“..as we mature to the full measure of the stature of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed about by the waves and carried around by every wind of teaching and by the clever cunning of men in their deceitful scheming.” – Ephesians 4:13-14
It is sad that today we see so many people living purely through the lens of approval, others opinions, and acceptable by the culture they inhabit.
In the bibliographical gospels of Jesus we see a man able to stand in the middle of many opinions. Yet maintain a steady course, firm in his convictions. A mind set on the cross. His calling, the culmination of his work. The reason for his living.
This often sounds cliche, ‘Jesus was set on the cross’, or ‘Jesus had his eyes on the cross’. But remember he had a human will as well as divine. He had to keep his cool, he had to convince or calm his human side. Even when disciples came and suggested military rule. He had to maintain his choice for God’s plan, laid out. And calm the winds that might change his course.
Although Jesus was fixed on his calling, he was also able to relate, engage, and walk with those around him. He had many voices in his life. Mostly incorrect, we see him correcting people many times. Even his closest friends. Yet he did not despise them for not seeing his potential, nor did he reject anybody. A message we have preached today is that simply to achieve our calling we must ignore and separate from those who do not see our potential. But Jesus teaches another way. To walk with those who will walk with us, and teach them a new way.
We likewise should live daily with our calling ahead of us, but not disconnected from the people around us.
Being connected and being set on your calling requires resilience. As mentioned, Jesus was pulled by his relationships. This is normal, and to be expected.
His mother pushes him to make his first miracle. Which he carried out in parental obedience (aged 30). Possibly to comply with his words that obeying your parents is the first commandment with a blessing.
His disciples push for positions of authority (Mark 10:37). Sometimes, he has to listen whilst a disciple is prepotent. As is the case with Peter, claiming he would never deny Jesus. And watch their stumbling growth. From day one to the cross. Imperfect, yet pleasing to him.
The exception to this rule is marriage. No human relationship takes priority over your calling, except marriage, where your calling is both people’s calling. When we marry we do not separate off bank accounts, projects, relationships from each other. We become one dream. God can use either spouse to compliment the calling of the other.
His mothers heart would be broken by Jesus’ death, yet he must obey God’s will first, over his emotions. However, Jesus made provisions to take care by making John commit to looking after her. Jesus was able to relate, whilst accomplish his calling. He did not accomplish his calling alone. And he certainly did not mistreat or abandon his mother, he left her with his closest friend. This was a sacrifice for both Jesus and his mother, yet both would receive a reward many times over. She would be able to see Jesus for eternity in heaven. His mother was his first believer.
One of the most vocal undertones in opposition to Jesus, was the religious leaders. Jesus was mocked, criticised and pushed aside by the religious leaders. They discredited him. Making him feel like he had no bearing in his life. And he did not ‘fit in’ the religious cast. (Matthew 9:11)
We must remember that in our calling, people will discredit us. It does not mean they are right. It means that they are dealing with something in their lives. Perhaps jealousy, or pride as is the case of the religious leaders.
The voice of religious or blame must be ignored. And in order to overcome this voice, a group of faith-filled friends were there to tend to Jesus’ needs. Something that a group of people who see your potential in God will commit to do.
“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed about by the waves and carried around by every wind of teaching and by the clever cunning of men in their deceitful scheming.” – Ephesians 4:14
Perhaps the strongest voice was the voice of Jesus’ will. Jesus had to confront this voice last. He wanted to be obedient, yet never had he separated from the father, and did not want the cross for the separation it would cause. He overcame the voice of his mind, his soul and his will, as a human.
This is highlighted the night before his crucifixion, Jesus weeps blood, and prays a prayer of request, that the cross pass him. Yes he confirms his commitment to God’s will.
This voice must also be silenced.
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. – James 1:6
Personally, I went through many years of to and growing in my calling, because I listened and craved the voices around me to support me. It still is an area I am strengthening. I am certain that the only thing that matters in the end is decision to do God’s will. The prophecies, if you have a confirmation, can be fully leaned on, worked towards, and invested in.
In order to fulfil your calling, the voices must be silenced. The only voice that matters is your decision.