Pastor Elie Hamuli
Understanding the nuances of God’s calling and its impact on our lives is an enlightening journey that empowers us to embrace our calling. While we each possess unique attributes and flaws, God’s call is intentional, and tailored to our distinct qualities. God’s knowledge of those He calls demonstrates His approval of the unique assignment He has prepared. This is crucial for bearing witness to Christ’s presence, allowing our light to shine, and guiding others to Him. The stories of Jonah and Job provide profound insights into what it means to embrace our divine calling.
In the opening verse of the book of Jonah, we find a precise description of who he is. This underscores that God’s callings are never arbitrary; He knows precisely whom He calls. God, in His infinite wisdom, considers every strength and weakness when making His selection. Just as God’s meticulous design is evident in creation and humanity, He’s also aware of every detail in the assignment He has entrusted to you. This knowledge carries significant implications.
Firstly, being known by God is a testament to His approval of you as His chosen instrument. He will not select someone He does not know. In fact, God knows you better than you know yourself, and if He has chosen you, it’s because He has wholeheartedly approved of you (as seen in the story of Moses in Exodus 3 & 4). Secondly, this knowledge enables Him to appoint you for a specific task, making use of your weaknesses for a divine purpose. Therefore, do not underestimate yourself or doubt your ability to fulfill what God has called you to do. He’s considered every aspect of your being, knowing that even your weaknesses will serve a purpose in your assignment (see Jeremiah 1:4-5).
In verse 2, the word “arise” holds particular significance. In this context, “arise” means to stand up, embrace, and walk in the gifts and calling that God has bestowed upon us. Ephesians 5:14 emphasizes that there is light for those who arise in their calling. Moreover, Matthew 5:16 states that your good works are only visible when your light shines. It’s crucial that Christ’s light radiates through your actions. Job’s introduction in Job 1:1 and 8 highlights that his light preceded any mention of his possessions or abilities. This light is the fear of God; thus, your primary attribute should be the fear of God.
Furthermore, your light should shine brightest outside the church, where darkness is most prevalent. This not only glorifies God in your success but also ensures that people see Christ rather than yourself. Consider Joseph’s story, where the Lord’s presence with him led to his success (as seen in Genesis 39:3). This can only happen when people know you walk in the fear of God, intensifying the brilliance of your light.
The fear of God is intimately linked with holiness. Holiness doesn’t imply the absence of sin but rather being set apart from the common. The challenge isn’t being in the world but being of the world, blending in with others (as mentioned in John 17:14-15). You can only make a meaningful impact when the difference is unmistakable. This must be evident outside the confines of the church, as people will follow your example when they perceive this difference.
Sanctification, the process of being made holy, equips you for a special role in God’s plan. God uses individuals who stand their ground and find their foundation in Him. It’s essential to differentiate between righteousness and holiness. Righteousness is a fixed position, while holiness is progressive. It’s something you grow into, demanding discipline. However, remember that discipline isn’t a legalistic constraint but a guiding principle that leads you toward the goal of holiness. Strive for a harmonious balance in your pursuit of holiness.
In conclusion, making a genuine impact in the world necessitates being set apart to draw others to Christ. You must rise in your calling by revering God and embracing holiness. Extremes can hinder your calling, as Satan is an extremist, whereas God embodies balance. Disruption of this balance leads to disharmony. Satan may push you to extremes. On one hand, you might become overly “religious,” making it hard to connect with people you want to help find salvation. On the other hand, you could swing too far in a “carnal” direction, unintentionally getting in the way of others. Striking a balance between holiness and being relatable is essential.
Consider Peter’s story (you can find it in John 14:1-10). Initially, he was too humble to let Jesus wash his feet. Then, he went to the other extreme, asking for a full-body wash. Jesus explained that foot-washing was enough because he was already clean. This story highlights the importance of finding a balance. So, aim for that harmonious equilibrium as you pursue a holy life.
As you heed His call, remember that He knows you intimately and has equipped you for a purpose that transcends your individuality, enabling you to shine your light even brighter in an increasingly dark world.