Then Peter said to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?”
(Mat 19:27) – NASB – e-Sword
Coming to the end of yourself is hard work. It is hard work because we do not really feel like dying to ourselves. Not really. We say we want to, but when it comes right down to it, we would rather Jesus compromise on what He meant when He said take up your cross and follow Him.
Between the being called and being chosen, you will go through a boot camp designed to empty you of you, and fill you with Him. The reason Jesus said few are chosen is because it is difficult work having to come to the end of yourself.
It took 40 years of shepherding sheep for Moses to reach the end of himself. It took Joseph a couple of decades of hardship to go from a spoiled brat to the most powerful man in Egypt. It took David years in the caves before he wore the crown. It took Peter being sifted by Satan before he could truly serve Jesus. It took Paul 11 years to get from Damascus to his first journey to spread the gospel.
We have to be brought to the place in our hearts where we understand that we can bring nothing to the game but our love of Christ, our love of Mankind, and our salvation. Even those things, we learn, are not ours, but were given to us by God.
Not all acts of obedience will result in fire falling from heaven and devouring the prophets of Baal. Some acts of obedience will carry you right into the lion’s den, or a fiery furnace. Sometimes our own stupidity carries us to very dark places, but God uses them to shine His light in our lives. Even then, we learn that, unless we get out of the way, and let the Spirit of God grow us up, we will have to go back to the classroom and relearn this lesson and retake the test.
In all cases, whether our obedience has brought down fire on our own heads, or our stupidity has done the same, we will find we are in a circumstance where we have two choices. We can take matters in our own hands, and forfeit whatever it is that God is trying to accomplish in us, or we can surrender to the mystery of God in this, and see Him walk us through this circumstance in a way that God is glorified in it.
Every circumstance has two purposes for you, the called. You will grow to be like Christ in this, and God will be glorified through Jesus Christ. This is why it is hard to be chosen. We want all the goodies, but the lessons leave us cold and fearful.
Until we appreciate we are helpless to be what God wants us to be, and have nothing God needs, we will get to repeat many lessons. The goal is not to make you feel worthless. The goal is to make you just Like Jesus Christ. This is an upgrade. This is what the world fears will happen. Our religion and the rest of the world is content for us to be complacent and religious, at best. But the minute we decide we genuinely want to answer the call, and do it no matter the cost, then we have joined the fray, and all bets are off. Your life will change.
When we learn to see things as Jesus saw them, we will see we are really free. We are beautifully made creatures, in the image of the Living God. We are valuable. We are no longer slaves to the world, or to sin. This is a message that the world does NOT want anyone to understand. We are free because of what Christ did on the Cross. When we decide to answer this call, we have to learn about this freedom. The message of the cross is the one message all religions and world systems fear so much, it is becoming against the law to preach it.
If you decide to take this journey from called to chosen, you will eventually find yourself in a place where your only hope and resource is going to come from the living God. When we run out of ourselves, we will be able to see Jesus fill us and flow from us in miraculous ways.
We just have to get out of the way.
Are you in a place where you cannot retreat, and you cannot see how to move forward? This is the place of purification. You will, if you chose, be able to see the Sovereign God move on your behalf in ways you never imagined. When you fall completely on Him in love and trust, you will see how precious it is to be a child of God. No matter how dark and scary things get, here, never give up on your faith in Him. He will see you through it. It is not until you come to the end of yourself that you will really be able to be the conduit through which the Spirit of God can flow.
While you are being purified, the world is watching. Let God be glorified. Let the world see “One like the son of God” standing in your midst. Do not struggle against the roaring lion, but let the peace and power of God overwhelm the circumstances for you.
When you finally get to the point where you can say, “I have left all, and have nothing left.” You will be able to see and experience the riches of the Kingdom of God in your life.
It is all a choice, from the time you are called, and the time you are chosen. God is patient. Be chosen. Let God have His perfect will in your life. You may be the only Jesus your corner of the world sees when you are too weak to stand in Jesus way.
Until you come to the end of yourself, it is hard to see the fullness of Christ in you.
Let’s be about it.