Judas was among the called. The master found him and called him. Judas dropped all he was doing and followed the master. We are not told what his profession was or else we would vilify all who belong to that profession. But it wasn’t his profession that was the issue. It was his soul.
Judas walked with The Lord but nothing he heard or saw in the master’s ministry made an impact on his life. He saw what the Lord Jesus was capable of; his power to heal, save and deliver, but it made zero impact on him. He was there when blind Bartemaeus cried out to The Lord for mercy and witnessed The Lord restore his sight. He followed The Lord on his way to the centurion’s house. The Lord stopped on the road and said someone had touched him. A woman ran out of the crowd and confessed that she had been sick for several years but when she touched the hem of his garment, she was instantly healed. But none of these miracles touched his heart in any way. No wonder Jesus cursed the great cities which saw his miracles yet remained antithetical to the gospel. Unless the Holy Spirit moves miracles in themselves cannot turn a hardened heart to Jesus.
Judas was in the ministry with Jesus but he was in it for what he could use the Master to get. He was in the ministry to enrich himself. He used his title as ‘an apostle of Jesus’ to scam as much money as he could from the multitudes. When Jesus sent them out to go and heal the sick in Luke 9, Judas probably used the opportunity to ‘raise some funds for the ministry.’ He wasn’t thinking about what to do to expand the kingdom but all he wanted was what he could use Jesus and the kingdom to accomplish for himself. Continue reading
The bible says that our calling is holy. It means it is sacred. Something that is sacred should not be handled lightly or irreverently. Many desecrate their holy calling by substituting it with the pursuit of carnal things.
2 Timothy 1:9
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
What we have in Christ Jesus is a high calling. No pursuit or desire is higher than the calling we have in Christ. Paul said he pressed into his calling. If it were easy to obtain and fulfil his calling he wouldn’t talk about pressing into it. Many want to sit back and watch their calling come to pass. But they will end up frustrated. Nothing good in the kingdom will come to you without commitment, tenacity and a strong sense of purpose. We have to press in the place of prayer and study of the word. It is those who press in after The Lord who possess the blessings of the kingdom.
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul prayed that the eyes of our spirit may be flooded with light, that we may have deeper understanding and clarity about our calling. This is a prayer we should all pray daily. When we have clarity about our calling we won’t fall into the trap of satanic distractions.
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
The enemy will throw a spanner in the engine of your life to destabilise you. He will try to keep you unbalanced on your feet so you never stabilise enough to pursue your calling.
The enemy uses distractions to keep us busy doing something else while we do nothing about our real calling. These distractions may not be bad things, in fact many times they are good things, good causes, legitimate pursuits. However The Lord did not assign you to pursue these things. The enemy entices us with success, riches and fame in the secular world. He tells us that the whole world will worship us and be friends with us if we pursue these distractions. If we do not focus on God’s will and purpose for our lives, we will begin to give heed to satanic lies and begin to pursue distractions. Continue reading
Three decades ago as I watched Pat Robertson on the 700 club The Lord touched my heart. I joined brother Robertson in prayer and something broke in my heart. The yoke of rebellion that had held me bound was broken and I was set free. In spite of the issues I brought with me from the world, there was something very clear in my heart: I knew I was called to preach the gospel. It was as clear to me as daylight. Deep within me there was something which pulled me in the direction of ministry. At that time I was in the university but all I wanted to do was take the gospel to the world. Nothing else mattered to me. What I experienced was the stirring of a calling. While I didn’t fully comprehend the ramifications of the stirring in my heart, I prayed and asked The Lord to guide me to do His will.
A calling is what you have been assigned to do and accomplish for Christ in the kingdom. Every believer has a calling. When you accepted Jesus into your heart, you were not only delivered from darkness and translated into the kingdom of light, you were also brought into alignment with your calling. This assignment or calling is what you should focus on and pursue for the rest of your life. Your assignment can be in any area of life. It may be in business, politics, government, writing, arts, science, church, etc. Although it may involve making money but your assignment is not primarily about making money. You may be called to innovate, to invent, to birth new ideas, to create unique services and products in business. This will attract riches into your life. You must understand that everything in your life serves a purpose to please The Lord. The riches you attract in business are not just for you to live like royalty but to further the cause of Christ; for you to use to deepen and extend the reach, power and influence of the kingdom. Continue reading
1 Kings 18:19
Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table.
In the days of Elijah the Tishbite, there were three categories of prophets in the land of Israel.
The prophets of Baal.
The prophets who ate at Jezebel’s table
Elijah and the prophets of The Lord.
The prophets of Baal openly served their sex and fertility god called Ashtoreth. Their worship of this evil deity wasn’t hidden. It was known to all that these particular prophets were absolutely dedicated to the worship of Ashtoreth. These were evil men who didn’t even pretend to follow Jehovah in any way.
Then there were the four hundred prophets who ate at Jezebel’s table. Jezebel was the daughter of a king who worshipped Ashtoreth. She married Ahab king of Israel and brought her Ashtoreth/baal worship along with her. Jezebel was a wicked woman who loved to be in control of both the political and spiritual aspects of the kingdom. These prophets allied and aligned themselves with this wicked woman because of what she offered them. She offered them royal dainties from her table. She offered them a royal lifestyle powered from her throne of wickedness. These prophets ate whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, however they wanted. There was unlimited provision at Jezebel’s table. There was no restraint whatsoever at Jezebel’s table. Eating at Jezebel’s table represents the unrestricted satisfaction of the desires of the flesh.
Those who ate at Jezebel’s table had certain characteristics. Continue reading
Several years ago Pastor Rod Parsley shared an interesting story in his book. He was invited by a member of his congregation to dinner. This man was into a number of businesses and was quite successful financially. During dinner Rod Parsley noticed that the man was crying and asked what the problem was. This business man then in his 60’s, confessed that when he was younger the Lord had called him into a pastoral ministry. He had delayed and told himself that first he would pursue business and later pursue his calling. It was a mistake. Decades after that decision he was still in business, had made a lot of money but didn’t have time to pursue that calling. The man wept bitterly because he was old and didn’t have the energy he had in his youth to pursue his calling. This story made me realise that even when you are out of God’s will you can still make money. Before then I thought only believers who were serving The Lord in truth made money. But I discovered that contrary to what many preachers taught, having money in itself isn’t a sign of faithfulness to your calling neither is it a mark of spirituality.
Sadly this man’s story is not unique to him. Recently I had a conversation with a business man and I brought up the issue of his calling in life. This brother told me that he wasn’t a business person as such but he wanted to be financially independent before pursuing his calling. He admitted that he liked sharing the gospel with people but he had some bad experiences with some pastors in the past so he decided to raise his own money and use it to preach the gospel the way he wanted and how he wanted.
It all sounded spiritual but this man was in error and didn’t realise it. Was it The Lord who told him to ‘raise money for ministry’ or was it his arrogance deceiving him? There is not one single man or woman who was used by The Lord who was told to “go and raise money first, then start the ministry later.” There is no such person alive. When The Lord calls us to service, He wants us to depend entirely on him and not on our own abilities or resources to accomplish the task ahead. Continue reading
There are people who desire to live a meaningful life, to make an impact in their generation, to bring about lasting changes in certain areas of society. Many want to make an extraordinary mark with their lives. But these same people also desire easy lives where there are little or no challenges, hardships or difficulty. They want to walk on an easy path to greatness.
But there is no such thing as an easy path to true greatness. It is a myth. In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus explained to his disciples that in life there are two paths. The first is the easy path which is wide, broad and crowded with multitudes of people. Although this path leads to destruction, many people choose it because it is the easy way. The second path is narrow, very difficult, leads to the kingdom and there are very few people on it. Jesus said that very few people will choose to walk on the second path because it is difficult. But the mystery of the narrow path is that everything you desire will be given to you and even more. Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, that if we seek first the kingdom, if we surrender our lives to Him in total obedience and walk on the narrow path, all other things would be added to us. Jesus promised earthly and eternal rewards to those who would commit their lives to him to walk on the narrow path. Read Luke 18:28-30. What He told His disciples back then applies to us today. Continue reading
As believers God has promised to guide us by the Holy Spirit. In Romans 8:14, the Bible says that as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. We should learn to discern and distinguish between a green light which means ‘go ahead’ and a red light which means ‘don’t do it.’ Sometimes silence may mean ‘wait’, ‘not yet time’ or simply ‘no’. This is the reason why we need to develop more intimacy with the Holy Spirit and seek more clarity in the place of prayer.
There are times when we sense a restraint in our hearts not to do something, not to go somewhere or not to get involved with certain people or organisations. The restraint of the Holy Spirit is a tug we feel on our heart telling us “Don’t say it, don’t do it, don’t go there, don’t remain in this place.” He warns and gently turns us away or pulls us back from our intended course of action. When this happens we feel totally uncomfortable in our heart with whatever we planned to do.
Sometimes we are in a rush and want to do something because everything seems okay from the natural point of view. The truth is that only God knows tomorrow, He sees the heart of men, He sees things that are hidden in secret, therefore He can guide us to avoid every trap set on our path. When the Holy Spirit restrains us from a certain course of action we must understand that it is for our protection and for our benefit. Continue reading