself here distances oneself there…. for eternity. Such will not be able to drop in on Jesus to say hello. Even Peter and Paul and Stephen and John will be hard to get to. He will have no “crown of righteousness” on his head. No “crown of glory that does not fade away.” Those are reserved for the passionate. Like Merf.
C h a l l e n g e : All of heaven’s resources are available if you but exercise the free will God has given you to choose to fulfill, through (faith in) Jesus Christ, the high calling on your life. Will you?
P r a y e r : Lord Jesus, may the reader know here, as he will certainly know there, how priceless You are. May he/she attain a crown that can one day be thrown at Your feet. Anoint this article, to the glory of Your Name, that Your purposes be accomplished. (And hopefully the reader says, “Amen!”)