Submission To God’s Calling!

Do you know what your calling is in life? Are you sure you are living the life God has intended for you? We all ask ourselves these questions from time to time. We want to know the grand purpose that God has for us. Some people have found their purpose in life and others are still in search of it. Knowing your calling is one thing, but being obedient to fulfill it is another.

I was in search of my life’s purpose for quite awhile. Once it was revealed to me, I then earnestly wanted to know my calling. I had to know my God first and foremost, before I could identify my calling. The Lord has taught me so much, with more to come as His work is not yet done. He has taught me to ask the Holy Spirit to increase my awareness of resentful feelings. He wants me to practice boldly bringing those feelings into the Light of his presence, so that He can free me from them. The antidote to rebellious tendencies is submission to His authority. It is however, easier said than done.

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Some of us have wasted many hours and days of our lives by repeating the same behavior and habits, which provoke us to act like a disobedient child. We spin aimlessly in a vicious circle, saying, “How come God is not helping me?” and “What is He waiting for?” In fact, He is waiting for us to turn to Him. He doesn’t hold anything back from us. He is a good, good God! He intends no harm to us. He is the ruler of earth and heaven. Without his sovereignty the world be a terrifying place. Unfortunately, in some parts of the world right now, God is nowhere to be found. When people call themselves God, they do whatever they wish and God leaves them to their own devices, though He is waiting patiently for them to turn to him.

Whenever we face hardships (sickness, financial difficulties, marital problems, loss of loved ones, etc.) the first thing we or others might think is, “Perhaps it’s a punishment from God.” We blame God for everything and fail to see how patient God is with us. Yes, God has allowed difficulties to occur, sometimes for our sanctification, to cleanse and redirect us. But personally, I don’t see any of these issues as a punishment from God, do you? These unfortunate circumstances are not sin. Jesus makes this clear in scripture.

(John 9:1-3)
As Jesus went along, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,”said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

Sadly, we may become angry, defensive, bitter, or resentful as a result of our hardships. From my experience, (which might not be too different from your own) though I practice to be more submissive to His calling, at times I’m still not happy when something interrupts my plans. Whenever God’s sovereignty “trespasses” on my little domain of control, I’m inclined to react negatively. My reaction might be, “No! why do I have to change my plan? My way seems good for everyone, including me, so how come God doesn’t approve?” I want to go forward with my plan, and resent the change of direction, instead of considering that the reason particular circumstances may keep occurring is because God wants me to learn something from it and grow up.

God graciously reminds me, when my day doesn’t go as planned, to be on lookout for what He may be doing. Accepting His way, not mine, as the better course for my life. Rebelliousness and resentment are weak emotions which have no place in the Christian life. This verse is a reminder of following His way, not my way.

( Isaiah 55:9 )
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

How foolish of me to forget all I have in my life – my family, money, possession and my health are all from God. Instead of feeling entitled to all that He has blessed me, I must respond with gratitude, asking God for direction and being prepared to let go of anything He takes from my hand. But I will never let go of the Lord’s sovereign hand and will strive daily to be humble and compliant to His will. I have memorized the verse below. It helps me to release anxiety, stress, feelings of resentment or any unpleasant thoughts into God’s hand. Confidently I say this – His word will help you in any circumstance in which you find yourself.

Psalm ( 139:23-24 )
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Amen!

Let’s take a look at Jesus’ life (who was without any sin). His calling was to die on the cross for the sin of the world and to rise again, that we may have eternal life through Him. Imagine what would have happened if He didn’t submit to His calling. The world would be a hopeless and terrible place. Would you be willing to brutally suffer and die, taking the punishment of another as your calling in life? No one would do that, but Jesus did. Because He was obedient to the Father God and His life’s purpose. As He said on the cross in (Luke 22:42)
“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
He asked for God’s will to be done, not His. He did it all out love for us.

Here is a question to ask yourself. What is holding you back from your calling?

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A Woman’s Heart!

God has designed this particular woman’s heart mysteriously. Although everyone has a different definition of her heart – Hallmark, books, and movies come close to describing the nature of her heart but somehow miss the mark. This woman is called Mother. What is a Mother’s heart and how can one require? Who can understand her tangible heart? Only another mother. Not even the father of her children can understand. She has not found anyone who cares enough to see her heart through her eyes – where love resides, through her actions or through her smile. On the other hand, the only one who can really understand her on a deeper level is the designer of her heart, God Himself. God has given her the joy of smiles and laughter as well as tears to shed whenever she needs to shed them. And He is the one who counts and puts every drop of her tears in His jar of love. That is why she relies on His promises, because He is the source of all her blessings. As it says in His word below:

(Psalm 147:5)
“Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.”

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Genesis 21:19)
“When Hagar was abandoned by Abraham and sent away to fend for herself all alone in the wilderness with Ishmael, she cried out to God. God “opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave [her son] drink”

No matter how strong a mother’s spiritual walk, no matter how steadfast her absolute trust in the Lord is, she is concerned for the well being of her husband and her children. At times, when she sees her child is hurting, she wishes she could trade places with her or him (whether they are young or adult). When she rushes her baby to the ER in the middle of night, everything within her wishes that the hospital staff and the doctors would hurry up, fix her child and tell her that everything will be okay. While the medical staff do all they can, she is crying inside. But she doesn’t let her young one see her tears. She thinks she can handle and accept any physical pain of her own, but she can not bear the thought of harm coming to her beloved children. All she wants is the best for them. Though her day is brimming with many tasks, she has her children on her mind. Her vulnerability shows her humanity. Though she herself may be broken, she still has the unfathomable strength to comfort her loved ones. She prays not just three or four times a day, but bows down before God whenever she gets the chance. She is a walking prayer. Her unending strength comes from her relationship with God, which makes everything bearable. God’s word says:
“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.” (Isaiah 66:13)

I love how prophet Solomon, son of David (prophet Sulaiman son of Dawud) who wrote the book of Wisdom “Proverbs” in the Bible, describes her, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’” … Proverbs (31: 25-30).

Any woman who keeps her covenant with the Holy God, will grow in righteousness, and God will develop within her a pure heart. We all know the story of Mother Mary in the Bible – the mother of Jesus, who was characterized by God as “Highly favored” (Luke 1:28) The angel appeared to Mary and said,” Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” Indeed Mary was a righteous woman and blessed by God as the one chosen to be the mother of Jesus. But Mary was still an ordinary human used by God in an extraordinary way. She recognized that she needed Jesus Christ as her Savior, just like everyone else. People praised her because she was given the blessing of giving birth to the Messiah. But how different is Mary’s heart from ours as a mother? There is no difference. She was in tremendous distress when Roman soldiers tortured her son by nailing Him to a cross. She was standing there as it happened. I cannot imagine the agony she went through watching Him, who had no sin, lay down his life for the sin of the world. What grieved her heart the most was to see the suffering of her innocent son. He was found guilty of loving us.

Even though Jesus had already predicted his own death and told her of God’s will for His life (betrayal, death on the cross, and resurrection), seeing His mother at His feet in such bitter anguish caused Him even more more suffering. As He was hanging on the cross, He asked His disciples to comfort His mother.

(John 19:25-30) But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the scripture)….

Mary sets the example for us. Some believe that Mary can hear our prayers and she prays on our behalf. But Jesus is our only advocate in Heaven. Mary directed her worship, praise and adoration to God through Christ Jesus alone. “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me — holy is His name” (Luke 1:46-49).

When I am in pain, I call to God for help and healing. My own mom is no longer with us, and at times I would love to talk to her and tell her how much I need her tender touch, love, and comforting words. I wish she could be with me to wrap me up in her loving arms and make every pain go away. How unfortunate it is that some of us take our mother’s love for granted. We think she will never leave us, but eventually there comes a day when she will no longer be with us, though her love lives on, leaving it’s mark in the hearts of her loved ones.

There are many great women who have changed and influenced the world around them with their hard work and, more importantly, their immeasurable trust in the Lord. God has in return lovingly entrusted them with the assignment of motherhood.

As a mother who believes in God through Christ Jesus, I must try my hardest to let go and let God meet my children’s needs in whatever circumstances they may find themselves. I must stop worrying as my children don’t belong to me, they are a gift from God. We mothers, nurtured and taught our young the way to live, to pray and to walk uprightly before God. Then we encouraged them to fly with the wings that they have grown into, those which God has blessed them with. Even with all my vulnerabilities, I know that I have instant access to a powerful tool, as Mary did. I pray and worship God alone; I steal away every moment I can, praying unceasingly – at the sink, preparing a meal for my family, folding laundry, or working outside. I keep gazing at Heaven for direction and guidance to be the mother, the wife, and the person that God has created me to be.

Since we are celebrating the Heart of a mother this week, let us pray for all mothers – whether you are a mother or not, and whether your mother is with you or not, ” May the Lord our God bless you (her) with the love of your (her) children, patience, wisdom, faith, and may He be gracious to you this Mother’s Day and everyday of your life and use you for His purposes in an extraordinary way. In Jesus precious name, Amen!”