Bible Ballistics: BBs #521 Others May But I Cannot???
I read a tract many years ago, in fact I still have it, that impacted me and brought conviction and a comfort– that what God asks me to do, He may not ask you to do; or vice-versa! While we are all saved “by grace…through faith” we are not called to the same work of ministry, the same convictions, or the same responsibilities! God calls us all to bear the “fruit of the Spirit” in our personal ministry, but he also calls some to places of responsibility, burdens, convictions and trials that He doesn’t ask of others.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is
against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ’s
have crucified the flesh
with the affections
25 If we live in the Spirit,
let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:22-25
And when we walk in The Spirit, it is a walk of faith and obedience—even when others don’t understand the constraints that God has placed upon us personally. I have learned through the years that when God calls me to something, or even away from something, I must obey even, in fact especially, when others don’t understand. And sometimes it causes hurt, because people will think that we are hard-hearted or unfeeling, but the call to obey God is our prime objective. Oswald Chambers says it best in his amazing book “My Utmost For His Highest”—that is our goal (and if you’ve never read this book I encourage you to get it and read it through this year, it is one of my ‘go to’ books that I’ve read through on many occasions!). Just as Ezekiel was called to be a ‘watchmen’ to his people, yet he wasn’t very popular, but he did what God asked him to do—even strange and seemingly crazy things, he obeyed. So must we come before God with that kind of heart?
“Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel:
therefore hear the word at my mouth,
and give them warning
18 When I say unto the wicked,
Thou shalt surely die;
and thou givest him not warning,
nor speakest to warn
from his wicked way,
to save his life;
the same wicked man shall die
in his iniquity;
but his blood
will I require at thine hand.
19 Yet if thou warn the wicked,
and he turn not
from his wickedness,
nor from his wicked way,
he shall die in his iniquity;
but thou hast delivered thy soul.” Ezekiel 3:17-19
There are lots of “fluff” preachers and teachers today, but those who are calling people to repent of sin, and turn to Jesus in faith are not the ones being lauded today! But it’s the message that God has delivered throughout HIS Word and throughout history! Who’s listening to the watchman? Not many! But when God gives a call, a conviction, a ministry, an understanding of truth, then we must “stay by the stuff” regardless of the responses of others! I/You must seek to obey Him no matter the response of others. Our kindest attempts can and will often be met with disregard or even rejection, but we must do that which HE calls us to do! Even as Job endured!
“So thou, O son of man,
I have set thee a watchman
unto the house of Israel;
therefore thou shalt hear the word
at my mouth,
and warn them
from me.” Ezekiel 33:7
“Though he slay me,
yet will I trust in him:
but I will maintain
mine own ways before him.” Job 13:15
And Job and Ezekiel could do what they did because their confidence was in their GOD not their circumstances—Ezekiel was captive in a foreign land, Job was tested in ways that he couldn’t understand, yet they stood fast in their call and their GOD for they knew He would deliver and their reward wasn’t necessarily in this life!
“For I know that my redeemer liveth,
and that he shall stand
at the latter day
upon the earth:” Job 19:25 Amen!
Our call is to faithful trust and obedience, and when we draw near to our God He will always prove Himself faithful, even when we face obstacles of misunderstanding, rejection or even as Job proclaimed—“yet will I trust him”! You see it isn’t dependent on our popularity, or the acceptance or rejection of others, our spiritual ‘success’ is dependent on our God, who will “supply all your need…by Christ Jesus”! Oh what glory!
May we continue to deliver the message, fulfill the ministry, follow the call, or, as Oswald Chambers calls it, continue in the ‘mundane’ that God sets before us! It’s all about HIM, and our objective is calling others from the broken cisterns of their lives to the “living water” that IS Jesus! Jeremiah gives a vivid picture that parallels the message of Jesus!
“Hath a nation changed their gods,
which are yet no gods?
but my people have changed their glory
for that which doth not profit.
12 Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this,
and be horribly afraid,
be ye very desolate,
saith the LORD.
13 For my people have committed two evils;
they have forsaken me
the fountain of living waters,
and hewed them out cisterns,
that can hold no water.” Jeremiah 2:11-13
“But whosoever drinketh of the water
that I shall give him
shall never thirst;
but the water that I shall give him
shall be in him a well of water springing up
into everlasting life.” John 4:14
Amen and Amen—go forward in your Lord’s call, regardless!