Greetings again my Brethren.  When we hear the LORD’s call many things happen inside of us. Often we will have no idea of that which is moving in us now, but if we are faithful and submit to the LORD’s will in the future we see what was planted in us when we heard the LORD’s call. I remember my good friend and mentor Bill Pepper’s words to me when I pastored a Gemeinde (German word for assembly or gathering) in Germany, “In the future you will see what you have planted in the people now.” His words were spoken then in darkness until I began to see what was growing in the people. One by one,  fruit by fruit, attitude by attitude things began to pop out in the lives of our folks.  Some things not so good, but most things good.  After all there is a divine spiritual principle that says whatsoever is planted grows.  We plant or someone else plants, we and/or others water, and whatsoever was planted grows. The call of the LORD may make us feel brave, to stand and fight the enemy while a different part of us may feel afraid to run away as fast as we can move our feet.  Many emotions will fill our heart, but one thing for sure these emotions will come into direct conflict with other people. Anything we do for God will be rubbed up against people.  I promise you all that we do will be judged and scrutinized by our friends and especially our family so worry not what they say, but be more concerned what the LORD says.  We cannot stop people from talking about us for whatsoever is in their heart about us will come out their mouth in time.  The old adage: “you cannot stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop the bird from building a nest in your hair” applies here. We cannot stop people from talking, but we can be a Godly example before them and before the LORD.  And it is our example we set before men (not allowing the bird to build a nest in our hair) is what the LORD is looking for in us.  Make no mistake my friend when we turn towards the LORD we are turning towards conflict with others and with their interests.  Now do not think we are just talking about conflict with sinners and the like, oh no we are also talking about conflict with Saints and the like.  Not everyone is going to think you have heard from the LORD especially those who think they are senior to you in the LORD.  I find it comical how people think they are deeper in the LORD than other people like there is some rank structure in God.  They think after 10 years (or so) of serving the LORD God has given them His power and authority over other people and they think the people they think are under them must obey them.  When I was in the Navy we would wear our rank on our collar or sleeve.  There was no question who was senior to whom.  All we had to do is look at someone’s collar or sleeve then look at yours.  But not so in the LORD.  God does not have a rank structure, He has no rank to wear on our sleeve or collar, oh no my friend God’s rank is worn on our heart and the senior rank is a private no rank, but a servant to all. If we get this wrong God cannot use us.  We will disqualify ourselves for service, no matter how big we get in church or denominational circles it will not matter because it is not what man says about us  that counts, but what God says about us.  I had a great friend in the Navy (we both  were Officers) named Val Castillo and we signed Navy emails and even official correspondence with the acronym “PILA” or Private in the LORD’s Army to remind us that the highest rank in God is a private.  If we have this attitude of a servant then when hard times come (and I promise you they are coming) and when people are railing and chiding us their words and deeds will have no place in us to take root nor affect our heart. John tells us in Revelations these times are coming, but for those who “overcometh” (bad times are coming our way)will I (that be the LORD)grant to sit with me in my throne.””  We read,                  “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”  (Revelation 3:21)

When we turn towards the LORD we can either reject the LORD’s call (and get along with the world and those in the world) or embrace the LORD’s call and suffer the persecution, affliction, and troubles that comes with it. Will we embrace the shame of the cross or freely give ourselves to the distractions and trapping of the world.  It is our choice.  But remember the promise the LORD gives us in Revelation, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne.”  This is the relationship the LORD wants to have with us to identify with His suffering and loss so that we can be rewarded  by Him and Him alone.  The LORD’s call brings conflict with other and ourselves true, but also it brings rewards beyond our wildest dreams.

Next month we will look at another specific response that is  emphasized in the LORD’S CALL as we look at our response. Do you hear Him calling? Please know God is calling. Walter Beuttler said if you build God a temple He will inhabit it. Have  you built God a temple?  If you do He will abide and wait for you.

Written By David Stahl