Matthew – God’s Purposes
Believers use the word “called” often when describing God’s purpose and action in us and through us. Being called of God is not just for preachers. We are all called as true followers of Jesus to a variety of tasks, at just the right time and place, with the words to say and the ability and strength to say them with God’s love and purpose for His glory. Whew, I know that was a long sentence but isn’t that what being called…or “invited” to join God in His work, as Henry Blackaby explains, all about when we really think about it?
I highly recommend to all of you to take some time to go through the workbook study of Experiencing God by Blackaby. This tool of God’s transformed me at a stage in my life I needed it most. Here are a few quotes:
“Will God ever ask you to do something you are not able to do? The answer is yes–all the time! It must be that way, for God’s glory and kingdom. If we function according to our ability alone, we get the glory; if we function according to the power of the Spirit within us, God gets the glory. He wants to reveal Himself to a watching world.”
God will call us with the invitation “follow Me” from a successful life to a more rewarding, fulfilling life with Him. You can count on the task being too much for you to handle. Always. God uses His work to grow us into all He intended for us to be since our creation.
“The reality is that the Lord never calls the qualified; He qualifies the called.”
We say yes…God does the rest.
“The Holy Spirit doesn’t need to equip you for what you’re not going to do, so if you’re in rebellion against Jesus and refusing His right to be Lord, He doesn’t need to send the Holy Spirit to equip you for service. And, tragically, you miss out on the joy that He brings. So let the Holy Spirit deal with anything that’s keeping you from obeying Christ.”
“We don’t choose what we will do for God; He invites us to join Him where He wants to involve us.”
“Some spiritual leaders try to be more committed. What they need is to be more submitted.”
“The fact that God can bring character development and personal growth out of any situation is conditional on people’s willingness to submit to God’s will. God is sovereign over every life, but those who yield their will to him will be shaped according to his purposes. When God directs a life for his purposes, all of life is a school. No experience, good or bad, is ever wasted (Rom. 8:28). God doesn’t squander people’s time. He doesn’t ignore their pain. He brings not only healing but growth out of even the worst experiences. Every relationship can be God’s instrument to mature a person’s character.”
“You cannot stay the way you are and go with God.”
So, here we come to the “calling” of Matthew. Matthew is sitting in his daily spot doing what he has always done, when Jesus comes and invites Matthew to leave what he knows and go where Jesus goes. “Follow Me”, invites Jesus.
Matthew 9, NKJV
Matthew the Tax Collector
9 As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.
10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, [b]to repentance.”
QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT
Have you experienced God in this way? Have you been invited, like Matthew, to leave what you know, only to say, “I can’t do that now, I’m not ready.” “I’ve never done that before.” “I’m afraid.” “Oh, that would cause too much stress for me.”
OR did you say yes, like Matthew, to God’s invitation? What were the results? Did God receive glory?
Blackaby reminds us that God does not NEED us to do His work. Shocking to our systems, I know, but this is true. God, all mighty, does not need us but He invites us so that HIS glory can be seen in and through us. He calls us to tasks well beyond our abilities so that we may learn more about God, depending on God, from the experience! The God experience also draws us into a much deeper, more intimate relationship WITH God! Hallelujah! Praise God!
Now, how do you feel about saying Yes to God’s invitation to join Him in HIS work?
“When you offer yourself to God as His servant, He first expects to shape you into the instrument of His choosing. He will always work in you before He works through you.”
Allow this to happen and see what happens next!
“Right now, God is working all around you.”
“Jesus was the Son of God. Yet He never took the initiative to dream a dream or launch a new ministry. He lived His life in absolute dependence upon His Father. If Jesus was that dependent on the Father, then you and I should realize how ludicrous it is for us to set out on our own without any direction or guidance from the Father.”
― Henry T. Blackaby, Experiencing God
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for reminding us this morning that You are God and we are not. You call us out and invite us from time to time to your work to seek and to save the lost around us. You are always at work in our world that you created. Help us see You at work. Help us to listen as your servants for your invitation to join you. Help us to be flexible and pliable as you shape us for Your work. Thank you for the awesome opportunity to join You, knowing you don’t really need us to fulfill your purposes but you want to invite us and grow us in the process because of your care and love for us. Wow. Continue to do what you need to do in me. I’m listening. I’m Yours.
In Jesus Name, Amen