Greetings from the land of rain, snow and sunshine; a place where the healthy thrive and innovate. As illustration I stand beside a snowman that I will happily give away for free. There is some assembly required!
I was investigating the event of Abraham (Gen 25:1-6) and his concubine (v 6) Keturah. The term concubine, a non-Hebraic word borrowed from foreign languages, is used in Scripture to describe a man’s wife of secondary status. The role is indirectly defined but there are no regulations applied. In modern usage we would probably use the term ‘mistress’. This short passage records the six sons Abraham had with her. Rather than have them share Isaac’s inheritance, or becoming a problem to Isaac, he gave them gifts and sent them away. The record begs me to ask why did Abraham have a mistress; and why did he keep her as such, rather than as a wife? What issues would have risen within God’s Covenant with him if he had married her as a wife?
This is important because Isaac was the significant link in the formation of the nation of Israel. When Jehovah asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, He emphasised “… your only son”. (Gen 22:2) Actually Abraham had eight sons but Isaac was the only one recognized. Significantly, history records that the other sons were a source of harassment for centuries. What would world history have been like if Abraham had not succumbed to taking a mistress(s)? I’m not here to belittle this ‘friend of God’ but in the pursuit of temporary comfort; when his focus wavered from the clear understanding of his calling, he damaged, hampered and affected the pursuit of his calling. Is there a parallel to the lack of records about supernatural blessing in the latter years of his life?
This slot in history draws my attention to the importance of knowing my calling. Heaps of people claim that they do not know the calling they were ordained for. (Jer 1:5) They claim ignorance and so therefore, are unable to pursue it. I believe that claim is wrong. A bit of observation is all that is needed to know God’s will. Romans 12 says that “the more we walk in what God has revealed to us, the more He reveals about our calling.” (v 2) Most of us would hesitate to move into our calling if He were to reveal it to us all at once, but reflection on the path to which we have already willingly followed, is a good indicator of His intentions. In hindsight we bless Him for where He has led us, but have to admit that we still hesitate to accept directions for the future.
Saying that you do not know your calling is actually an excuse for not moving ahead. If you are serious about knowing God’s will, ask your mentors and intercessors to ask for revelation on your behalf, AND spend the next 30 days ‘fasting and asking’. Find your calling by doing an inventory of the experiences, gifts, tools and resources that God has given you. Write a list of your innate strengths, hobbies, leisure activities, that reveal your interests and God ordained path. The issue is not your calling but the choices you have made and will make that will reveal your calling.
Even if the discovery of your calling is uncomfortable; accept and embrace the revelation and watch what blessing you receive. We may not know the end of our calling but we can recognize the steps that He is providing along the way. Make time in your schedule to develop your strengths and interests. Move intentionally toward honing your skills by using them regularly. Cut less essentials out. God will then reveal new resources and next steps. That progress will reveal your longer term calling.
Similar to Abraham’s situation, a choice to be comfortable, whether it is overt sin or a lack of aggression (laziness!), becomes the curse in not living in your calling. Not honing a skill leads to a useless devouring of time and resources. When I choose to set aside some of life comforts, whether in body, soul or spirit, and make a plan of action to develop available resources, God will reveal more of His calling. I may not know the end results but I can take intermediate steps toward gaining righteousness to invest in ‘calling’ instead of ‘comfort’.
In the pursuit of temporary comfort; when our focus wavers from the clear understanding of our calling, we damage, limit, hamper and affect our whole life’s walk. May you be blessed to listen very carefully to the truth you have heard, so you do not drift away from it. Hebrews 2:1