Life is full of choices. And one of the more difficult choices we have to make concerns those times in life when we feel like our lives have stalled and are not going anywhere. We feel like we are stuck and maybe even being held back. We find ourselves fighting the fight, hanging in there hoping that someday we will break through. But how can we tell when we should stay and persevere and continue the fight, and when we are being called to something new and to move on? How can we know that we are living the life that God intended? How can we discern our calling? How can we know that we are making good choices?
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“But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publically maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.” – Acts 19:9
Paul spent three months in Ephesus, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. Some believed, but some were swayed and became obstinate and refused to believe. So Paul left. And he took his peeps with him. Paul went at it hard for three months. But whether three months, or three years, or three days, there came a point where Paul was able to determine that there was no more that he could do. He was called to something new, obeyed, and then moved on.
For us to make good choices, we have to let the Word of God and the voice of God guide us. See Paul moved on to Tyrannus, where ALL the Jews and Greeks who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord! If Paul had stayed in Ephesus, all of Asia would not have heard the Word! See because Paul obeyed his calling and moved on, so many others were saved, and Paul excelled. Acts 19 goes on to say in verse 11 and 12 that “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.” How awesome is that? What amazing things are we capable of if we step into God’s calling in our lives? What might God do with us? How might God use us?
Now don’t take this as an excuse to be a quitter. I am not advocating quitting. But how can tell when we are to move on, or when we are to persevere? There is no magic answer. Only God can reveal to you this, and in His own way. But there are things that we can do to set us up for success. Primarily we can study what it means to persevere in God’s calling by reading God’s Word and studying the life of Jesus Christ. Second we can seek advice from pastors, elders, and others of strong Christian faith who God brings into our lives. You can tell who to listen to because they are armed with the Word.
But how do we know for sure that God is calling us to do something? I have asked various pastors this question and the answer is the same. When it is coming from God there will be no doubts. You will know. If you are not sure, then you have not heard. God will make His voice heard. One time in particular when I was trying to discern God’s calling in my life my friend and pastor Randy told me, “You will know. It will keep you up at night. You will not be able to get the thought out of your head. That’s when you know.”
But knowing and doing are two different things. One of the ways that we can ensure that we step boldly into God’s calling is by surrounding ourselves with people of faith who will support s in our journey. That’s why it is so important to attend a good church, and getting into a small group and bible study where we spend time together in the Word and in fellowship. This is super important so that we can encourage each other, pray for each other when we fall or when we are struggling, hen we just need come advice. We all need this. We are a fellowship of believers. We need to be there for each other, as the Bible tells us, loving our neighbors as ourselves. And when we spend time in God’s Word, surrounded by a fellowship of believers, we will set ourselves up to listen, hear, and follow God’s call. And we can start to live the amazing life that God intended for us.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you so much for this Word, and your Promise. Help us to hear your voice, and know your calling in our lives. Give us clear purpose. Fill our minds with immeasurable peace. Fill our hearts with love, more love, immeasurable, unbreakable, unstoppable, unending, everlasting, eternal, love. Help us to be bold and to fulfill our purpose and use the unique talents and gifts that you have given us. Help us to take action today and get into a small group that studies the Word of God together Lord. We give you all the honor and glory, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Today’s full reading: Leviticus 18,19; Psalm 13; Acts 19
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