“….for those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
We are talking about being led by the Spirit of God, and are discussing the signs we will find along our way. Our current focus is upon the seventh sign, which is Purpose. Those who are led by the Spirit will inevitably find their lives filled with a sense of enduring purpose.
Yesterday we discussed two of the three things that help us find our purpose; first, our God-given need to create, and second, our divine mandate to love. Today we will look at the third – the calling upon our lives to be givers, not takers. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
We are told that the devil comes “to steal, kill, and destroy”(John 10:10). I find it interesting that this is the exact antithesis to creating, loving, and giving. God wants us to create; the devil wants us to destroy. God wants us to love; the devil wants us to kill. God wants us to give; the devil wants us to steal.
The Holy Spirit is leading us to become more and more conformed unto the likeness of Christ; this means we are going to be givers! God gives us a heart of generosity, reflected in our willingness to serve others with whatever gifts, talents, and resources the Lord has entrusted to us. What do you have? What are you doing with it for Christ’s sake?
Jesus said, “Freely you have received; freely give”(Matt.10:8). The Message says, “You have been treated generously, so live generously.” It’s a lifestyle we’re talking about.
Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, said, “It is an incredibly difficult task to lead people from a self-centered consumerism to being servant-hearted Christians. It is not a task for fainthearted ministers. But it is what the Great Commission is all about, and has been the driving force behind all that has happened in my church!”
God has created you to create, to love, and to give. This is the upward call that He has placed upon your life. May I encourage you to answer it today? Like Paul, make this your quest: ““I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher, told a story about a goose who was wounded and landed in a barnyard with some chickens. He played with the chickens and ate with the chickens. After a while, that goose thought he was a chicken.
One day a gaggle of geese flew overhead, migrating home. They gave a honk up in the sky, and the barnyard goose heard it.
Kierkegaard said, “Something stirred within the breast of this goose. Something called him to the skies. He began to flap the wings he hadn’t used, and he rose a few feet into the air. Then he stopped, and he settled back again into the mud of the barnyard. He heard the upward call, but he settled for less.”
Is there a chance that this story is about you?
Are you settling for being less than you know in your heart God has called you and created you to be? It’s not just for your sake that you must respond to God’s call on your life — it’s also for all the other meaningful people in your life. The longer you wait before answering, the more annoying your life becomes to those around you. There are few things as disruptive to the peace and well-being of other people than a person who is running from God. How many lives are being distressed because you won’t answer the call?
And besides, are you really that happy clucking with chickens? I didn’t think so.
Tomorrow, we will look for the Eighth Sign, which will be our last. Ironically, it’s the one most people think they are going to see first.