Saturday, November 25, 2023

What's Your Calling as a Christian?


What's Your Calling as a Christian?

Well, praise Jesus today everyone. I wanted to talk about this topic about our calling as disciples of Jesus, as Christians, and what it means to be called and what exactly we are called to. Now most of us, we know the Great Commission that Jesus spoke of in Matthew chapter 28. “Go into all the world, preach the gospel to all creation, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything that I've commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” So we know we're supposed to baptize people in Jesus' name. We're supposed to live by example. But how does all of this play out in real life? How does it all play out in your life and in my life?

Now there's a couple different deceptions on opposite ends of this spectrum. One is the side of condemnation, that you always feel condemned because the world is telling you that you need to serve Jesus a certain way, and you're not doing that, so you feel condemned. Or on the opposite side of that spectrum, you could be on the side where you feel very justified because you're doing so many things for God. You feel like you've found your niche in Christianity. Maybe you're a preacher, maybe you're a pastor, maybe you lead mission trips. Whatever the case is, you feel very justified that your ministry is valid before God and that you're taking people to heaven. Most of these are dangerous places to be because if you feel condemned by the devil, you will always feel unworthy to follow God, you'll be insecure in your walk with the Lord, you won't be able to walk with Jesus and glorify Him with all of your ability because you'll always be listening to Satan and getting beat down by the devil. But if you have too much confidence, the kind of confidence that is not in the Lord but in your own flesh, then you think that you're doing so much for God and that you're better than other people because you have such a successful ministry, and then you're full of pride.

Now I've been on both sides of the spectrum. I've heard the accusations from Satan. I've seen it in my life and in others. And also on the side that you think that you're the best and that your ministry is really used by God. Back when I was a pastor in church, I really thought I was doing God a big favor, and I would go home after I preached on Sunday or to my youth group, and I really thought that I had just really done God a big favor and that if anyone was led into heaven, it would be me because I had just preached the gospel, I was going to Bible college, and I was doing all these good things for God, so I felt very entitled to go to heaven. And I would just lay down on my bed at night and say to myself, I've done a lot of good things for you God, and I would just feel like I was going heaven. But both of these are dangerous places to be because either of them can make us fall off of the path of the righteous.

So I want to talk about first the deception, hold on a second here, of feeling condemned. Now a lot of us are following Jesus the way He asks, but the devil gets in with condemnation because we look around and we see how other people are witnessing or how other people are living their lives for the Lord. But not all of us are called to be street preachers, not all of us are called to be YouTube evangelists, not all of us are called to be missionaries. Some of you will just be called to be stay-at-home moms. Some of you will just be called to a certain workforce and to be a light to those people at your workplace. So all of us are called to different places in the body of Christ, and we have to accept what Jesus gives us with faith. Now an example of this would be if Jesus has called you to have children and to raise those children, but you feel very condemned that you're not out on a mission trip, you're not on the street evangelizing, the devil's telling you that you're not as strong or courageous as other people because you're just staying at home with your kids. So you start to become convinced that you're not doing anything for God. These kinds of condemnations come all the time, especially to people who are truly believers in Jesus. The devil tells them you're not doing enough, you're lazy, it's not enough just to be raising your children for the Lord, it's not enough to just be a grandma, you're basically just a lukewarm lazy Christian because you're not out there on the streets or preaching on YouTube or going on mission trips, you're just reading your own grandchild Jesus stories and that's not enough, it's insufficient. So if you listen to those kinds of accusations from the devil, you'll get very beaten up, you'll get worn down, you'll get discouraged in your faith, and you'll just be accused by the devil and you won't be having the joy of the Lord in you to speak to your grandchildren or your children anymore, you'll just be beaten down.

So I want to encourage you, if you are the Christian who has received the Holy Spirit, who has received your calling, but the devil continues to accuse you saying you're not doing enough, you need to be like these other Christians who are street preaching, or you need to be doing missions like this other person, don't listen to the devil. If the Lord has called you to not say a word, but to stay in your room and just pray, then you ought to just be a prayer warrior and pray for your family. If that is your calling, then you need to do exactly what Jesus calls you to do without wishing to be a different part of the body of Christ. Remember how even the Apostle Paul spoke about that, the arm can't be a leg, the leg can't be an eye, the eye can't be an ear, but all of us together work as the body of Christ is under the Lord. And only when we're functioning as we should are then we operating in love, how Jesus wants us to. So I want to encourage you that if you're getting accusations from the devil about this, rebuke the devil in Jesus' name and continue to do the things that Jesus has called you to do. For many of us, it will just be simply to stay at home and raise our children, be apart from the world, be apart from dead religion, don't be trying to start a Bible study in your house, don't be letting outsiders in to pollute your kids. Keep your kids and yourself unstained from the world, be a protector of your children, because after all, that is the most important thing you can do as a mom or a dad or a grandma or a grandpa, would be to raise your own family for the Lord. So it's irrelevant if you're doing something that seems good in the eyes of the world with all these people out in public, if your own grandchildren or your own children are missing the gospel and they're off with their cell phones looking at porn and you think you're doing good because you're evangelizing other people. So that's a big snare, guys. Make sure that you don't listen to the accusations of Satan, but you follow the calling Jesus has called you to with your own individual family, even if it doesn't seem like you're doing something big. That is a big accusation of the devil. You're not doing anything big like these other people. If you go on YouTube or if you go on the internet, it looks like all these other Christians have really epic ministries, they're baptizing others, they're speaking in tongues, they're healing, they have healing ministries and reconciliation ministries, and man, you're just staying at home doing almost nothing except watching kids. How boring. But the true gospel is not about sensation, it's not about looking good in the eyes of men, but it is about doing the will of our Father in heaven.

So whatever your calling is, fulfill that calling and be secure with Jesus in the calling that He has given you. Don't try to be like any other Christian or any other person in the whole wide world. Be you that Jesus has created you to be and give God glory in that.

 So on the other side of this spectrum, guys, is the side that we feel justified in having some kind of ministry that appears good before men. Too many Christians fall into this boat. They have a lot of charisma, they are good speakers, they're elegant with their speech, they have big ministries, whether it is online or in a church or overseas, they get partnerships with other people, and it looks to the world that they have a very valid ministry. They have a lot of things published, books published, videos published, literature published, they're selling all sorts of things, and to anyone who sees them, it sure looks like they're really doing God a big favor. But a lot of ministries are not valid before God. We really have to make sure that God validates our ministry and that we're not just doing what we think is God's work our own way. Too many years of my life I served God the way I thought best. And especially when I was younger, I thought that following God was all about going to church and having ministry in a church. I told myself that I would never go anywhere without being in church. Whether I was in Southern California or I moved out of state or overseas, I would always get plugged into a church and do ministry there.

But as time progressed forward and I was learning the Lord's voice, I was starting to learn the hypocrisy in the American church and the church at large around the world, and just how much God does not validate ministries that were not started by His Holy Spirit. And there are many pastors, many organizations that are biblical, they appear to be good on the outside, a lot of people donate to them, but they're serving God their own way. And because of this, they're not bearing good fruit and God is going to cut them off in the end and they will be thrown into the fire. I had a ministry like that for many years and it was fruitless before God. And at the end of the time that I was in that ministry, the Lord asked me, how many people have you made Christians or how many people have become Christians because of your ministry? And I cannot name God one soul who had truly repented as fruit that I had been able to establish. No one had come to Jesus because of my spiritual fruit. No one was following the Lord and that is because my spiritual fruit was bad. I was leading people in the way of idolatry, in the way of false worship, in the way of music of the world.

 And when I realized this, I repented. I left the American church. I left the church at large never to go back and to serve Jesus the way He wanted me to serve Him, not the way I wanted to serve Him. For me, that calling was partially going on the internet and spreading Jesus on Facebook and on YouTube. That really opened up a lot of doors for me because in my personal life, the people personally around me were not listening. And any time that I would try to share Jesus, they would talk over me. I couldn't get a conversation out, whether it was over the phone or in person without getting talked over and the devil just snatching the message out and away from the ears of those that I was trying to speak to. So YouTube and Facebook and being able to upload an entire message without being interrupted was truly a blessing because then the message could go out to everyone in my church, whether their parents or their grandparents liked it or not, and no one could interrupt me. And that was for the glory of God. Now, not everyone is called to go on YouTube.

Not everyone is called to preach on the internet, but everyone is called to live a life for Jesus if they are a disciple. And they're called to witness however they can, whether that's to your own children, to your own wife or husband, to your grandparents, to whoever you're around, you are called to be salt and light. And if you're ashamed of Jesus and His gospel, then He is going to be ashamed of you. That's what Jesus says. And what I found was the people in my personal life, my friends, my family, the people in my church, all of them would talk over me. None of them approved of Jesus and the truth and the truth of His gospel. They wouldn't listen. So my calling was to go on YouTube and start preaching Jesus there to anyone who would listen. And I started preaching Jesus at my work workplace and anywhere that Jesus called me to go. And that was truly a blessing. So as we seek the Lord and listen to Him, He guides us in our calling, the thing that he's called us to do with ministering and witnessing to our family and our friends and those in the outside world. It's like how Jesus said, you know, it will be, I'm not sure exactly how it went, but in Jerusalem and then Judea and then into the far parts of the world. And that's how the gospel started in the beginning. Remember how the early apostles and the apostle Paul were spreading the gospel to people in their own town, their own family. And then when they got persecuted, they spread it to the surrounding regions and then it spread to the entire world. And that is how we have to be. However, the Lord has called us, whatever calling he's called us to, we need to hearken to that calling as His child and then do His work.

Well, I see your messages coming in, guys. I know that some of you are following Jesus with all your heart, and then obviously some of you clearly aren't. Some of you are following the devil. And that's been the same for years and years. That was the same from the very beginning. People from the beginning of when people were preaching the gospel, there was always people accusing the true saints, always people causing trouble. So if there wasn't anyone trying to cause trouble and speak evil of the apostle Paul and speak evil of me and of you, then we probably would be part of the false gospel. But it's a blessing when people are speaking evil of us, because that's more confirmation that we are with Jesus Christ. It's a blessing to be slandered for His name, to take persecution for Him, and to know that the devil is against us.

So don't be ashamed wherever you are, whether it's with your family or in the workplace to stand up and to talk about Jesus to be salt and light. Whenever God gives you the opportunity. I have noticed there are some people that are full of demons who want you to speak about Jesus just so they can mock you. And those are the kinds of people that you want to ignore and immediately rebuke them in the name of the Lord and walk a different direction. In my life, there's been times where demon possessed people would literally follow me around and I had to rebuke them in the name of Jesus until they left. Very similar to the Apostle Paul, who had a demon possessed girl following him around saying this man preaches the resurrection of the dead and preaches Jesus Christ or whatever that demon possessed girl was saying. And then the Apostle Paul had to rebuke that demon and cast it out. It will be the same way if we follow Jesus. People will try to, they will try to smear the gospel. They'll always be looking for a way to try to smear us to make us look like we're a lunatic or just lying or out of our mind. But keep in mind, they did this to Jesus. They did this to all the disciples, even family members and friends of people that follow Jesus will turn on you if you really put your faith in Jesus Christ. So this is to be expected. And if no one is opposing you, then maybe, you know, maybe we are on the side of the devil if no one is speaking evil against us.

So I want to encourage you to find that calling from Jesus, whatever it is. If he's called you to go online, then be a testimony for Jesus online. If he's called you just to be a testimony to people in your family and be a testimony to them. If you are a grandma and you took in a grandchild because your children ended up in prison or in jail or dead, then be a witness to your grandchild. Teach them about Jesus Christ. Get some Jesus books and read the stories of Jesus to your grandchildren so that they may have the truth of God in them and not all the pollution that comes from the Internet and movies and all that garbage that is out there.

So at this point in time, I want to pray for those of you who are part of the body of Christ and who want to know what the calling is, what Jesus is calling you to do. I want to pray for you because each of us in the body of Christ are to bear good fruit. Jesus wants us to always be producing fruit for Him so that we can produce more fruit. In the parts of us that aren't producing fruit, He wants to cut off and prune so that we can be more productive for God's kingdom. “So Lord Jesus, I pray for those who want to be filled with your Holy Spirit, who want to despise this world and despise what is evil, I pray for them that they can be filled with your Holy Spirit and have direction in your name. I pray that we will not listen to the words of lying lips, of lying men and women and false prophets and people who want to make us unfruitful. But I pray that we can truly find our calling in you to preach the gospel, to live holy, to shine as a light to our family members and friends, to our children, to our grandparents and whoever may be in our life. We pray that we can just be upright and pure wherever we are and that we can just stand for you, always being the salt and light that you call us to be, Lord. I pray for those who are wanting to be set free from sin so they can be ambassadors for your kingdom. I pray that they can be unshackled, that they will confess their sins and that they will truly repent and be reconciled to you, Lord. In your name I pray. Amen.”

 Well, you can overcome in Jesus' name. If you pray in His name, if you set your heart on Jesus, He will give you the power because Jesus is able to set us free from sins. He is able to put you on the straight and narrow path. He is able to put in your heart His calling and to give you everlasting life. He loves you, He loves our souls, but we have to obey Him, love Him back and follow Him the way that He wants us to follow Him, not the way that we think best, the way He thinks best. So keep praising Jesus, go with Him with all your heart and don't listen to the lies and accusations of Satan.