Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Mission 2013 #1. How to Know Our Call from God

What is your call for 2013? I have been involved in Christian Ministry for a long time and found that many groups, individuals and families worry about finding what they call "God's perfect will". Here is your answer in my answer to that question.

My call and primary function as a Christian Minister is the same now as it was when I accepted Christ as a ten-year-old boy. And, it is written down in the Bible as plain as day.

Second, it is not hard to find God's perfect will. In fact, it is hard not to find it. God is perfectly able to make sure I do His will and carry out His desires. His intention to bring salvation and healing into the world will not be messed up by an impotent human like me and my will.

(NOTE: The exact activities of my life may not be perfectly carried out but God's Spirit can always find a "Pinch Hitter" to substitute for me when I get lost. There is a lot of mystery involved in these things but I have peace about God's ability to cover my screw ups.)

Third, most of the things God has planned for me are plainly written in the Bible. Yes, I realize that people see different things in that book but mature people tend to agree about the core principles. It is too bad that so much of the most famous spokespersons for Christianity are immature, loud and incessant as well as wrong, but that is not the fault of God. The Bible clearly says that only mature, wise, experienced, humble parents with adult children are supposed to speak.

(See I Timothy 3: The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.)

We tend to ignore the Bible as an old fashioned, antiquated book for unsophisticated and uneducated rubes and rush young people through various schools to get them out into "ministry". No wonder we have so much confusion in theology and practice.

As St. Paul wrote in I CO 13: These three remain, faith, hope and love, but the greatest is love. Later, in EPH, He expanded the definition of faith, hope and love to include, all the fruit of the Spirit.

These lead me to conclude that my main call is to have a great relationship with God, myself and other people. Then, no matter what else happens, God will be glorified and people will be blessed, healed, built up and encouraged. However, no matter how much theology I know, how well I preach, how big is my church or ministry or how many people I heal, it is worthless.

Gary Sweeten
January 1, 2013

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