Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Called

I have a buddy in Arizona named Ben who recently followed the Lord's leadership into a pastoral position with a young community in Tempe who call themselves Flood the Desert. He sent a few of us this email that blessed me and I think will bless you too...

I was journaling and reflecting on this Scripture that gave me a lot of comfort today in my ministry. I thought I might pass it along to you as well in case it might encourage you. Love you guys and I am praying for you today... "But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach among the Gentiles" (Galatians 1:15-16)

Paul makes this passing statement in his letter that is full of mystery. I perk up at the statement because of its appeal to predestination, God’s plan, fate. I believe that God chose us to be saved. Yet what strikes me about this is the sense of purpose Paul seems to have by it. It is the “so that” that interests me. I think I always look to God’s sovereignty for salvation yet look at most of my life as my own control. But Paul takes a great sense of purpose from his own call to salvation. Not only did God call him to know his son and everything that comes with salvation, but he did it for a reason, so that Paul might preach to the Gentiles.

I know God called me and take such great comfort in being chosen, but why did he call me? I seem to play my life out that I was given salvation and now I do ministry as a result and outpouring of the love I have. But is it actually that my ministry was as much in God’s plan as my salvation? It seems so.

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10)

This I a great comfort because I can put a lot of pressure on myself for ministry, like I need to not screw it up. But God has prepared the good works beforehand; I do not need to create them or stress out in finding them, but just to walk in them as the Spirit leads. Not that this would take a lazy attitude, but a comfort in God’s part in it all.

My “so that” right now is to pastor Flood. I was called to salvation through the grace of God so that I might pastor Flood. Realizing that somehow brings me comfort. I do not have to “perform” to prove I am worthy of the position. I do not have feel burdened under the stress of so many people. God knows what he is doing and I just need to be faithful and walk in what he has prepared. I hope I can have as much faith and confidence in God for my “so that” as I do for my salvation call. I hope I can lead those I minister to in finding their “so that.”

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