Monday, April 11, 2011

Called By God

Matthew 4:1-11

Years ago, I used to think that when someone was "called by God," that meant that they were called into full time ministry or missions.  I no longer think that; in fact I believe the exact opposite.  I believe that each and every believer is called to do God's work.  Our calling is not going to be the same as our friends' calling.  God has something unique set aside for each of us; something that we are each gifted and equipped to do.  For some, that calling may mean that you are set aside for full time ministry; however, for others the calling could be to pray for others.  The possibilities are endless because we are all unique and God puts a calling on each of our lives that fits us perfectly.  This week, I want to look at examples of fasting in preparation to fulfill the calling on our lives.  Please look up Matthew 4:1-11.

I have always found this section of scripture interesting because Jesus is God, so why would He need to prepare for ministry?  Jesus was also human and had to face the same human struggles that you and I face.  He was about to begin fulfilling His calling here on earth and He wanted to prepare His heart for what He was about to do.  We can also read that He was about to enter a time of temptation.  Last week, when I looked at David, I noticed that when he fasted it seemed to set him back into the ministry that God called him into.  Jesus modeled for us that when we are about to embark on a new adventure with God, fasting can help set our hearts and minds on God so we are prepared for whatever comes our way - temptation included.

No matter where we are in our relationship with Christ, we will face opposition from the enemy.  Some of the greatest opposition we will face will be temptation.  Satan can not make us do anything when we have Christ in us; however, he can make things difficult with our weaknesses and tempt us to sin.  Paul wrote in Romans 7:15, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."  We are going to face temptations and the only way to be ready is to prepare.  Jesus prepared by fasting.  When we are abstaining from things that distract us from God or we are fasting from food we are then given the time to spend with God.  What could possibly be a better preparation for the calling on our lives than spending time with God?

What is your calling?  Do you believe that you are called by God?

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