…the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
Now Paul prays for his readers that the eyes of hearts will be opened. In other words that his readers would be able to see the bigger picture, and understand their place in it so that they would know what is the hope of Christ’s calling. God has not only chosen us, He has called us, which in itself infers purpose. In essence Paul is praying that dreams and visions will be released because that is the way the Holy Spirit reveals purpose to God’s people in fulfilment of Acts 2v17-18, In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
There are two reasons why God wants our eyes to be opened to our calling – fruitfulness and focus.
There is perhaps nothing more frustrating than being a square peg in a round hole. There are times in our faith journey when we may feel that we are doing a work for God simple because we were the only ones available or that were willing. Such willingness is commendable, but eventually if the activity is not in line with our calling we can become unsettled and even frustrated even though we are doing a work for the LORD. In fact there will be times when the need is pressing and we have to step into meeting that present need, regardless of our calling. However God did not create us to be robots but to be people of passion and destiny so if we find ourselves perpetually in a ministry or work that is not our calling we will get discouraged.
This is why it is important to seek God as to the anointing and calling that is upon our lives, so that we can give ourselves to that which is both necessary and satisfying; because lasting fruitfulness comes out of ANOINTED service rather than just willing service. In my experience the best way we can discover our calling is to ask the Holy Spirit to give us Kingdom dreams and visions. In fact they may already be the dreams that we have right now, or perhaps the dreams and visions that we have put to one side because of a lack of opportunity or discouragement. Whatever the state of those dreams and visions, asking God to impart, clarify or rekindle these Kingdom aspirations is a great way to pursue God’s will for our lives.
Once we have an idea of what it is that God wants us to do it is much easier to stay focused and on course. Temptation comes to us all, but one of the keys to resisting temptation is having the goal of our God given calling firmly fixed in our minds. This was clearly Paul’s own personal experience as shown from Philippians 3v13-14,
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. If we realise who we are in Christ and know that we have been called by Christ, then temptation loses its edge because we will be jealous for our calling. When we gain this degree of focus then the trappings of this world are revealed for what they truly are – temporal, and we will want to invest in those things that are truly eternal.
So what is the definition of a Godly calling?
While writing this blog my teenage children have been watching The Pursuit of Happiness with Will Smith. It is a heart warming well presented film that tells the story of a man tenaciously pursuing his goal to get out of a poverty trap into a lucrative career. However the film equates the acquiring of wealth through adversity and hard work as the fulfilment of that pursuit. The truth though is that wealth is a poor evaluation of happiness because it is temporal. Jesus version of happiness found in Matthew 5 v3-10 is eternal –
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
If our dreams and visions are in line with these criteria then we can be sure that we are pursuing Godly calling.
OUR PRAYER TODAY
Heavenly Father, thank you that You have chosen and appointed us to be fruitful. May the eyes of our understanding be enlightened; that we may know what is the hope of Your calling upon our lives, and release dreams and visions into our hearts that we may be focused and fruitful in our service to YOU.
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
9 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.