Called, chosen and faithful

runner-311737_640Revelation 17:14: They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”

Jesus said that many are called but few are chosen (Matthew 22:1-14). And after being chosen, there is the huddle of faithfulness to cross.

The call of God is general. In a parable Jesus said that a man wanted to have a wedding ceremony for his son, he sent people to give a general call, to come to the feast, but different people had different excuses. They thought they had better things to occupy their time with. They were called but due to unwillingness to yield to the call, not choosing their call.

A man came to Jesus, telling him: I will follow you but let me bury my father (Luke 9:57-62). Jesus told him: if you lay your hand on the plough and look back you are not worthy of me. For this man he did not have a problem with responding to the call, but he wanted to do it in his own time. But it doesn’t work like that. We do not get to pick and choose what we want or do not want in the will of God. That is the whole point of renewing our mind, losing it from the former trampling of selfishness, to be aligned with the will of God, to trusting in God and not in the hand of flesh. Responding to the call is choosing to trust him, to commit our life our time to him, concluding that he knows best.

Those who responded to the call are chosen. To be chosen is to be enlisted. Paul told Timothy that he should endured hardness as soldiers of Jesus Christ (2Timothy 2:1-7), and that a man who has been enlisted is not entangled to the affairs of this world, so that he may please the one who has enlisted him to serve.

There is the call to serve, those who are meet the preparatory qualification are chosen. There is a limit to what you can be chosen to do, and is directly linked to your preparation. Everyone chosen by God for an assignment had to go through a time of preparation to fully function in it.

It is not the one who started a race, chosen for it that will be rewarded, but the one who complete the race, who fulfil the will of God to the hilt. That is where faithfulness comes in. The word we would hear from God at the end of time is: well-done good and faithful servant (Matthew 25:13-21). Faithfulness is everything.

Paul warned that everyone who is building should be careful how he builds because our works will be tested of what sort it is, not of how much it is, if we carry out the quality that we should (1Corinthians 3:1-15).

He said that no foundation has been laid that can be laid, except that which was laid which, which is Jesus. The standard of faithfulness is Jesus. The standard of humility is Jesus. That is why the father spoke from heaven: this is my beloved Son, hear him.

But people can build with hay, wood, or precious stones. The question will be: is the work for the glory of God, a reflection of the will of God or not?

That is why we need to renew our minds (Roman 12:1-2), so that we can be continuously aligned with the will of God. That means the will of God is a challenge we should always try to meet, not human preferences. Paul said that he still pleased men, he would not be a servant of God (Galatians 1:10). It means if I have no conflict, and I please all men, it is an indication that we are not serving God, controlled by his opinion, but we are controlled by societal norms, religious dictates, peer pressure, family dictates etc.

We need to renew our minds, break away from our present mind-mould and embrace the new things God wants to do through us. We need to renew our mind away from what God has done in the past so that we can enter into what he is doing now.

The bible says that we should vessels unto honour and not to dishonour by purifying ourselves from anything making ourselves fit for the master’s use, anything that makes unclean, unfit (2Timothy 2:20-26).

God wanted to pour himself into us, but we must be ready, be holy as he is holy. He wants to use you, but you must qualify by holiness, you must qualify by earnestness, by hunger and thirst.

Paul said I have finished my course I have kept the faith (2Timothy 4:6-8). He has exhausted all of God’s mandate in his life. He is not just called, he is also chosen, and he was faithful. He said that I labour more than the other apostles (1Corinthians 15:9-11). He takes his calling serious. Peter said that we should strive to make our calling and election sure (2Peter 1:1-15).

To be faithful is to pass all the test, carry out all the assignment, to the logical conclusion. In a parable Jesus said that a man asked his two sons to help out in the farm (Matthew 21:27-31).  The first said he will not go, but later went, while the second said he will go but eventually did not.

Both began with a specific confession but landed in a different reality. That may mean confession is overrated. It does matter what you say, it is what you do that matters.

Faithfulness is not about how much you can brag, let you work brag for you, what you plan to do, but what you really do. Faithfulness is not in wishful thinking, it is about delivering.

Paul says that he has fully preached the gospel from one end of the region to the other (Romans 15:19). He told the church in Ephesus that he had he preached to them all the counsel of God as he was about to leave them (Acts 20:27).

He did the work of God, by actually doing it, putting his neck to the yoke and getting down to work.  He was not into too much talk, too much planning, too much looking at the situation around, too much analysis. Solomon wrote that if you look at the wind you will not sow (Ecclesiastes 11:4). With over-concern about favourable circumstance, you will not deliver the right result, go in the right direction.

When God was ready to send Moses on an assignment he thought he was not ready (Exodus 3). He was too introspective, God was ready but he felt he was not.

He was called, he was chosen, but eventually he was declared faithful. His initial objection was not relevant in the final analysis. He said no at first, but he still did the will of God and was rewarded for it. God said Moses that he was faithful in all his house (Numbers 12:7), carrying out all the assignment of God, following him fully, at least to that point. That is what was important in the final analysis.

Jeremiah like Moses also thought he was not ready for God’s assignment. Both though they could not speak. But God told Jeremiah: do not say you are a youth, i.e. your age is irrelevant; it is what I can do with you that is important not your age. God told Jeremiah, you will only have to say what I command you and nothing more, and that will for you faithfulness

Amos talking about his call to be a prophet said that he was just tending sycamore trees when God told him to prophesy to his people Israel (Amos 7:10-17), but people around had a different idea about what he should be doing and where he should be doing it, mounting up a persecution effort against him, but he remained faithful to his assignment.

There was a prophet, Micaiah (1Kings 22:1-40), in the land of Israel in the time of King Ahab who was pressured to say what other prophets were saying. All declared a favourable outcome for the coming war that the king wants to prosecute. But Micaiah was unbending in the will of God (which is another definition of being faithful) even under pressure to say something different.

Doing the will of God empowers us with a strong sense of confidence. It is no longer about us but about him. Paul wrote that we should not be weary in well doing because we would have reward in due season (Galatians 6:9). The point is be faithful, it will always be worth it.

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