Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“There hath not failed one word of all His good promises.”
1 Kings 8: 56
“Oh, for faith that does not make haste, but waits patiently for the Lord, waits for the explanation that shall come in the end, at the revelation of Jesus Christ! When did God ever take anything from us without giving us something manifold in return?...Is today the limit of God’s working time? Those who attain to an eminent degree of Christian grace know how to wait.”
Today’s Study Text:
“And Hathach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai. Again Esther spake unto Hathach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai; ‘All the king’s servants, and the people of the king’s provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden scepter, that he may live; but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days.’ And they told to Mordecai Esther’s words.”
Esther 4: 9-12
“Nurturing The Embers of Hope”
“I’ve Not Been Called” Part 26
“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
If God called me to work for Him, how do I think I would respond?
What do the words “there’s a calling upon your life” mean to me personally?
How would I know if there was a “calling” upon my life?
“Our call is to a holy confidence and humble dependence: We are to walk through life with our heads high, knowing it is Jesus who loves us and qualifies us for His purposes.”
“There is no man living who can do the work God has for me to do. No one can do it but myself.”
D. L. Moody
The man who spoke the words above was not an individual with an easy life. With eight siblings, Dwight Lyman Moody’s mother sent him away from home where she was assured he was getting enough to eat. His father, a small farmer, died at the age of 41 when Dwight was only 4 years old. When Dwight turned 17 years old, he moved to Boston where after many job rejections, he found work in his uncle’s shoe store.
Who could have ever imagined that the young shoe salesman was in training to become one of the greatest Christian evangelists in history. One of his uncle’s requirements was that if he employed Dwight, he had to go to church each week at the Congregational Church of Mount Vernon. Through the work of his Sunday School teacher, Edward Kimball, Dwight began to understand how much God loved him and thus he gave his heart to Jesus.
I found it rather shocking to read a quote by Dwight Moody’s Sunday School teacher regarding the reason Moody’s initial church membership request in May 1855 was rejected:
“I can truly say, and in saying it I magnify the infinite grace of God as bestowed upon him, that I have seen few persons whose minds were spiritually darker than was his when he came into my Sunday School class; and I think that the committee of the Mount Vernon Church seldom met an applicant for membership more unlikely ever to become a Christian of clear and decided views of Gospel truth, still less to fill any extended sphere of public usefulness.”
I read this quote to my husband Jim even though it brought tears to my eyes, because he has been so blessed in his spiritual life as I have by the ministry of Evangelist Moody. Reading these words got me to wondering about our inability at times to encourage those around us who may well be called by God. Too often we just aren’t spiritually inclined enough to recognize the working of the Holy Spirit on the lives of others who God has called to a task we simply can’t understand.
But I want to even go a step further. Over the years here in Transformation Garden, one of the most frequent questions I get asked is this: “How can I know what God has called me to do for Him?” I find the words penned by Henry Blackaby in his book Spiritual Leadership to be profound as they reassure each of us that God needs all of us: “All Christians are called to develop God-given talents, to make the most of their lives, to develop to the fullest their God-given powers and capacities.”
In my own life, I’ve been told that God wanted me to be a nurse and I worked hard at being the best nurse in every place where I worked. And then, when Jim and I went to work assisting over 400 charities around the world by helping them raise the funds they needed to accomplish some of the best work I’ve ever witnessed, I felt that indeed we were doing what God had put in front of us and asked us to take up on behalf of Him.
When Transformation Garden got started, I have to be honest, I felt that just maybe, especially writing as a woman about the Bible, that I was off track. To be truthful, I’ve had more than one person I’ve known for years tell me they could never imagine me doing what I’m busy doing today. I found that other people’s ideas for my life didn’t include a Garden where we pray for each other and we study God’s Word together.
When others question what you may perceive is your calling, you can actually get to question things in your own life as well. However, I want to share words penned by Mark Elfstrand and I must be honest, he wrote this advice in his book 10 Passions of a Man’s Soul. But I found this passage to be the perfect counsel for both men and women who feel God’s call upon their hearts and want to move forward on the pathway God has created just for them:
“If you want to satisfy your calling, follow the desires of your heart as God gives opportunity and directs your spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Person of God who gives you internal guidance. The closer you draw to God, the closer He gets to you through the Holy Spirit. That’s how you validate your ambitions.”
I absolutely love these words for if we ask our Father in heaven to empower us everyday with His Spirit, as occasions arise where He wants us to step forward for Him, not only will we be given the power and strength to accomplish all He calls us to do, but He will also give us the wisdom we need.
And here’s what else will happen – our Father will prepare those around us as well. For when we move under the guidance of the Spirit, every step will be placed in a spot where God has already cleared the way.
How do I know what I’m saying is true? I need to look no further than Esther 4: 11, where a young queen had to face the catastrophic fact that the entire Jewish population in Medo-Persia had been ordered to be killed.
Her beloved cousin, Mordecai, told Esther that she should “go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people” (Esther 4: 8, K.J.V.). When Esther received this message, we are told she gave a “commandment” to Mordecai or as the Hebrew word “tsâvâh” means, she gave an “order,” a “charge by messenger to Mordecai.” Make no mistake, this wasn’t some soft-spoken, whispered directive. Rather, this was “Esther – Queen of Medo-Persia” informing the man who sat at the king’s gate that, as we are told in Esther 4: 11, “All the king’s servants, and the people of the king’s provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden scepter, that he may live; BUT I HAVE NOT BEEN CALLED.”
At this moment, with everything from all outward appearances stacked against her, Esther wanted her cousin to understand that she wasn’t the one with the calling upon her life. She wasn’t the person with the ability to change the rules of the Medo-Persian government. Someone more powerful – someone with more ability – someone with better government connections had to get this job done. Actually, at that moment in time, God had asked Esther to do something bigger than she could imagine! Bigger than she felt she could even attempt! That’s how our Father works. When we know we are in over our heads, that’s the very moment God’s power will be all we need! Little did Esther know that by the time she arrived at the king’s palace, that the golden scepter she hadn’t seen in 30 days would already be extended, awaiting her arrival.
By the way, lest we forget Dwight Lyman Moody, that “unfit” young man, denied membership the first time he applied at Mount Vernon Church. The boy with a “dark spiritual mind.” Well, praise God, He saw what others didn’t see. And not only did God have His eye on Dwight, He placed His hand on Him as well. Today, we call D. L. Moody the greatest evangelist of the 19th century. Only in God’s heavenly kingdom will the results of the calling of God upon the life of Dwight Lyman Moody truly be seen. And who knows, the same will be said about God’s calling on your life as well.
In the words of Mrs. Cecil Francis Alexander penned in 1852:
“Jesus calls us;
o’er the tumult
of our life’s wild, restless sea,
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth,
Saying, ‘Christian, follow Me.’”
From ‘Andrew Rykman’s Prayer’
“If there be some weaker one,
Give me strength to help him on;
If a blinder soul there be,
Let me guide them nearer Thee.
Make my mortal dreams come true
With the work I fain would do;
Clothe with life the weak intent,
Let me be the thing I meant;
Let me find in Thy employ
Peace that dearer is than joy;
Out of self to love be led
And to heaven acclimated,
Until all things sweet and good
Seem my natural habitude.”
John Greenleaf Whittier
“Who works the best, his simplest duties heeds;
Who moves the world, first moves a single soul.”
Charles Francis Richardson
“This is the work which I know God has called me to; and sure I am that His blessing attends it.”
The Journal of John Wesley
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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