16 I do not cease…making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding (heart) being enlightened; that you may know (experience) what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches (wealth) of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe… (Eph. 1:16-19)
Paul prayed that people receive revelation of how God views their calling. Paul wrote by the Holy Spirit, so we know that this is a prayer that Holy Spirit wants us to ask so He can answer it. Many people pray this all the time without knowing God wants them to, and that he even suggests it in the Word. People ask God what they are supposed to do in their life and if they ask with faith He will answer. So we know that we can receive revelation of what we are called to do, and we know we must ask.
We are all born with a desire to do something with our lives that is significant and relevant. We usually decide what is significant based upon that which what the world esteems, what will impress our families and loved ones. Unfortunately that which esteems by the world is not always esteemed by God, and may not be what we are called to do. We must come in agreement with what God esteems significant and what He esteems for our lives. This requires resisting the secular values that seemingly ‘make sense’ to us.
The truth that God gives 99.9% of us ‘small’ assignments offends a lot of people. The spirit of revelation upon this truth can spare people much anxiety and frustration. They are broken-hearted when they discover that their sphere of function is small because they formed their expectation of their destiny in this life by getting a big vision for success in man’s eyes not God’s. If we knew the true nature of being in authority over someone, we would instead desire to be yoked to the Lord and minister to only those He gives us.
“My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.” James 3:1-2. The stricter Judgment is related to that which we taught and the example we give by our word and deed. Not that its bad to be a teacher, we all teach those God puts in our lives. But increasing our authority out of selfish ambition and not obedience ambition is the danger.
Some get a word to start a ministry and build the whole thing themselves for the Lord. This is not how the Lord does it at all. Everything we have is given to us by God. The calling to start a ministry is a calling to sit and listen to God and partner with Him in what He releases to you. That which you do, you do in obedience to Him. I believe ihop-kc to be such a ministry and of course there are many more to different degrees.
21 You were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. (Mt. 25:21)
17 You were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities. (Lk. 19:17)
Now these verses above relate to how being faithful in our external calling will impact what we are trusted to do in our eternal calling in heaven. It takes revelation to see the exchange of the “very little” in this life to “government over ten cities” in the age-to-come or the exchange of the “few things” now to “many things” then. The Spirit gives us confidence that our weak activity the small number impacted is valuable to God, makes us successful, and has an eternal reward.
It is important to seek confirmation on directives for our external calling especially. John Paul Jackson believes that many have moved to nicer climates without confirmation from the Lord and are missing part of their destiny. Jer 3:11 I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you. Now Paul said we are to learn to be comfortable in both being abased and in abounding. Being loyal to be obedient to what the Father has for us is so very important.
Many who are now “last” in privilege and prominence will be “first” in authority and impact in the age-to-come when Jesus returns.
30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first. (Mt. 19:30)
14 Many are called (invited to greatness), but few are chosen (worthy to rule). (Mt. 22:14)
We have all heard the Matthew 5 beatitude ‘And the meek shall inherit the earth.’ Another way to say it is ‘to the degree of our meekness, is the degree of our inheritance.
27 God has chosen the (so-called) foolish things of the world (Mt. 5-7 lifestyle) to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the (so-called) weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty…29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. (1 Cor. 1:27-29)
Our primary calling in this life is internal. The lifestyle Jesus outlined in Matt 567 of serving, giving, fasting, praying and forgiving that is foundational to our call is weak in the eyes of men. The Holy Spirit gives us confidence that our weak activity is valuable to God and has an eternal reward. This seems too hard and somewhat unrewarding. We must have faith (confidence) that our calling to so-called weakness as a disciple is valuable to God. This revelation equips our heart to rejoice in the “weak and small things” of the Kingdom instead of despising them. Only with this perspective can we consistently live wholehearted. We are empowered to do this by being transformed daily into His image by praying the Word and radically apply it to our lives. We will be especially evaluated on Judgment Day for how well we did this on each day.
Also sometimes the revelation of our calling comes step by step, piece by piece and we must just be faithful with what is already in our lives. The Scriptures are full of internal calling pursuits like being mighty in the Scriptures, to help establish vision for where our lives are going.