Being Ready When Jesus Calls


“Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord which exercises loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.”  (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

Our title this week causes one to think about preparing for the next life, but I am referring to being ready to serve and live NOW! The Lord has many things for all of us to do and there is no excuse to mope around and say you have done all you can do. We can start a prayer group or at least a prayer journal. We can ask the Holy Spirit where He wants us to give our money to bless someone. We can volunteer our time and energy to a local mission, food bank or shelter. We can start going to Wednesday night services to support those who are teaching and working in ministry. God is not being silent in this last hour! He is speaking to all who have (spiritual) ears to hear what He is saying. Knowing Jesus is THE MOST wonderful experience in this life and in the verse above we see that knowing Him is to realize that He desires to pour out His Spirit of truth and love to all people. He is waiting to empower and fill those NOW who are reaching out to Him in FAITH! Amen!

I want to tell you a true story about what happened to me several weeks ago. I was scheduled for an interview at this church we have been attending lately, as I had applied to become their worship pastor. I had been practicing for a couple of weeks just trying to knock some dust off and was feeling good about the opportunity. I was feeling positive and looking forward to following whatever the Lord wants in my life until the day of the interview, when it seemed everything went sour. I had a frustrating day at work and ended up working much longer than I had planned. I became so sleepy on the way home that I collapsed in the bed for a power nap and ended up not having time to practice. On top of my anxiety, I had a headache along with sinus trouble and was growing hoarse. By the time I was ready to leave to my appointment I nearly called and cancelled because I just did not feel prepared or “in sync” with what I was getting ready to do. Yes, I was being ambushed! The enemy was breathing down my neck with his negative influences of insecurity and was doing everything he could think of to cause me to surrender. About half way there, I was asking Him to help me and in His presence I sensed that He was trying to get my attention. I know that prayers were going out for me and I believe with all of my heart that the Lord intervened in my situation. It came to me that I was like a designated hitter on a baseball team. They practice all the time and need to be ready even though they may not see action but just every now and then. They may sit for a week but when the game is tied in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and the winning run is on third base, it is time to deliver. This is not the time to go crying to the coach about what a bad day you have had. When your name is called – that is not the time to allow your pity party to “derail” you and defeat your mission. I continued to listen intently to this scenario going on inside of my spirit; I felt the Lord say, “You can take one of two directions, you can go in there and whine about how you have been overwhelmed with anxiety and apologize for being in this weak condition – or you can lift up your head, put a smile on your face and walk in the faith and confidence that I AM going to do MY will THROUGH YOU!” He was trying to relay to me that it is really not up to my flesh anyway, so why do I believe that it is all up to how well I perform? Of course I wanted to do the best I could but it was more about TRUSTING Him beyond the way I “felt.” So, when I pulled up, His peace and love surrounded me and I could see things in a broader perspective than just focusing on poor pitiful me. I walked in like I was excited and greeted everyone with an air of charisma. We went into the sanctuary and they pulled their chairs in a half-circle, with me in the middle and began to ask questions and eventually wanted to know if I could play them a song. I played a song and they asked for another. I thought they might need to talk about the interview between themselves but they asked me if I could lead worship on a Sunday morning in the near future. I said of course and they put me on the schedule and I left knowing that God had strengthened me by His power. Amen.

Let us remember that our enemy is going to try and stop us whenever we choose to follow God’s will by assaulting us with negative influences. This tactic works many times without him ever actually having to do anything else. In this light, we can see that in most situations it is our “reaction” to circumstances that makes the difference between failure or success. Selah. My wife reminded me the other day that she had heard a minister say recently that our first reaction to difficulties is to DO SOMETHING. We have an automatic security system or protective reflex in our subconscious that tells us we need to “deal” with the problem. How many have realized over the years that many things we cannot fix in our own power? What about times when we have done everything we can think of and we still have no progress or success? Instead of becoming so absorbed in trying to make something happen, we need to stop and see what God wants to do! I received a very encouraging letter this week from a fellow minister that said when we become exhausted of our own works and fall before the feet of God in frustration and humility – then God can begin to breathe life into us and truly start to use us!

We are always talking about how our spiritual eyes need to be opened and I agree completely, but what exactly are we trying to see? Our praise songs say that we want to “see” God and that is wonderful, but as awesome as it is going to be to someday see Him, it would seem even more breathtaking to get to KNOW Him NOW! If we continue in this way of thinking, to really know Him would be to know how He thinks, and to realize His thoughts and desires would allow us to have a revelation of what He expects from us. We have a tendency to not really spend a lot of time thinking about what we cannot see or feel because there are so many other things that are tangible and accessible in this natural realm that wants our attention. Humans are easily distracted and easily influenced. Selah. By the way, I did lead a Sunday morning worship service for the church and everything went great! They called me this week and said that I was one of the leading candidates but they had decided not to fill the position at this time. May the Lord use all of us in the right place and in the right time for His glory. I have spoken to several other people lately and there are some opportunities on the horizon. I just need to keep encouraging myself and being “ready” for when He calls.

For those of you that are a little discouraged and wondering what is going on with your spiritual mission – take the time to get alone with God and begin to write down all the things that He is blessing you with right now. If your joy is low, you can re-fill it anytime you want with quoting God’s Word that promises to love you and help you. Speak positive confessions OUT LOUD until your spirit overflows and convinces your mind and fills your heart! We must take the initiative to run into the name of the Lord where you will find peace, strength and safety. Selah.

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