CALL TO OBEDIENCE #239
Reimar A.C. Schultze
"Every Soul Has a Special Mission"
By Pastor Reimar Schultze
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. . .For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:8, 10).
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. . .For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:8, 10).
God’s work of salvation comes to all of us in the same way. There is only one door by which we all must enter into life everlasting. But once we are inside the door of the
That God is very specific in his creation is brought out by the fact that each snow flake is different, and that each star has received its unique orbit. The Bible tells us that the “stars in their courses fought against Sisera” (Judg. 5:20), indicating that each star has its appointed course as you and I also have our appointed course to run.
Jesus brings out in Mark 13:34 that God has given to every one his work. Jesus spoke to his Father about his own work having been finished (John 17:4); Paul talked about finishing his course with joy (2 Tim. 4:7); and the book of Hebrews challenges us to each run the race set before us (12:1). So as God created each of the billions of stars differently -- “he calleth them all by their names” means that he distinguishes each from the other (Ps. 147:4) -- as God has set each star in its peculiar course, so it certainly is with us.
Now as most of the drops in the ocean are invisible to us, only those on the surface being visible, so most of our callings will not get the attention and praise of men. Yet, Paul said, as the uncomely and invisible parts of our bodies have their own glory in the physical body, so also do the hidden parts of the spiritual body have their own glory (1 Cor. 12:23ff). Hence, most of our courses are hidden as that of billions of stars are, yet each moves in its orbit for the glory of God. And, of course, it is one of the great tricks of the devil to get us out of our invisible orbits to tempt us with the visible orbits so that we will receive the praise of our brothers. Oh, how important is it for us to be cleansed of the desire for making a splash in the eyes of man (worthy of the front pages of the church newsletter or local newspaper) at the cost of getting out of our predestined courses?
How Do We Find Our Vocation in Life?
I have been using some of the thoughts on this subject from George D. Watson in his book Bridehood Saints, and I shall now give you his direct answer to this question.
“You may ask, How shall I find my special vocation? I answer, By a life of prayer. Not by saying our prayers, but by a life of continual talking with God, by a perfect surrender to Him through Jesus, a perfect willingness to give up our own thoughts, our plans, our air castles, our prejudices, and being willing for God to possess us and lead us in the way He chooses for us to go. You are to believe that God loves you with an eternal love, that God has a place for you and a mission for you to fill; and then on the basis of His Word, plead with Him to open up to your mind your special mission, whether it be in the home or in the field, in the private or public forum, and feel sure from the teachings of Scripture that it is God’s will to give you such sufficient insight into your vocation that will satisfy you, and with that insight there will come a loving ardor and a tireless zeal to accomplish the task. Of course, the knowledge of our vocation will bring upon us the greatest responsibility of our lives, for there will come to us the sense of stewardship to be true to our calling.”
So then, it is a life of prayer and not just saying our prayers that is so important. Without a life of prayer, there will be no revelation of our vocation, because without a life of prayer, we will not be able to stay the course that God has set before us.
Oh, how many young people have asked me, Pastor, would you help me find my life’s calling? when their state of spirituality was so poor that it was uncertain whether they would pray, read their Bible, or witness tomorrow, or whether they would keep themselves pure in their relationship with the opposite sex. A life of prayer always leads us to a consistency in godly habits. It always leads us to be meticulously careful and faithful in even the smallest things of life. It is when our life of prayer renders such fruits that God can entrust us with the revelation of our vocation which we were created to pursue before the world was made.
Once We Get into Our Orbit, We Are Safe.
In our God-appointed orbit, nothing can ever happen to us but by the permission or direct will of God. The devil could not touch Job, that perfect man, without divine permission. And then, having received that permission, God set boundaries, limiting the devil’s work. In essence, God said to the devil, You can do this and that but you cannot do anymore than this and that. God put a hedge about Job. God always has a hedge about those who move in his course. That hedge is moved from time to time closer or further from the center of the saint’s life, but it will always be there and it will never be unattended by the watchful eye of God. No movement of that hedge, in or out, is ever possible without God’s permission. This is the security of the believer who has given himself to a life of prayer in order to enter his predestined course. Of this course, the Psalmist speaks, “For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Ps. 84:11). Don’t get off your predestined course at any cost.
The Nature of Tests and Trials on the Course.
That there will be tests on this course is most clearly illustrated by the life of Jesus. At the beginning of his public course, the Spirit led him into the wilderness to be tempted forty days. It is God’s will for us to be tested. It is God’s will for us to be strengthened, refined, and perfected in the fires of affliction. It is God’s will for us to have our faith stretched and to learn the power of agonizing prayer. It is God’s will for us to know our weakness and his mighty power. It is God’s will for us to discover over and over that he that is in us is greater than he that is in the world. And on this course, in all our afflictions, our tears will, in time, turn into showers of blessings.
One of the chief temptations the devil will throw at us once we have entered into our divinely appointed orbit or course is that he will attempt to kick us up and out of that orbit into a seemingly more glorious orbit. The devil saw Jesus entering upon an orbit of servanthood, humility, shame, and disfavor with man, and he said to him, You can do better than that; I can help you to do better than that. I can help you to become famous among men, accepted and lauded. I can give you power over all the kingdoms of the world.
My friend, Satan tries to elevate every saint. He tries to promote every saint. He is always there to help the saint do something that will enhance his influence and standing among the brethren, be it ever so small a piece of the pie, to get him out of his divinely appointed course. He tells the usher that he could be a deacon. He tells the associate pastor that he could be the senior pastor. He tells the senior pastor that he could get a bigger church if he would do such and such. And if the devil can’t elevate the saint, he will try to demote him by discouraging him to go into a lesser orbit. Do only what God called you to do. If children’s work is not part of your course, don’t touch it, no matter how much others may press you. If youth work is on your course, then do it, no matter how inadequate you feel and how much the parents of the youth oppose you. Do it with all your might, and stay the course. It is only there where you are safe and blessed and anointed.
Can you see that only a life of prayer can keep you where you belong in God’s predesigned plan for your life? If your vocation is to be the janitor of the church, why lower yourself to be president of the board? It is my conviction that many associate pastors are never called to become senior pastors. Many people will not have the humility to stay in their orbit. One reason there is no anointing upon many senior pastors is because they have left their calling of the associate pastoral ministry.
Give yourself to a life of prayer, and God will show you your course. And, by a life of prayer, you can stay on course, able to reject all the power of the devil’s temptations. Once you lose your life of prayer, you lose your vision, and you are deceived by the devil that bigger is better. Soon you will toot your horn, see your name in religious publications, and look down on the little fellows who just can’t get “the vision.” You will travel here and there and be applauded by men. You will soon move among the movers and shakers. But you will also gradually become more and more harsh, more and more neglectful of your private times alone with God, of your spouse and children, of the poor and needy, of the blind Bartimaeus’ on the roadsides and the cripples at the pools of Bethesda. You will gradually become a man of the machine until you turn into a machine yourself -- all in the name of Jesus and success!
Be satisfied with your orbit. Stay the course that God has set before you. Do not leave it; for if you do, no one else can satisfy that work to God’s satisfaction--no one! And if, my friend, you leave that course, your crown will be given to another, and you will stand before the judgment seat empty-handed. Every soul has a mission, says George Watson, but “so many get tired of God’s plain ways and want something new, and run away from the cross to lie down in the shade...They drift into a habit of changeableness, building air castles, and forming great plans of what they are going to do; and to hear them talk, they are always just on the verge of something great.” Don’t let this happen to you. Wait on God, get onto your course, follow it all the way into the gates of heaven, and “you shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away” (1 Pet. 5:4)