The value of striving to find out what God wants for us and from us cannot be overstated. It is our highest calling, our ultimate goal as Christians; trying to do all that we can and be all we can to please God as it is revealed to us.
Not all of life is challenging and unsettling but unfortunately, sometimes it just is: seeking comfort from God is what we do and should do in times like these. There are also heavenly comforts not because we need it in hard times but a way of living with less anxiety and fear when we take the time each day for prayer and quiet time. Comforts and consolations are promised and thankfully passed down to us in good times and bad.
Yet, there is more to our life with God than just feeling good and inward hardiness. Trying to do everything we can to please God is higher-reaching, more eternally meaningful and more impressionable to God; this is our highest calling. It is the difference between seeking the gift or the giver; the receiving and giving. The closer we get to wanting to please God the more we recognize that there is a divinely ordered disparity between, I am the Comforter and Thy Kingdom come Thy Will be done.
For some confidence and courage seem to come easy; through life they are fearless and certain. But for most of us confidence is hard fought and a long time coming. We keep pressing onward until heaven bolsters and builds up the interior; courage and confidence seeded and growing over time through grace and faith. Confidence and courage that gives us strength to try again; often rising from the ashes of scorched relationships, unrealized expectations and failures. The strength and courage to build again, believe again, and hope again.
Yet, there is a higher calling than courage and confidence. Pleasing God is our highest calling. Thank God for every ounce of courage and strength God gives us, but we must be willing to try to please God even when we feel weak and vulnerable. Once again there is a divinely ordered disparity between the spiritual grit that I can do all things through Christ that strengths me and a contrite and willing heart that strives upward to Thy Kingdom come Thy will be done.
Asking for direction through thoughtful prayer is fruitful and rewarding. Moving through our days with little thought of asking God for guidance and permissions is a sure way to live a less fulfilling life than we could; failing to consider how God might view what we want to do or be and only thinking if an outcome serves us well. Just ask some of us how much of a mess we can get into on our own; suspecting we are not without fault at one time or another of either ignoring God’s Will or failing to pause long enough to find out what it might be.
Solomon with all his faults, did not seek riches or honor from God but sought the Wisdom of God (the Will of God) to govern the people of God. God was moved and gave Solomon both riches, honor and Wisdom. God is moved when we sincerely desire to do His Will, giving first place to His guidance and permissions as we know it and learn it. This is our highest calling over all that we hold dear, above all heavenly gifts or blessings; and even more any earthly Godsend.
Paul writes about this high calling in Philippians, Not that I have already attained, or perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind. Philippians 3:14-15
Joseph C. Hutchison, Rochester Hills, Michigan, October 2019
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