Romans 11: 29 “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance”.
Every member of the Body of Christ has a calling. It is vital to know what God has called us to and to recognise the gift and equipping God has given us. Only as we learn to hold that gift and equipping in humility, will we fulfil our calling and function in the Body of Christ. The gifts are given to extend the Kingdom of God on earth and glorify God, not to elevate man in his glory.
Humility is key to holding our gift to the glory of God. If I am using my gift to elevate my image before men, instead of Christ’s, I am heading for a fall. Pride comes before a fall. My pride is the enemy of God’s glory and He will not give His glory to another. 1Peter 5:5 declares “…for God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble”.
If I refuse to walk in humility, God will permit circumstances to move me out and another member will take my place. No person is indispensable. I will not lose my salvation but I learn the hard way that God will not give His glory to another. His gifts to mankind are for His divine purpose to elevate Jesus and His kingdom. Self glory has no place here. Learning obedience is key. We learn obedience by surrender – surrendering our will to the Lord in exchange for His. This is how Jesus, our Pattern Man, learnt obedience in His humanity as the Son of Man, yielding His will in exchange for His Father’s, (Hebrews 5:8).
If Jesus, in His humanity, had to learn obedience, then so must I. God is not looking for willing people in their own strength, otherwise man would glory in it declaring, “Well, at least I was willing”. The apostle Paul exhorts: “…..Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you BOTH TO WILL AND TO DO of His good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and arguing”, Philippians 2: 12-14. God is not put out by my unwillingness to do His will, but He is seeking for me to surrender my stubborness in exchange for His will. As I humble and surrender my will, just like Jesus in Gethsemane, “….nevertheless, not My will but Thine be done”, Luke 22:42, then God works His will in me and makes me willing and able for His good pleasure. His is the work, His is the credit/glory. Then I discover that His good pleasure is my good pleasure! His will is sweet, mine is bitter.
How does a disobedient man become obedient? By humbling himself. God is not looking for special people, He is looking for surrendered people.
Philippians 2: 7-9 speaking of Jesus: “He made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men……He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name”.
God works the transition in our lives, engineering circumstances by which we can learn obedience by humbling ourselves and surrendering to Him in the conflict. Here we learn to say the following words, as Jesus did in far more dire a circumstance than we will ever face: “Put away your sword. Shall I not drink the cup My Father gave Me?”, John 18:11. Will we?