In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
—2 Timothy 2:20
This is the sixth message in my series on preparing for your calling. Follow this link to read previous posts in this series. Last week, I talked about receiving God’s blessings. Even though it’s nice to receive blessings from God, we can’t fulfill our calling if that is all we are seeking Him for.
In John 6, after Jesus fed the five thousand and crossed over the lake, the crowds were looking for Him and He answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
So they asked him, “What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
When we are more interested in what God can do for us than what He requires of us, we will not continue following Him and doing His will.
Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
… On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.”
… From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
John 6:35-40, 60-69
God’s will is not burdensome. God wants us to simply believe what He sent Jesus to teach us. I was talking to a woman once about Christianity. She said she felt that people just complicate it. She said we have to look at it as through a child’s eyes and just believe it. If Jesus says it, we need to believe it, no matter what.
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:14).
When you tell a child something, they don’t normally try to reason it out. They simply believe what you say is true. We are to receive Jesus’ teachings the same way, with childlike faith.
Many Christians say they believe the Bible is true and they believe Jesus, but they only rely on what their pastor or minister teaches them. They don’t seek to dig deeper on their own and learn directly from Jesus.
The Israelites relied on Moses to teach them. But Joshua also sought God on his own as Exodus 33:7-11 explains, “Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses. Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to his tent. The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.
God has used my pastor and many other people to minister to me through the years. But the greatest teachings and revelations I have received have come directly from Jesus. There is so much more that Jesus taught than what majority of the church is teaching today. If we are not willing to seek Him and fully believe what He taught us, then we will not fully live the calling God has planned for us.
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
I don’t know too many Christians that are doing what Jesus did, let alone even greater things than He did. When I have seen teachings on some of the things Jesus did like healing, casting out demons, raising people from the dead, it’s often taken to the extreme and for flattery or financial gain. The devil will try to pervert anything that Jesus teaches to prevent us from believing and following it. That’s why we must seek Jesus for ourselves and continue believing what He says over what we see and hear from others.
Then Jesus cried out, “When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
“As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”
Let us all join together in making a New Year’s resolution to seek Jesus and believe His teachings. I pray that 2013 would be a year of revelation and revival in the body of Christ as we stand together believing the One God sent to teach us His will.
I praise You for sending Jesus to teach us Your Word. Help me to study Jesus’ teachings so that I can learn Your will. Give me understanding and revelation of Your Word and help me believe. I pray also for the body of Christ to seek You with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. Bring a spiritual revival to us in 2013. Help us to walk in the footsteps of Jesus doing what He did, and even greater things, through the power of Your Holy Spirit in us.
In Jesus’ name I believe You! Amen!