Your Irrevocable Calling + Satan's Strategy

Your Irrevocable Calling
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

"For God's gifts and His call are irrevocable." Romans 11:29

It is dangerous to align your calling and your vocation as dependent on each other. God calls us into relationship with Him. That is our foremost calling. It is from this relationship that our "physical" calling results. Whether that is to be a teacher, a stockbroker, a nurse, a pastor, or any number of vocations, we must realize that when He calls us, the change in vocation never changes His call on our lives. It is a mere change in the landscape of our calling. This is why it is dangerous to associate our purpose and calling too closely with our work. When we define our work life exclusively as our calling, we fall into the trap of locking up our identity into our vocation. This promotes aspiration because of a need to gain greater self-worth through what we do.

Os Guinness, author of The Call, describes the great artist Picasso, who fell into this trap.

"'When a man knows how to do something,' Pablo Picasso told a friend, 'he ceases being a man when he stops doing it.' The result was a driven man. Picasso's gift, once idolized, held him in thrall. Every empty canvass was an affront to his creativity. Like an addict, he made work his source of satisfaction only to find himself dissatisfied. 'I have only one thought: work,' Picasso said toward the end of his life, when neither his family nor his friends could help him relax." [Os Guiness, The Call (Nashville, Tennessee: Word Publishing, 1998), 242.]

What happens when you lose your job? Do you lose your calling? Do you lose your identity? Do you lose your sense of well-being? No. Calling involves different stages and experiences in life. Disruptions in your work are an important training ground for God to fulfill all aspects of His calling on your life. Trust in your God who says your calling is irrevocable and that all things come from Him.

Today's Prayer

Heavenly Father "I have called upon You, for You will hear me, O God; Incline Your ear to me, and hear my speech. Show Your marvelous lovingkindness by Your right hand, O You who save those who trust in You, from those who rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me under the shadow of Your wings, From the wicked who oppress me, From my deadly enemies who surround me" (Psalm 17:6-9). My God, what a privilege to be the apple of Your eye, loved beyond comprehension and nurtured to grow into that prized fruit of Your making. I thank You and praise You for Your loving kindness and Your protection. I pray that You will also hide our troops in the shadow of Your wings, those brave men and women who fight for freedom and long for peace. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leader

Enamel Saucepan, Pablo Picasso, 1945
"A candle with a message....Pablo Picasso painted objects by breaking them down into shapes such as cones and triangles. He painted things from different angles, all at the same time. Picasso painted this picture during World War 2. A lit candle is a symbol of hope, the jug and the sauce pan are symbols for water and food. These three things feed life. The candle has a black flame and is a symbol of death. The colours are bleak and cold. The jug and the saucepan are stark and simple. They represent the hardship of life in France during World War 2." -- credit,+Guernica+and+Pablo+Picasso

Satan's Strategy
Luke 22:31-34, 54-62

All of us make tracks through the valley of failure. The question is, How are you going to respond? Plenty of people give up and exchange a vibrant kingdom-serving life for a defeated existence. But failure need not be an end. It's a chance for a new beginning living in Christ's strength.

Peter had a life-altering failure. Jesus warned that Satan had asked permission to "sift" the disciple like wheat (Luke 22:31)—vigorous shaking is required to separate wheat kernels from debris. The Enemy wanted to shake Peter's faith hard in hopes that he'd fall away from Jesus like chaff.

Peter fervently believed the promise he'd made to Jesus: "Even though all may fall away, yet I will not" (Mark 14:29). But Satan knows a few things about the power of fear. What's more, he realized that the disciple would be wounded by his own disloyalty. A man with tattered pride can't help but question his usefulness.

When Satan sifts believers, his goal is to damage our faith so much that we're useless to God. He wants us shelved far from the action of the Lord's kingdom. Therefore, he goes for our strengths—the areas where we believe ourselves to be invincible, or at least very well protected. And when the Devil succeeds, we are disappointed and demoralized. But we don't have to stay that way.

If we are willing, God can use failure to do spiritual housecleaning. Peter laid down his pride and instead put on the Holy Spirit's courage. Thereafter, he risked humiliation, persecution, and death to proclaim the gospel. Failure was the catalyst that brought forth greater faith and true servanthood.

Extra column

On the Enemy

"The Devil often transforms himself into an angel to tempt men, some for their instruction, some for their ruin."
—Augustine of Hippo

"The deceit, the lie of the Devil consists of this, that he wishes to make man believe that he can live without God's Word."
—Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"The existence of the Devil is so clearly taught in the Bible that to doubt it is to doubt the Bible itself."
—Archibald G. Brown

"The Devil can counterfeit all the saving operations and graces of the Spirit of God."
—Jonathan Edwards

"The Enemy will not see you vanish into God's company without an effort to reclaim you."
—C. S. Lewis

"For where God built a church, there the Devil would also build a chapel."
—Martin Luther

"That there is a Devil is a thing doubted by none but such as are under the influences of the Devil."
—Cotton Mather

"The more God uses us, the more Satan will attempt to harass us."
—Dr. Charles F. Stanley

"The Devil is a better theologian than any of us and is a devil still."
—A. W. Tozer

"The Devil does not tempt unbelievers and sinners who are already his own."
—Thomas à Kempis

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Clinging to my Heavenly Father knowing all good things come from HIM. I can do "nothing" on my own.


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