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The greatest trade mark of making the transition from servant to King is the sense of having a Father and being chosen by Him. The Gospel of Being Chosen for fellowship with God and to share in what the Father is doing touches us deeply in our hearts. As children, we’ve all experience choosing up sides for games. It feels good to be chosen first, and it’s very deflating to be chosen last or not chosen at all. We are all a little bit like the donkey in Shrek… in our hearts we are all jumping up and down, saying “Pick me, pick me.” As adults we all secretly want to be chosen, accepted and listened to by our employers, managers, publishers, pastors, clients, friends, investors, and spouses.
Wake-up call – Here is one of the realities of Kingdom life missed by many: “Other men and women are not going to choose you.” If the foundation for inheriting our calling is waiting for someone to choose us, I’ve got news for you: “It’s not going to happen.” Here’s why. The Kingdom is an all-volunteer army, and obedience doesn’t define maturity. If we wait to be chosen, we will also wait to be told what to do. That’s the definition of a servant. Passiveness in your spiritual walk will eventually get you the dial tone with God. He is very patient, and He’s waiting for all of us to play a significant role in shaping our own destiny. He is powerful enough to do it all. He could! He’s just chosen not to. He works through us and intervenes with some occasional miracles… that also occur in conjunction with our initiative or faith.
We’re not sacrificially volunteering for someone else’s initiative, we standing up for the desires God put in our own heart. It’s easy, exciting and motivating! It’s not serving or martyrdom or laying down our life. It’s laying down our fear and picking up our life the way Jesus did. It’s called resurrection.
The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life — only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. John 10:17-18 NIV
We are all chosen in the sense of being called, but inheriting the land associated with that call requires our initiative to contend for the desires of our heart. No one else on earth knows what God has placed on your heart but you and Him. It’s sacred ground. As outside encouragers, others can get some prophetic hints and see your call through a glass darkly, but no one else can volunteer for you. We have to pick ourselves.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isa 6:8 NIV
“For many are invited, but few are chosen.” Matt 22:14NIV
If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. 1 Cor 9:17 NIV
Many are called, but few are chosen because not everyone volunteers. Few show initiative.
Here’s what it feels like – It’s a bit scary! Faith is stepping forward knowing a direction, but not knowing all the details. The reality of our life in Christ is that mistakes are part of our frailty. When we choose a wrong path, it’s not the end of the world. We just get some new directions, make another choice and get back on the right path. God’s love covers a multitude of bad choices for all of us. Welcome to the club.
Servants obey – wait for someone to pick me (no one will)
Kings volunteer – pick myself… I choose my destiny, shape my calling, and implement my plan
Timing – When will the dream that God put in my heart start to materialize? It’s all starts the minute I acknowledge my own calling and gifts and choose myself. God already has, but we have to give ourselves permission to discern and pursue the desires of our hearts. That’s just how God’s Kingdom works! We have to say “yes” and choose what God has chosen – ourselves.
The result – What difference does it make? Choosing ourselves releases a passion and boldness rooted in purpose that others can see very clearly. Ironically, it actually causes them to choose us as well. New friends, new networks, new opportunities and finances begin to flow toward us to accomplish the call on our lives. The second paradox is that accepting the promotion into our call is what positions us to serve others. The purpose, passion, boldness, creativity, and enthusiasm open many doors to bless others. We are now secure enough in choosing and pursuing our own hearts, that we can disciple others to do the same.
This transition is easily understood. Teaching has a role. But the primary way we impart this liberty to other hearts is through experiences, not sermons. The experience of being released into our life purpose has a certain “jailbreak” feel. It’s an adventure filled with great joy. It’s hearing the music, accepting the invitation to the party and living the example. It’s dancing! It’s fun! It’s beyond our wildest expectations.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us… Eph 3:20 NIV
Practically – Instead of an employee working for a company, now we’re zealots working for a cause. Instead of waiting for directions, we’re seeing needs and filling them. Instead of waiting for recognition, we’re seeing opportunities and pursuing them. Our business and work becomes art. We put our hearts into the canvas of our life’s work. The quality of our work has a prophetic tone. It works better, sounds distinctive, and other people appreciate it more / buy it. We’re not doing it for men or to please men. We naturally express who we are and what we have to offer without fear of rejection (some buy and some don’t, it’s OK). We express the Father’s heart and our own heart. We’re even doing “greater works.” We can feel the wind in our sails coupled with the sense of the Father’s promotion… He’s making our names great for the sake of His own glory. Our life’s work becomes worship, victories and crowns that we lay at his feet in gratitude, knowing that tomorrow will bring even greater things. Choose yourself, God did.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men Col 3:23 NIV