Beth Moore - The Caller and The Called - Part 3
From Genesis to Revelation, if you're looking for what would be a common denominator of a calling, well, it is when God appoints, the immortal invisible appoints a mortal to make something about him visible. Number two, calling - I'm making up a word, and I'm happy about it - calling consists of followship fed by fellowship. This is based on 1 Corinthians 1:9, that says, "God is faithful". You were called by him into fellowship with his son. This is success. Followship fed by fellowship. This is how your life is a success, it's how my life is a success. It's not based on numbers; it's not based on results that we can see. It is based on did we, to the degree that we knew how, did we follow the leadership of Christ? Did we follow him, and did we fellowship with him?
Those are all biggest guarantees that we will not miss the specific areas of direction in our personal lives, if we just have fellowship with him. So we have the sense when he is leading us to the right or to the left, that when we're led by his Spirit, remember Romans chapter 8, "His spirit is the Spirit of Christ," so same one who was leading us. Christ said in his physical body of flesh and blood, "Come follow me". He still says the same thing, but he leads us through his Spirit. Calling consists of followship fed by fellowship.
Number three is this, we cannot go if we will not leave. That okay, one reason why I'm not going is 'cause I ain't leaving. And again, it may or may not be a physical departure, but it has to be of allegiance, or we are going to follow them instead of Christ Jesus in his direction for our personal lives. And so here's what I want to say to you as we're talking about calling. We're learning that our allegiances will be tested, our mentors, our mothers, our Aunt Marge, we are learning that he's going to test our allegiances to our people group, to our denomination perhaps, mothers and fathers, that he's looking for, "You follow me. I'm the best thing that ever happened to you and I will the best thing that ever happened to them in relationship to you, ultimately. They may not recognize it for a while. Ultimately, is the best thing that ever happened to you".
Now, I'm going to talk to you, of course, about call, call, over again. Call. We're talking about all of us coming to a place that we either have an arrival or revival of a sense of awe over our calling, that we'd have either an awakening or a reawakening. And I want to say a couple of things to you, thinking in terms of the metaphor of the phone. You may have God on call waiting, you may be on a call with him but most of the time you have him muted. Anybody? You ever just like just mute him. Just mute him. You may have an unanswered call. You may have even gotten so mad at him that you have hung up on him, but he has not yet hung up on you. He's still on the line.
What you do not have, I need somebody to hear me clearly. What you do not have if you are in Christ is a dropped call. I need somebody to hear me say that today. What you do not... you may have a muted call, you may be putting off answering your call, you can have all sorts of things going on there, but you do not have a dropped call. And I can tell you that based on Romans 11:29, "that the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable". You think, some of you, like I thought in my life that you have sinned so grievously that your power to sin is more powerful than his power to save and sustain. You still think you had something to do with him saving you because you think you can make him get rid of you, and you can't. And I don't know if anybody in the room is glad you cannot have a dropped call but I am. I am. It may look different on the other side, but it often does. You do not have a dropped call and you need to know it.
Now let me tell you what we're going to be doing during the rest of this teaching time. What we're going to be thinking about, we have that on your mind that our calling consists of followship fed by fellowship, that we're going to leave our allegiances, spiritually speaking and we're going to follow Jesus. But there are things that can trip us up, and it's important for us to establish these so that you know them when they're happening, and so that you can acknowledge, you know, these are the things that can really trip you up in your followship, and in your calling with Christ. I already know them in advance so that when they happen, I'm aware of them. So what we're going to do, is we're going to have an a, b, c and d, in these next minutes, of things that can really trip us up in our calling.
So I want you to go with me first of all to Judges chapter 15. Now, I just want you to hold it open for a minute, but I would draw your attention, this is the saga of Sampson. The saga of Sampson. And you see, three different times when it says specifically that the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon Samson. 14:6, "The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and although he had nothing in his hand, he tore a lion in pieces as one would tear a young goat". 14:19, "And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and he went down, and he struck down 30 men in the town and took their spoils". Judges 15:14, "Then when he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting to meet him. Then the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and the ropes that were on his arms became as flax that has caught fire, and his bonds melted off his hands".
You see, what I want to present to you based on what happened is that Samson was in it for the rush. Oh, God had called him, all right, and God had empowered him. Now, listen carefully, the Holy Spirit worked in a different way, very purposely in the Old Testament under the old covenant. There are probably somewhere around, roughly around 100 people in the Old Testament, 70 at one time, so it doesn't leave many of the rest of 'em that would have had this kind of experience. The Holy Spirit would come upon someone to empower them for a particular task or to empower them for a particular anointing, so he could come and go. That changed completely under the new covenant. Why? Because what Christ did.
There's this wonderful part in the farewell discourse in John's Gospel, where he talks and then he said, "Listen, it is needful for you," John 16, verse 7, "it is needful for you that I go away because if I go away," and he's talking about giving his life on the cross and then he's talking about ascending to his father. "Because if I go away, I will send my Spirit to you but if I don't, I can't". And the essence of it was, "Listen, right now, I'm walking with you, and to tell you the truth, you're a train wreck". If you want to see the big difference between impetuous Peter in the gospels before and after, the difference was the Holy Spirit taking up residence in him because he's going like, "I've walked beside you but in this way, my Spirit will be inside of you".
So everything changes under the new covenant because when he pours out his Spirit in Acts chapter 2, then is why it's so imperative to understand that we all have a calling, because where the Holy Spirit came upon them for certain tasks, and actions and anointings in the Old Testament, it's all of us now. All of us receive his Holy Spirit the moment we are born again in Christ. So it's just huge. But the Word of God says in Acts 1, verse 8, "that when the Holy Spirit comes, he comes with power". With power. You have real-live Holy Ghost power in you. Does anyone understand what I'm saying to them today? Whether you have ever accessed it or not, 'cause if we just do everything in our own strength, we never look to it, we never walk with him enough to even know that it's possible.
We may not ever see it enacted in our own lives but if we're walking with him, the Holy Spirit, you have real-life power in you to be what you cannot be and to do what you cannot do. You have the power in you to overcome addiction. You have the power in you, day by day to live in freedom over that, that has kept you in its clutches for so long. You have real-live Holy Spirit power in you. But here is the thing, you've got this gifting, enormous gifting, every single one of you do, this enormous gifting in you. And remember when Paul said to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1, he said to him, "You fan the flame of your gifting into a fire. You fan it". Well, we can either fan it into a flame of the Holy Spirit or we can fan it into a flame of flesh.
Do not think we could not take the gifting of God and use it to give glory to ourselves. Remember that I told you we'd be a, b, c and d here. A is this, we can trip over our own feet: I put a colon beside it, this is what you'd call self-glory. And here's the thing, for a while, we will get away with it. But there is a timer set on it. You can know every single time. You may not see it. You may look at a situation that you think, "Oh, my word. I mean that is appallingly self-glorying". I mean there's some times that you see things that make the hair on the back of your neck stand straight up.
And you think, "How are they getting away with that"? Well, it's on a timer. I mean we'll think, is it okay with God? Are you crazy? We never self-glory that it's okay with God. Oh never. Oh never. The thing about it is he really did entrust gifting to us and he's watching us steward that gift. And so the biggest thing we see in Samson is, man he is tripping over his own gifted feet with his own self-glory. "When he finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone and he named the place Ramath-lehi. And he became very thirsty and called out to the Lord, 'You have accomplished this great victory through your servant. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?' So God", merciful and gracious is he, "split a hollow place in the ground at Lehi, and water came out of it. And after Samson drank, his strength returned, and he revived. And that is why he named it En-hakkore, which is in Lehi today. And he judged Israel 20 years in the days of the Philistines".
En-hakkore means the spring of the caller. The spring of the caller. I want you to hear this little excerpt out of a Bible commentary by Dr. D. I. Block. And he writes this, in talking about this portion. "Not one to miss an opportunity to leave his signature on the map, Samson named this spring near Lehi, En-hakkore, a name it still bore at the time this account was written". I'm jumping down a little bit in his excerpt where he talks about the name. "It focuses on him and memorializes the power of this man to manipulate and move the hand of God rather than the gracious action of God on his behalf". He named the spring after himself. The spring of the caller.
Well, you know what dude? Actually, he is the caller. You and I are sitting next to this spring. Because it says, "His spirit was revived". He's revived, and he did what he'd been called to do for the next 20 years. Disastrously, at times. Will we be revived by a spring we name for ourselves or by a spring of the living water where we know who our help comes from? We know where our spring is. Remember that the goal we believe that God set for us is that each one of us would either be awakened with a fresh awe over our divine calling or reawakened, that it will be an arrival or a revival. B is this, we can trip over someone else's feet, a rivalry.
I want you to think about this. I was thinking about when I was growing up in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. And back in those days when we had this kind of real-life phone here that plugged in actually to the wall, and we had two of 'em. I had two of 'em. But they were the same line, you know, so you could answer it in either end of the house. And so my grandmother, I was raised in a four-generation home or a three-generation home, and my grandmother would listen on the other line any time us kids were on the phone. 'Cause we're a bunch of us. I have lots of brothers and sisters. And you know, we'd just walked through the house to the kitchen and there she'd be sitting. I mean she's all like, she'd pull up a chair, and she's all like. And then she looks at you, you'd go, "Nanny, get off the phone". And she'd go, "Get on that. Scat". I mean she was shameless about it. Shameless about it.
In essence, we're just listening in on somebody else's calling. We're just obsessed with their calling. Anybody know what I'm talking about? We see this in Peter. In John chapter 21 when Christ gives him a little clue about what he has ahead. And he looks back at John and goes, "What about him"? And he's all on his phone trying to listen to his call. Pick up your own phone because you got your own call. And when we got all obsessed with somebody else's calling, what happens is we trip up all over their enormously gifted feet. Their enormously, beautiful feet. Okay, may I call upon your patience to read you an excerpt out of the book, of Os Guinness's book, "The Call". And I knew this basic story, and some of you may know it as well, but it will be a powerful reminder.
"Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart would unquestionably be among a tiny handful of people elected without contest to the highest circle of human genius, 'a wonderchild,' 'a prodigy of nature,' 'a veritable miracle,' 'sublime,' 'celestial,' 'precocious beyond belief,' 'surpassing all imagination.'"
All of these are in quotations. "Odd tributes have poured forth in response to his gifts as a composer and a musician, ever since he burst onto the world's musical stage in 1763 at the age of seven under the tutelage of his father Leopold. Not surprisingly, such utterly extraordinary, seemingly transcendent giftedness, has been seen as the focus of a matching envy. Most famously in connection with his contemporary Antonio Salieri. Five years older than Mozart, Salieri had been established seven years as court composer and conductor of the Italian Opera in Vienna before Mozart moved there. For 33 years after Mozart died, he occupied the even loftier position of the emperor's court in Vienna. So from the perspective of the court and the public, Salieri had every reason to pity Mozart, not to envy him. And there's no evidence for the rumor that Salieri confessed the year before he died in 1825 that he had poisoned his younger rival, yet the traumatic potential of this rumored rivalry has attracted playwrights such as Alexander Pushkin, whose Mozart and Salieri was set to music, and Peter Shaffer whose award-winning Amadeus was made into an award-winning film by Milos Forman. At one point in Shaffer's play, Salieri finds himself alone in a room with a portfolio of Mozart's compositions on the desk in front of him. He reaches out to take it but as if fearful of what he might find, he pauses. Then he snatches it, tears of the ribbon and opens the case. His eye falls on the opening bars of Mozart's 29th Symphony in A major".
He's going to say she. I'm about to quote what he says and this is straight from the play. He's going to refer to she and he means Mozart's wife. "She had said that these were original scores, first and only drafts of the music, yet they looked like fair copies. They showed no corrections of any kind. It was puzzling. Then suddenly alarming, what was evident was that Mozart was simply transcribing music completely finished in his head and finished as most music is never finished. Displace one note and there would be diminishment. Displace one phrase and the structure would fall. I was staring through the cage of those meticulous ink strokes, at an absolute beauty".
So the author Guinness picks up again and says, "Stunned, Salieri collapses senseless to the floor where he lies quite still, his head next to the score of the heavenly music. As the clock strikes 9:00, he raises his head and addresses God". And I want to share with you from the play what he says to God.
"Capisco. I know my fate. Now for the first time I feel my emptiness as Adam felt his nakedness. Tonight, at some inn, somewhere in this city, stands a giggling child who can put on paper, without actually setting down his billiard cue, casual notes which turn my most considered ones into lifeless scratches. Grazie, Signore. You gave me the desire to serve you, which most men do not have, then saw to it the service was shameful to the ears of the server. Grazie. You gave me the desire to praise you which most men do not feel, then made me mute. Grazie tante. You put into me perception of the incomparable which most men never know. Then ensured that I would know myself forever mediocre. What? What is my fault? Until this day, I have pursued virtue with rigor. I have labored long hours to relieve my fellow men. I have worked and worked the talent you allowed me. You know how hard I've worked, solely, that in the end, in the practice of the art which alone makes the world comprehensible to me, I might hear your voice. And now I do hear it and it says only one name, 'Mozart.' And my only reward, my sublime privilege, is to be the sole man alive in this time who shall clearly recognize your incarnation. Grazie e grazie ancora. So be it. From this time on, we are enemies, you and I. I'll not accept it from you. Do you hear? They say God is not mocked. I tell you, man is not mocked. I am not mocked. They say the Spirit bloweth where it listeth. I tell you, 'No. It must list to virtue or not blow at all.'"
I seek you, I don't even think they seek you. I don't even think they take you seriously. I mean those people are crazy. Watch them, watch how they act. Lord, are you watching this TV show? They're all buffoons. You would do this. I'm virtuous. I've done what you told me to do and you stick somebody out there more gifted than me. Die to it. It is poison to us. Die to it. This was a man, that as far as we know, never ever found satisfaction in what God had called him to do because he was too obsessed with what God had called someone else to do.
Is anybody stepping in that with me today? We have never had the rivalry like we have now because we see everyone now. In our grandparents' day, that was not true. Now everything's a competition. Everything's a competition. This will not come naturally to your flesh, it will not. You make the decision, "I'm just not competing". And you're going like, "Well, they're still competing". Let them. Knock yourself out. Knock yourself out. If they're trying to get in front of you, just like go. "Go right ahead. I will gladly esteem you better than myself". And you know what? You will be free, and they will be in bondage. Amen.