One of the most common statements that I hear from believers is, "Gary, I don't know what my call is. I don't understand what it is that God has called me to do in the body of Christ." This is a very serious condition to be in. Does the Word give us any clues as to how to remedy that situation?
As Luke Chapter Fifteen opens, we see Jesus, the Son of God, Who has left heaven and come to earth to "seek and save the lost" among the publicans and sinners. The religious people of the day, the Pharisees and scribes, were horrified and outraged that a man who said He was a man of God would associate with such people. Their problem was, they did not understand the Father's heart of love toward the publicans and sinners at all.
Jesus begins to teach them concerning their error and the subject matter does not conclude until Luke 17:10. In the teaching on the Prodigal Son, the Elder Son represents the attitude of these "religiously minded" people. The Elder Son was angry that the Prodigal had been restored. The Elder Son was not only unwilling to forgive the Prodigal, he was angry with the Father for having done so.
This unforgiving, judgmental attitude toward sinners was precisely what was keeping the Pharisees and scribes "blind" to the will of the Father for their lives. Jesus was trying to teach them that the Father loved these sinners and had actually sent His Son to seek and save as many of them as possible. After all, that was precisely what He had left His Father's house [heaven] to accomplish.
The Pharisees and scribes were known among the people as being religious leaders who were "supposed" to be serving God in His kingdom. But they did not have a clue as to the true will of the Father for their lives. They had no idea that the Father would also make them "fishers of men" if they would repent of their unforgiveness and judgmental spirit. But without them being willing to forgive, it was utterly impossible for them to give their lives in true service to God by seeking and saving those whom they despised. Unforgiveness and a judgmental spirit would keep them "blind" to God's call for them all of their lives.
This is why Jesus emphasizes forgiveness in two of His most powerful teachings on Prayer: (1) The Lord's Prayer as recorded in Mat 6:9-15 and 2) The Prayer of Faith as recorded in Mark 11:22-26. Unless we keep ourselves in the pure light of God's forgiveness toward all men, we will be forever stumbling around in the dark wondering what our "call" is.
1 John 2:11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
Doesn't that verse precisely describe the condition of the Elder Son? His unforgiveness had blinded him. He was ignorant of the fact that the Father desired to send him to "seek and save the lost." He was so blinded that he could not even rejoice with the Father that the Prodigal had been saved. In that condition, the Elder Son had no hope that he would ever find the will of God for his life.
The Holy Spirit asked me a question: "What would have been the cure for the Elder Son's heart?" I thought about that for a long time. The problem with the Elder Son was that he did not know his Father at all. The cure for him would have been to take time out of his daily "busy work" and simply go into the house to fellowship with his Father for awhile. It would not have been long until he found out that his Father still loved the Prodigal and was grieving over his lost condition. As this fellowship continued, the Elder Son would have come to know his Father's heart better and better.
Finally, the Elder Son would have said, "Father, I had no idea you felt like this. I thought you were angry with the Prodigal like I have been. Since you have forgiven him, then I forgive him also. Would you like for me to go see if I can find him? I could tell him that you still love him and want him to come home. He probably doesn't know that, Father."
Now the Elder Son has become a candidate to become a Serving Son who spends his life seeking and saving the lost, just like we see Jesus doing as Luke 15 begins. His change of heart has now made him a candidate to hear the Father's instructions regarding his "call." He is no longer full of unforgiveness toward the Prodigal. No longer is he passing judgment on the Prodigal as being worthless. The love of the Father for the Prodigal has been poured into his heart also. Now he is ready for service in the kingdom. Now he is ready to hear about his "call."
It is essential that we become free of unforgiveness and a judgmental spirit towards people, no matter what they have done to us in the past. The cure for us is the same as it was for the Elder Son ... FELLOWSHIP WITH THE FATHER! Praying in tongues is the most direct line of communication we have between our reborn human spirit and God our Father, who is a Spirit. Little by little, His love, mercy and forgiving heart toward sinners is poured into us as we spend time in fellowship with Him.
Some might say, "Gary, I just can't forgive them for what they did to me." Well, are you "willing to be made willing?" The Father never asks us to do what we cannot do. Are you willing to begin by forgiving them with the words of your mouth even if it is not true in your heart at that moment? That act of faith, coupled with times of fellowship with your Father through the Spirit, gives the Father what He needs from you to pour His love, His mercy, His forgiveness into your heart. The day will come when you will find yourself free from all unforgiveness. That is freedom indeed! Clear instructions for your "call" in the body of Christ will quickly follow.
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Your friend and co-laborer,
Gary Carpenter Ministries|
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