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Called by His Name by TaJuanda Michelle

Called by His Name by TaJuanda Michelle

Rev. Crystal January 15, 2016 0 comments

Called by His Name by TaJuanda Michelle

When you are called by the name of Christ it is so beautiful. He lifts you up by His life and gently leads with very specific instruction. It is not a forced obedience but rather a perfected obedience inspired by God’s love as a Father teaches a child. It’s good to read scriptures on what Jesus’ relationship was with God the Father; the oneness they had, how Jesus cared about the Father’s will and how His servant mentality impacted the world around Him. When we become followers of Jesus who obey God we may wonder, is it a prosperous plan? Sometimes there can be a level of clouded thoughts of what will be the outcome of obeying God? Will I fail? Am I worthy to do such honorable work? Will something happen to me and I can’t handle it? Will what God is calling me to do be subjected to humankind’s opinions or judgements that are hurtful? Will I be persecuted for my faith because I obeyed God about something? There are these moments where we have to simply trust God’s word and leading because God is sovereign and allows the Holy Spirit to have its way in us. It is best pursued when one decides to submit to God’s word and experience God’s amazing presence along the way.

A former pastor of mine once learned to trust God. He didn’t know everything that would come of his life nor of his actions but he knew God gave him two choices to do ministry. He mentioned that God told him one option would bring a much greater reward than the other. He didn’t know everything but he was a man who walked with God, came to a crossroad of choices and God would be pleased with his simple act of obedience regardless of what he had chosen. He understood His Father’s voice. He chose the option which would reap a greater reward for the Kingdom. Much fruit came out of his obedience; he saw souls being saved and lives being changed for eternity. There is this aspect of trusting God when we can’t see profits according to man’s standards but we must understand the eternal value of our decisions to the Kingdom before the Lord. This is where walking by faith gets strengthened as we take the action of obedience in the call.

Walking by faith is our only way to please God. Before Christ as sinners, the sin nature took preeminence. If one’s desires are rooted in sin, disobedience can happen. The pursuit of this however leads to death and no fruit comes out. Repentance is what Christ calls for here. There is a deceptive carnal way of living that can continue if we take advantage of God’s grace. If we don’t understand we are called by His name, into the Kingdom of light. The enemy can promote that we choose self-will over living the life in the faith in the Son of God as if our lives are our own; as if we ought to set the standard of the way of life when it can only be established through Christ. We are called by His name out of darkness into a new life in the faith in the Son of God. Because of this we must learn obedience by following Jesus and what it means to endure for the Kingdom of God.

There are many things that are needed to be an obedient child of God. First is to be thankful for the cross. Here we are forgiven, God holds no sin against us, our fellowship with God is powerful who convicts us and sanctifies us. The reverential fear as He instructs us is real here and in fear of God we are not encouraged to fear man. We are deeply satisfied by His love because it removes all fear. Another thing is to understand what this measure of grace is. When grace is given to us we can be granted a very abundant measure specifically for us to be forgiven and blessed to know Christ’s lovingkindness. When God gives us grace He teaches us how to live in faith. It is God’s granting of grace which encourages us to leave the past behind and surrender our life to God.

Submission is a real act of faith because we aren’t always seeing the immediate prosperity of our obedience. Blessed by the work of the cross we are fellowshipping with the sovereign God who loves each of us and desires to fulfill what He calls us to do. His sovereignty establishes our ways in Him and in obedience to God’s word a change begins to take place. It is here that being called does not just include submitting to God’s work but also being translated into His likeness. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18, KJV) We can operate as children knowing Him as the Heavenly Father. God isn’t asking us to be perfect in and of ourselves but to believe in Him as we take each step in faith. Christ is the ultimate example, allowing us to be instructed by His holy spirit. He is God and man, calling us to live a life in Him. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (2 Corinthians 2:6-7, KJV) We are the ones who needed a savior and what better it is that our Lord and Savior Jesus can totally identify with humanity yet also uphold the righteous nature of God. “For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.” (Colossians 2:9-10, KJV) Keeping our focus on glorying in God instead of ourselves is real here. In His image love gets expressed, truth gets displayed; life is manifested from Heaven for us as His beloved children. There is a blessing here that is much more valuable than silver and gold because we find our value in Him. Value that could never been taken away.

It’s for God’s good pleasure which is so pleasing that there is mercy extended by God even when we make mistakes. We must have a repentant heart of humility however in those moments. It’s what Christ calls us to do and because of the finished work of the cross we can have this transparent conversation with God. A genuine relationship with God takes honesty even when the conversation is hard to have. He desires for us to know the truth in love. After all, real fellowship doesn’t come with honesty just so the two who share it can grow distant but rather that trust is established. Trust is established when God is faithful to be who His word says He will be. The faith in the Son of God is a faith that comes with blessings and when it is the believer’s life is in the bosom of Christ and continues to be strengthened in His life in Christ. God’s guidance remains true but there is something about knowing our place to ensure meekness of heart before the Lord. It can only come from Christ. When there is grace there is rest and every circumstance gets taken care of. Sometimes there must be a way to simply acknowledge the sovereignty of God before giving up instead of being anxious about our works. Christ never gave up on the cross so we must live unto Him and move forward in faith; trusting that God will strengthen His life in us in all things.

Copyright 2016 TaJuanda Michelle

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About The Author Rev. Crystal Rev. Crystal Schmalz is a licensed minister in the United Pentecostal Church International, holds a Master of Divinity degree from Urshan Graduate School of Theology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Humanities and History from Michigan State University. Crystal has served as a staff chaplain at Barnes Jewish Hospital, has completed five units of Clinical Pastoral Education, and is a member of ACPE. She served as a ministry staff leader for ACMNP in Yellowstone National Park and enjoys the beauty of God’s creation. She served on staff at Life Christian Church pastored by David Stephens doing outreach, guest coordination, youth leadership, Sunday school, and music ministry. She currently attends New Life Center pastored by Garry Tracy, and is involved in teaching Sunday school, preaching at nursing homes, teaching Bible Studies, and helping people connect to God and community. Crystal loves to spend time with her husband Luke, and her hobbies include writing, “thrifting,” eating ice cream, and playing Settlers of Catan and Scrabble with friends and family.

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