Scripture Reference: (Acts 26:16, KJV)
But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
We’re finally getting to the tenth message in our My Utmost For His Highest Series by Oswald Chambers. I know we’re no longer on track with the original 30 days, but I’ve learned that it’s important not to write with a timeline in mind…but with the anointing upon me to do so.
So, it may take us longer to get this series done than I originally intended for it to, but we’ll get this finished when God says we’re on time…after all…it’s always good to be one God’s timing. Amen!?!
Today’s Message: “God’s Overpowering Purpose”:
How many of you know that when there’s something that God wants to accomplish He will do whatever is necessary to accomplish it? If you don’t believe that…then we really need look no further than the Cross. God’s purpose was to provide a way and a perfect sacrifice that would satisfy His wrath upon the sin of the world, and to find a way to reconcile man to Himself…and that was the moment the Cross became His Overpowering Purpose.
Today, if you look around at the state of the world it’s clear that His Overpowering Purpose in the earth is to prepare His children for the rapture, and the rest of the world for the next time Jesus will come to the world. Only, the next time Jesus comes…it won’t be as a sweet little baby that we think of when Christmas comes, but it will be as a Warrior that’s going to defeat the Anti-Christ and all who are with him.
Let me stop for a moment to say that if the only way you see Jesus is as a sweet little baby lying in a manger…you’d better read the rest of the Bible because the Jesus that’s coming this time is going to be One that’s here to destroy the kingdom of darkness.
Jesus isn’t a baby…He’s the King of kings the Lord of lords, and when He returns again…it will be to show the world that He truly is the Great I Am!
The vision Paul had on the road to Damascus was not a passing emotional experience, but a vision that had very clear and emphatic directions for him. And Paul stated, “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision” (Acts 26:19). Our Lord said to Paul, in effect, “Your whole life is to be overpowered or subdued by Me; you are to have no end, no aim, and no purpose but Mine.” And the Lord also says to us, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go . . .” (John 15:16).
Can you imagine what that moment must’ve been like for Saul as he was on his way to murder Christians? Can you imagine what that must’ve been like as Jesus asks why he’s persecuting Him? I can imagine that Saul had no idea that he was not only persecuting Christians, but that he was persecuting Jesus.
We know that when he became Paul he remembered what kind of man he was before that Damascus road experience. He spoke of how he was the worst of sinners. He spoke of God’s unending grace and mercy because of the truth that before he could teach it…he had to experience it.
Listen to me. If Paul was secure in his salvation based upon the grace of God then why is it that we aren’t? Why is it that we’re so conscious of our sin that we somehow believe that God’s grace isn’t good enough to forgive us and cleanse us from all the unrighteousness in our lives and hearts and therefore place us in right-standing with God giving us the reward of eternal life in Heaven.
Listen, as far as I am concerned (and I’m pretty sure that God sees this the same way), but the Blood of Jesus has a perfect record. It was the perfect and complete sacrifice that guarantees us to be in right-standing with God. I don’t believe there’s anything I’ve done or am going to do that has the power to over ride the Blood of Jesus or the Cross.
“Your whole life is to be overpowered or subdued by Me; you are to have no end, no aim, and no purpose but Mine.” And the Lord also says to us, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you…”
It took me a while to get here, but now that I am I realize that even when I wasn’t here…God had His hand on my life from the beginning, and it’s clear to me that my grandmother’s prayers over me before I even got here were part of the reason why. I was chosen before I even got here to serve Him, and while I spent many years of my life running from that purpose…when God really grabbed me and got my attention (like He did with Saul before he became Paul) I realized that there wasn’t anything I was going to be able to do that would change the purpose He’s had for me all along.
Sure, I could’ve chosen to continue living life my way. I could’ve continued to reject Him, and live how I wanted to. I think that had I done that, though, that God would’ve seen to it that I had as many Damascus road experiences as it took for Him to accomplish His will in my life. He chose me…and He chose me before I even stepped into time.
This year, I’ve found myself being drawn to a place with God that I’ve never been before. It is coupled by the experience of being a father to Elisabeth. He’s showing me things from a perspective I’ve never seen before. He’s encouraged me to accept challenges I’ve never accepted before. He’s helping me to write with a power and authority and anointing I’ve never really written with before, and it’s because I am completely surrendered to Him and His will.
When we are born again, if we are spiritual at all, we have visions of what Jesus wants us to be. It is important that I learn not to be “disobedient to the heavenly vision”—not to doubt that it can be attained. It is not enough to give mental assent to the fact that God has redeemed the world, nor even to know that the Holy Spirit can make all that Jesus did a reality in my life. I must have the foundation of a personal relationship with Him. Paul was not given a message or a doctrine to proclaim. He was brought into a vivid, personal, overpowering relationship with Jesus Christ. Acts 26:16 is tremendously compelling “. . . to make you a minister and a witness . . . .” There would be nothing there without a personal relationship. Paul was devoted to a Person, not to a cause. He was absolutely Jesus Christ’s. He saw nothing else and he lived for nothing else. “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
Perhaps the beginning of this year is necessary for God to remind me that the most important thing is to maintain my relationship with Him. Several times, now, I’ve written about sitting at the feet of Jesus being a needful thing, and that out of that time at His feet comes the ability to better serve Him. I don’t believe that’s a coincidence…I believe there’s truth to it.
Sitting at Jesus’ feet is where I learn to serve out of a right heart and right motive. Sitting at Jesus’ feet is also where I acquire the ability to serve Him out of the right heart and right motive. The more I sit at the feet of the Lord…the more I understand that if I’m not serving out of a heart or motive of love…it’s because I’m not spending enough time sitting at His feet.
There’s nothing more important than maintaining a relationship with Jesus because if that relationship isn’t right then that’s when I wind up being off in my relationships with others. If your relationship with others is off…it may be a symptom that your relationship with God is off.
It’s time to give Mr. Chambers the last word, and this last word is a good one…
Paul was devoted to a Person, not to a cause. He was absolutely Jesus Christ’s. He saw nothing else and he lived for nothing else. “For I determined not to know anything among you accept Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
O Lord, enchain us to Yourself with great bonds of adoring love; encircle us around with Your Providence for Your purposes; enlarge us until we are more and more capable of being of use to You. In Jesus name we pray. Amen & Amen
Everything in the Christian life flows from the foundation that we have in Christ. If that foundation is off then we will be like the house built upon the sand. If Jesus isn’t our foundation then we will be shaky, and when the winds of persecution and difficult circumstances arise we’ll be blown over. However, when we build ourselves upon the Rock…when we make Jesus our foundation…even when difficult times come or persecution comes…not only will it not move us…but we’ll be able to use those things as a way to share of the strength of our God.
The more we overcome the more we can share with those around us, and those things become testimonies of God’s power in our lives. We will overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.
In closing, I’d just like to leave you with one final thought from today’s message:
What or who are you devoted to?
God bless you and thank you for being a part of the Christlike Ministries NWA family. I truly love and am thankful for all of you.
Bryan J. Kizer
Pastor/Founder Christlike Ministries NWA