Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cutting & Pruning: 11) True Calling

I mentioned back in January, instead of focusing on the same old resolutions that the Lord had pressed upon me to make 2010 a year of “Cutting and Pruning”. He has been guiding me through this process, understanding how we bear spiritual fruit as summarized in devotion 5. Then back in devotion 7, I invited each of you to join me in writing down the major priorities, affections and labors in each of our lives and to spend time in prayer before the Gardener and take an honest evaluation of the true worth of those items. We then went on to read what true fruit will look like as summarized in devotion 8 and how to gauge our specific activities in devotion 10.

I will testify that God has done an amazing work in the cutting and pruning of my life starting even back in September of last year with SoulStock, after 9 years of helping them promote that event, passing the torch. Here lately, God has affirmed and confirmed a decision I have been struggling with for about 6 months in ways only He could orchestrate and has moved in such a way for me to step down from several positions at our church and more fully pursue what God has in store for Ascribing Artists. I say this not as a “feather in my cap”, but to say that God will guide and direct in ways unimaginable, even for a wretched sinner such as myself, if we will but abandon our nets and truly follow after him, Mark 1:18.

Be aware that a Christian who is too busy to pursue God in prayer and in His Word is an ineffective Christian. Believers who are overworked or caught up in this rat race are no threat to the forces of evil. It is said that Satan is content with letting the Believer become overworked even through church involvement if it will prevent the Believer from praying for and pursuing that which he is truly called to do resulting in spiritual fruit. Satan will even convince us that the more we do for a local church the more righteous and effective we are, so we sign-up for this committee and that committee, keep the kids, sing in the choir, teach a class, tend to the building, etc., all the while producing no spiritual fruit. Now I am by no means suggesting any of the above is wrong or not a true calling, because I Corinthians 12:14 states, “Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.” So, the question is not the part itself, but if you are called to be that part. Even good things, when they are not a true calling, can produce the wrong results such as burnout, lack of faith and disillusionment.

May you focus on your calling and move forth in God’s power . . .

Paul LaBathe

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