Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Higher Calling - Part 2 - In Thy Hands, Not Mine

Michael continues: The Apostle Paul was determined that nothing would stop him from doing what God wanted. In Philippians 1:21 he said, "For me to live is Christ, to die is gain."  Whether living or dying, Paul's goal was to give his utmost for His highest. Before we choose to do God's will, a crisis must develop in our lives. The crisis is the decision point to press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. To turn from our own wills to the high calling of God’s will, we must repent and turn from ourselves and unto Him. God will bring us to our knees. We can either kneel down before him willingly in prayer or we will be brought to our knees by the weight of the crises of life. 

A certain man's wife had carried their second baby son to term. On the ordinary day when she went into labor, this man went to the fathers' room to wait for his new son to arrive.  The Lord reminded him, "How much control do you have over your life today?"  While the man was praying for his wife and son, God answered Pete's prayer, "Would you purpose in your heart to give your utmost for His highest no matter what the outcome?  Whether your wife and baby live or die, will you purpose in your heart to love, honor, serve and praise me?"  When we're living at a lower level, we want to hold on to things over which we have no control. The crisis forces us to make a decision whether or not we will press toward the mark of the higher calling of God in Christ Jesus. Either God's promise is true that he will work all things for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose or God is not faithful to His Word. At the hospital, the expecting father's response back to God was, "Who am I to tell you Lord what to do in this situation. You, Lord are in control, not me. You who sent your own Son to die on my behalf may choose to take both my wife and my son. They are in your hands, not mine. Not my will but Thine be done. Father come and help yourself to my life."

When the doctor came into the father's waiting room the news was not what Pete wanted to hear, "we lost the baby."  However, Pete was comforted by the decision that he had purposed in his heart, "Lord, no matter what the outcome, I will honor and serve you."

In the day to day routine of life, it's easy to pledge my utmost for his highest. However, crisis situations are our wake up call to press toward the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus. These crises are "come to Jesus moments" to prove that we cannot overcome life's trials in our own power.  

God is calling us to come up higher to the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus ... to the place where you were created to live and love and have your being. To the place where you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free. To the place where you recompense no man evil for evil but overcome evil with good; To the place where faith replaces fear; To the high place where living for Him frees you from the insidious preoccupation with your selfish self; To the place of the upward calling where you experience his fruit: love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. Our Father says, "Come unto me with a contrite heart of meekness and humility and I will give you rest. Come to the place of my inner chamber where my righteousness, grace, mercy, peace and love reign; come away with me my beloved."

In the words of the immortal hymn by Will Thompson: Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, calling for you and for me, see at the portals he's waiting and watching,
watching for you and me. Come home, come home, ye who are weary come home.
Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling-- calling, "O sinner come home."

May God richly bless you.
Your brother in Christ, Michael


Karen said...

Thank you for sharing this. It goes along with Corrie ten Boom's testimony. I just read "The Five Silent Years" about the strokes she had.

Brian Ray Todd said...

Thank you Karen for the that comment. Isn't it so true that we can find the same eternal, godly truth in other people's life experiences. Many times the truths are hidden in plain sight, yet not clearly seen until revealed to enrich our lives. Keep growing and knowing.