MISPERCEPTIONS

14 Jan

People don’t always know who they really are. They don’t fully comprehend their calling, or the role they play in the lives of others. Some overestimate thier importance, while others underestimate thier contribution to the lives of those around them.

Jesus fully understood who he was and the role he was to play in God’s kingdom. So did John the Baptist. When the Jewish priests and temple assistants asked John if he was the Messiah, the prophet Elijah or some other, he said ” I am a voice crying in the wilderness, clear the way for the Lord’s coming.” I don’t think it can get much clearer than that.

When Jesus returned home to Nazareth with his disciples, the locals said to one another.” Where did he get all this wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?” Then they scoffed ” He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.” They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him.( Mark 6:2-4)

These people had only known Jesus as the local kid who grew up in Joseph and Mary’s household along with his brothers and sisters. When his healing power manifested, they couldn’t accept it, comprehend it, nor appreciate it –for the simple fact that he was one of them– a Nazarite. Even Nathanael, who would soon be disciple of Jesus too, commented on Jesus’ home town saying “can anything good come out of Nazareth?” But these things didn’t sway Jesus at all. He knew why he had come, who his Father was and was fully aware of his earthly mission.

In the book of Judges we see another famous character who hadn’t a clue as to who he was or his divine purpose. The Israelites were living under the harsh rule of the Midianites, who had no problem conviscating their sheep and cattle, not to mention stripping the Israelites clean of all thier crops, leaving nothing but the bitter taste of dust of thier mouths. Israel needed a leader, but no one was volunteering for the job. So God drafted an unlikely man for the mission.

Gideon, the son of Joash, was hiding in the family wine press, keeping himself and what was left of the family grain out of view from his enemies, when the Angel of the Lord appeared to him. The first words out of the heavenly messengers mouth were these. “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!” Obviously shocked and taken aback, Gideon replies ” Sir, if the Lord is with us, why have all these terrible things happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about?

The Angel, shoots right back at Gideon without hesitation and says ” Go with the strength you have and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”  Gideon, still doubting the words of the angelic messenger replies; “How can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Mannaseh and I’m the least in my entire family!”

Then the Angel of the Lord speaks those immortal words that have been spoken for centuries to the patriarchs, from father Abraham to the great Apostle Paul. “I will be with you”. With those four simple, but profound words, Gideon took courage and defeated the enemies of Israel.

Gideon didn’t fully comprehend his calling until God spoke his word through the Angel of the Lord.( Judges 6:11-16) The Apostle Paul didn’t understand his divine purpose until he met Jesus on the road to Damascus.( Acts 9:1-19) Daniel did not know he was highly esteemed of the Lord until he experienced an angelic vision while fasting for 21 days.( Daniel 10:1-10)

Many times we miss out on the blessings of God for the simple reason we don’t fully understand who we are in Christ! The Bible says that we are blessed, highly favored, sons and daughters of God, and more than conquerors through Christ. The word of God tells us explicitly that we are seated with Christ in heavenly places. Just as God called men and women long ago to follow his will for their lives, so God calls each of us to his will–his plan.

The Bible says ” Our lives our hidden in Christ”.(Collosians 3:3) If that statement is true, than it only makes sense that we will never truly discover our kingdom purpose until we surrender our lives completely to Christ. Do you understand who you are in Christ? Has your heavenly calling been confirmed in your heart?

If you are reading this and still struggling with your calling , do this. Saturate yourself in God’s word. Spend quality time alone with God in prayer. Commit yourself to a local church and build relationships there. Be willing to serve others with a humble spirit. In time, God will reveal his plan and purposes to you, and show you who your really are in Christ. If he did it for Moses, Gideon, Daniel and Paul–he’ll do it for you too!

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