God’s Higher Calling

God's Message on the Web - My earliest podcasts.

It would be fascinating to listen to people in the different stages of successful marriage discuss the higher calling of marriage. Don’t you think that would be fascinating?

What would a person deeply in love, engaged to be married soon, and genuinely prepared to marry, say about the higher calling of marriage? “The higher calling of marriage is to love. Marriage should make the person feel loved as he or she had never felt loved before. Making the person feel loved is the higher calling of marriage.”

What would newlyweds who had been married a month and love being married say about the higher calling of marriage? “The higher calling of marriage is to feel truly a part of someone else’s life. Sharing life in marriage is an incredible experience! Achieving shared life is the higher calling of marriage.”

What would a couple who had begun their family, who have two small children say about the higher calling of marriage? “The higher calling of marriage is sharing responsibility and meeting challenges together. Having children changes everything. When you can know that responsibility will be shared and when you meet every challenge together, you have responded to the higher call of marriage.”

What would a couple in their 40’s who are advancing careers to support the family and educate the children say about the higher calling of marriage? “Knowing that you are supported, that your mate will be there for you, that you will receive understanding, that your home will be a haven of escape from outside stresses, that is the high calling of marriage.”

What would a couple who have adjusted to the empty nest say the high calling of marriage is? “The high calling of marriage is being friends to each other like no one else on earth can be. To know that you are loved and valued just for being you, that is the high calling of marriage.”

So which of them are right? Which people correctly identified the high calling of marriage? They all were right. They all correctly identified the high calling of marriage at their level of marital maturity. As each marriage grows and matures, the calling rises to a higher level.

  1. Listen to Paul’s statement about himself in Philippians 3:13, 14.“Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
    1. In context, in chapter 3, Paul said, “I could brag with the best of them about what I accomplished as a Jew — my Jewish accomplishments were awesome!”
      1. “But I have absolutely nothing to brag about as a Christian.
      2. “God showed me something in Jesus Christ that never existed through my Jewish accomplishments.
      3. “I want (the presence tense) the righteousness that can be received only through faith as God’s gift.
      4. “I want to be resurrected from the dead in Jesus Christ.
      5. “Christ took my life for a purpose, and I am pursuing that purpose.
    2. “However, I have not arrived; Christ’s purpose in me has not been accomplished.”
      1. That is a fascinating statement.
      2. Considering all the teaching Paul had done.
      3. Considering all the mission work Paul had done.
      4. Considering Paul’s dedication and sacrifice.
      5. Paul was not saying that he, as of that moment, was not saved or had not done enough — the entire context of that statement emphasized that serving Christ’s purpose is not about accomplishments.
      6. Allowing Christ’s purpose be worked in him involved three things:
        1. Forgetting the past (present tense, not living on past failures or successes).
        2. Reaching forward (present tense, extending myself toward the future).
        3. “I press on” (present tense, straining to move ahead).
      7. The objective of allowing Christ’s purpose be worked in him was reaching the goal of the upward call of God in Christ.
        1. The prize was the crown, the wreath, that was given to the victor in an athletic contest.
        2. In this analogy, the goal would be winning, but here winning is not defeating someone else or being better than someone else.
        3. The goal involved a becoming — he fulfilled Christ’s highest purpose for him when he experienced resurrection in Christ.
        4. The upward call of God was always calling him toward the resurrection.
  2. It is in the higher calling of God in Christ Jesus that we see God’s purpose for our lives.
    1. The more we spiritually mature, the more we understand God’s purposes in Christ, and the better we understand God’s purpose for us.
      1. What is God’s purpose for the person owned by evil? “God’s purpose is to call me to repentance.”
      2. What is God’s purpose for the person who repents? “God’s purpose is to call me to the new birth.”
      3. What is God’s purpose for the new convert? “God’s purpose is for me to learn to function as a living part of Christ’s body, to worship, to fellowship, and to get involved.”
      4. What is God’s purpose for the developing Christian? “God’s purpose is for me to share Christ as I nurture my brothers and sisters and reach out to those still owned by evil.”
      5. What is God’s purpose for the mature Christian? “God’s purpose is for me to live by the nature, the mind, the heart, and the attitudes of Jesus.”
      6. What is God’s purpose for the spiritually aware Christian? “God’s purpose is for me to complete the journey. This world and life is temporary. It is just a journey. I am called to be godly in Christ Jesus and to let Christlikeness be the number one objective in my daily life.”
      7. What is God’s purpose for every Christian? “To use the resurrection to bring us home to live with Him.”

Which one is God’s true calling? They all are. Every call we receive in Christ just leads us to a higher calling in Christ. From sinfulness the higher call is to repentance. From repentance the higher call is to new birth. From new birth the higher call is to become a functioning part of the body. From being a functioning part of the body, the higher call is to share Christ. From sharing Christ, the higher call is to develop the heart and mind of Christ. From developing the heart and mind of Christ, the higher call is to complete the journey. From the pilgrimage, the higher call is to come home to God.

No matter where you are in your spiritual development, God always has a higher calling. That calling is always God’s call in Christ. The better you understand God’s work in Christ, the better you understand the call.

Do you hear God calling you?
Hear the call to serve God in ways that are a little more mature, a little more dedicated.
It is not a station to be arrived at — it is an ongoing process.

David Chadwell

Author: Greg

Welcome to Gods Message on the web. My name is Greg and I want to welcome you. I started doing these Podcasts, MP3, and Audio Books back in 2007. Stay awhile and make yourself at home. The Christian Podcasts here are free and for everyone to enjoy. I’m doing a complete series on David Chadwell who is a retired minister from Fort Smith, Arkansas. I’ve also done an Audio Book for Wayne Jacobsen’s the Naked Church. Plus a series of MP3s for Pastor Billy Crone and his The Final Countdown series.

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