We are living in a world which says that I can do just as I please. Well, in the western democracies we do. We have this right and that right and it’s all about me being boss in my life. We are not answerable to anyone but ourselves. Hardly surprising then that we have widespread social breakdown and misery.
So we can do what we please as and when we choose to. We can act as if we are god in our lives. But there is one thing we cannot do, and that is to tell God our Creator what he is going to do. NO SIR !
He does the telling and we do the listening and obeying. That stands to reason in my mind. How can we act as if we are god in relation to the One who is GOD ? Impossible, but we do try.
And one of the areas we try is in choosing God or rejecting God.
There is a widespread fallacy in the Christian church that we can choose to follow God or we can reject him. It’s our choice. Well, in one sense it is. Certainly no human being or human organisation has any business to tell you whether to believe in God or not, and indeed which god to believe in. No-one can decide that for you, no matter how convincing they are, no matter how much they try to tell you. That is your business alone.
No, what I am talking about here is whether you get to choose God, or whether He chooses you. And the Bible is abundantly clear. GOD DOES THE CHOOSING.
The Groom asks his Bride to be !
We reach in our study of Mark’s Gospel this time the passage where Jesus calls the disciples, the men who were the original apostles. In chapter 1 we read of Jesus calling Andrew and Simon [whom we know as Peter] firstly and then James and John. All four were fishermen, and all 4 left their nets and their jobs IMMEDIATELY to follow Jesus and be with him wherever he went. THEY LEFT ALL AND FOLLOWED JESUS IMMEDIATELY.
All 4 men were going about their daily business and Jesus approached them out of the blue. They were not looking for him. Oh, they might have heard one or two rumours about him and wondered, but they were just getting on with their lives when JESUS WALKED IN.
And they knew full well who had just walked in and who it was who was calling them to leave all for a new life with him – learning from him and obeying him. They just knew, and they knew that they must go with him NOW.
You see when God comes to you personally, you will know. And you will know that you must respond. Please note that Jesus himself came – he did not send a representative or tell these fishermen to join some organisation or Church. No, he came himself and he called himself: it was to him personally that they committed themselves.
ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT. The allegiance of every Christian is to Christ himself first and foremost. You may join a church, but it is because you come to Christ that you join. No church is to be God to you. NONE. That is called Idolatry. No the church – the true church and all true ministers of God – will always, always, always point you to JESUS CHRIST in all things. If they don’t, GET OUT. You are in danger of being led astray.
You are only of any use to any church if you yourself are a member of Christ’s Church – Christ’s Body. And only the church of true believers is of any use to you or anyone else if it is itself part of that Body of Christ.
The true church will always exalt relationship with Jesus himself as your God. ALWAYS.
But back to the calling of these four men. They were called not only as disciples, as those who now belong to Christ as their Lord and Master – the one with the right to direct their lives in all things. They were called also to a specific task. They were called to be fishers of men.
In my long experience of these things, I have noticed that God often calls people to himself and that he will turn their given, natural talents or skills in this life to a spiritual end. If you think about this, it makes sense. God orders our lives and what we do – yes even before we are called by Him. And God gives us our natural abilities in the first place. He made us.
Now, let me make one caveat here immediately. It may be that a person is called to Christ but that somehow their primary natural abilities and talents or skills have yet to be used or to become evident. This can happen. Then once a person becomes a believer, their aptitudes also become apparent in a new way. That can happen.
But let me make this observation also. When a person is called by God and added to his Church – his spiritual church – then they also have a task within the church. They are gifted to serve. I firmly believe that every believer is not only called to obey Christ, but they are also called to serve Christ – and to serve Christ, we must all serve him according to the gifting his gives, and the gifting he wants you to exercise.
To attempt to serve God in our own way, or according to our own ideas, or according to our own timing and choosing, is disobedient and PROFANE – that is UNHOLY. We must serve in holiness, ie according to
- WHAT God wants done
- HOW God wants it done
- WHEN God wants it done
- WHERE God wants it done
- according to WHY God wants it done
Otherwise we are back to being God in our lives when Jesus Christ alone should be God.
I trust that you will recognise above the teaching of the apostle in Romans chapter 12 and first Corinthians chapter 12 also. I trust also that you will recognise the scriptural, Biblical basis of everything written on this website, too. If you don’t, then you are not reading the Bible enough, and you are not then able to compare what is said here with what the Word of God says. We should all be like the Bereans – Acts chapter 17, verse 11.
So, we are to fall in line when God says, and do what God says. We have a new Commander in Chief – Jesus Christ !