Are you “called”? In the Bible, there are many references to people being called: Moses was “called” by God to deliver Israel from bondage, Jesus was “called” out of Egypt, “called” a Nazarene, and Paul for one says that he was “called” to be an Apostle of Jesus Christ. I’ve met so many people over the years who tell me that they too have a calling on their lives, they believe that they have been called by God to be one thing or another, Apostles, Prophets, Teachers; some giving themselves religious titles or given them by others without any proof associated with the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that many are called but few are chosen.
If you want to be a follower of Jesus, it’s not enough to seek to be called, you need to study to be chosen. The Apostle Paul charged Timothy, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15). And Paul would know. Paul was an educated Pharisee, approved by the rulers of the Jewish religion- he knew it better than anyone, but he doesn’t send Timothy off to University for a proper education so he can be approved by men to carry forth the Gospels, Paul tells Timothy to study to ”shew thyself approved unto God,”.
Most modern Biblical education systems spend years teaching theory on the works of Calvin, Luther, and others, and topics like tithing, and the adoption of Christmas and Easter, among other heady Christian religious things that don’t add one bit of life to a Christian.
Elisha is another example of one who studied to be chosen. He spent so much time with Elijah, that he knew that there was something more in going onward. Each time Elijah told him to wait behind, Elisha wasn’t having any part of that. He was HUNGRY for God. He wasn’t taking no for an answer. Along the road, many other prophets tried stopping him, but he wanted a double portion- and pressed through until he got it- approved by God.
Are you that hungry? Are you studying every day to be approved by God to be a “good and faithful servant?” Or, are you a modern Christian with only enough time for the two hours on Sunday morning? Let me give you a real warning! Not everyone- including many Christians, will enter into eternity. Jesus says that he wishes you were either cold (did not accept him at all), or hot (following hard after him); but because you are lukewarm, he will spit you out of his mouth. How can you say that you believe in the two most important Commandments if you aren’t going to study to know His ways? How can you say that you love Jesus if you only know the religious figure and not the Living One Himself?
This is NOT about being able to quote Scripture off the top of your head, it’s about intimacy with God. This also isn’t necessarily an individual thing. Find someone in the spirit who you can seek that intimacy with together. Talk about it in your homes, in the streets, with the joy that comes with it. If we aren’t rising to our heights, we’re sinking to our depths.
The LORD spoke through the Prophet Hosea, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” (Hosea 4:6) Thou hast forgotten the law- Principle 1. He continues,
“As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame.
They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity.
And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings.
For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the LORD.
Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart.” (v7-11)
This is the reflection of OT Israel on NT “Christianity.” Come out of religion and find that intimacy with the Living Jesus- study to be chosen.