Greetings again my Brethren.  Well my friend we start a new ministry year at Beholding His Glory.  We started Sep 2002 and see what the LORD has done.  This has been the doings of the LORD and it has been glorious, just marvellous in my sight.  When we are doing things for the LORD and we know they are of the LORD how sweet the path grows day to day.  Back in Germany in 2002 I would never have thought or even imagined what the LORD had in store for us.  All that we have done, all that we have seen, all of the lives we have touched with the love of the LORD just keeps us moving in the LORD in a direction where we can be used. We thank God for the opportunity to be of service to Him and His people.  This is our heart’s desire to love Him first and second His people all else just falls into place.

Okay let us get back to the Call of God in our lives.  Did you know there are some things that we need to  overcome to be able to respond to the LORD’s call in our lives. With this edition I would like to begin to cover some things in our lives we must overcome.  I am sure there are more, but I would like to look at the top five needs.  This edition we will look at occupational claims.  In Luke we read,  “And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. 28 And he left all, rose up, and followed him. 29 And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them.”  (Luke 5:27-29)  When we come to the LORD and as God begins to work in our lives to get us to go (even if He has to allure or trick us as in Hosea 2:14) to the wilderness where He is waiting for us so that He can teach us some of the things we must give up to follow Him.  In God there is always a putting off, first to be able to put on second.  This is the spiritual order. Something in our natural man MUST be lost before we can put on the things of the Spirit. In Romans Paul tells the Church at Rome  “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”  (Romans 13:12) Notice first the casting off of the darkness then we can put on the light.  Too many Christians never cast off of sin in their lives and thus can NEVER put on the things of God for their lives.  God tells us to stop sinning to repent and He means it.  We know when we sin it is no surprise or it would not be a sin.  Sin is to miss the mark, to know right, but do that which is wrong. (see James 4:17) The mark is knowing what you have done is wrong. We do not stop sinning because we enjoy sin too much.  It is not that sin has this great hand of possession or control over us, oh no, for most people they enjoy sinning, they do not want to cast off the darkness so thus there is no light in their lives.  But here in Luke Jesus just meets Levi or Matthew and says, “follow me.”  Jesus did not twist Levi’s arm, Jesus did not promise Levi he would be an apostle, nothing, Jesus did not even tell Levi about the kingdom of God. Jesus just said “follow me” and Levi heard the LORD’s call and immediately, “he left all, rose up, and followed him.” I really like Levi’s response, he did not say okay LORD let me get my affairs in order, tell my wife and kids good bye, or even get a change of skivvies.  He just got up in obedience to the call and left his occupation behind.  For some people this would be a bridge to far.  Often our occupation (doctor, lawyer, banker, butcher, candle stick maker, or Indian chief) is who we are and how and what we are identified with in the world.  Not so with Levi. Maybe he was tired of being a tax collector. I am sure he did not have a lot of friends.  Or maybe he was searching for something that would satisfy his spirit, apparently something was lacking in him and the word of Jesus just made good sense to him.  Please notice Levi just did not stop his job (as he did do), but he was so excited about Jesus and his call to the ministry, “Levi made him a great feast.” It sounds like Levi was a man of means and had some money to be able to invite “a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them.”  You know you are sold out to God when you willingly put some skin (money) in the game.  When we willfully invest our resources into God’s hands He has all of us.  To answer the call of God in our lives we will have to willingly walk away (to some degree) the occupation we find ourselves doing. Now that does not mean we can loaf or live off the grace and generosity of people (go on a faith walk) like I have seen in the past.  Paul was a tent maker, many of the disciples were still fisherman as they served with the LORD.  If you do not work the Bible says you should not eat (see 2 Thessalonians 3:10), but  the focus in our lives MUST be on the call of God in our lives or we will fail.

Next month we will continue to look at some things in our lives we MUST overcome to be able to answer the LORD’s call in our lives.  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