December 20, 2018

God Is Calling You

The beginning of the year is often very exciting for Christians. It is a time when many are still filled with joy because of their celebrations of the Gift God has given us through Jesus Christ. It is also a time when everyone is eagerly looking forward to what blessings God has in store for us. We find valuable lessons about how to live for God in the new year in the account of Mary’s visit with Elizabeth (Luke 2).

Imagine the joy these women felt as they considered the miracles God performed by placing within them these children of promise. I pray that you have discovered the special purpose that God has given you. If you have, then you know the joy that these women must have felt. If you have not yet recognized it, remain faithful and keep praying for it, because God Himself wants you to have it even more than you may desire it for yourself.

All of us have been given some special work to do for God. As we think about new beginnings, it is important for us to count every day as a precious opportunity to fulfill those purposes of God. 

It may not be easy. God’s purpose for you at this moment might require significant effort and sacrifice on your part. But it is a gift from God designed just for you. Never allow yourself to be cheated out of God’s gift because you were unwilling to try.

Bringing Forth the Gift

This reminds me of a lesson I learned many years ago, when I took my wife to the hospital for a routine appointment. After she went in for her visit, I took my seat to patiently wait for her in the waiting room. That’s when the screaming began. This visit had gone from routine to alarming as I heard different women in distress in various areas of the building. I can only laugh now as I imagine the look that must have been on my face as I asked, “Kinachotokea hapa?” (“What is happening here?”)

Thankfully, the nurse assured me that there was nothing to worry about. She explained that in this part of the hospital there was a maternity ward, and the screams I was hearing were simply announcements that a new gift from God had arrived in the world.

Sometimes we have to endure a struggle to bring forth the gifts that God has given to us in this life. Don’t be cheated out of these things by running away from the difficulties that are part of the process that He is using to bring them to you. Hard work and sacrifice are often necessary to overcome the enemy and claim the blessings that God has for you. Never underestimate the power that comes from praying faithfully. Then make the effort to trust God enough to work faithfully to accomplish the calling that He has given you.

God’s Purpose for Us

The Bible tells us that at the sound of Mary’s voice, when she entered Elizabeth’s home, Elizabeth’s baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. God often brings people to us whom He places in our lives to support and encourage what He is doing, just as Mary did for Elizabeth. We should pray for and fellowship with the people who will make the “baby” God has given us “leap” within us.

There are others that the enemy seeks to place in our lives who seek to destroy what God is doing. There were those who could have told Elizabeth that she was too old to have a child, or that she was crazy for thinking that she had indeed heard from God. It is crucial to prayerfully discern which people are counseling wisely with biblical caution and which ones do not have the faith to believe what God has told you. Once you know that God has truly shown you the way, never waste one minute entertaining those who seek to interfere with that purpose.

As you get ready for the new year, take time to pray and think carefully about God’s purpose for you. Pray, seek godly counsel, and then work toward the vision without doubting God. Look for people who will pray with you in support of that vision, and do not pay attention to those who are tearing down what God is building in you. If you can trust Him and ask for His help, you will indeed find that you can do all things through Christ who will give you the strength (Philippians 4:13)!

The original version of this commentary was posted on the blog of the East-Central Africa Division.