Friday, March 23, 2007

Called?

I don't know where it came from. Either I made it up or the church made me believe it. I don't know. It must, however, have come from somewhere, this idea that God has a purpose for every person's life.

I don't know if I believe in it anymore.

As I now look to what's left in my life, I feel let down. Wasen't I supposed to have a calling to do something for Jesus? I must have missed it!

8 Comments:

At 24 March, 2007 01:10, Blogger Charles said...

Hey, man...I am so sorry you are feeling down. You sound discouraged. Please know this, I completely and totally understand where you are coming from. Honestly...I do.

If you don't mind, I would like to share a verse with you. I pray that you will be encouraged, and that God will be glorified. The verse can be found in Romans 11:36. The New Living Translation translates the verse this way: "For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory." That means you, Torsten! You come from God. You exist by His power. You are intended for His glory. God, through Paul's writings, is pretty emphatic about that.

I also encourage you to read the Ephesians 1:3-14. An awesome friend of mine, and a great prayer warrior, prayed these verses over me. He encouraged me to personalize this passage - to make it my own. Why? Because I was struggling with the same thoughts that you just wrote about.

Torsten, I have been slowly discovering (oh so slowly - I am thick-headed) that if scripture will mean anything to me, I must personalize it. It has to be God speaking to me in my current condition, because if I don't, it becomes meaningless drivel, and I have no portion in it. In this process, of which I am still struggling with, and learning to embrace fully, God has touched my heart and made me realize that I am right where I am supposed to be, even though I really hate my job and feel like I should be in some sort of ministry. Why do I feel that way now? Because it was in this position where my heart was ready to accept God's leading and to finally begin, again so slowly, to trust Him. I have finally begun to discover a hint of purpose, but it is not what I thought it was going to be...my purpose is to live for Him and bring others to Him. Everything else is secondary, and really, irrelevant.

Please understand, I am not saying that this is your story, or is something that you have to embrace. As Aslan tells Shasta in Narnia, I believe that God "tells no-one any story but his own". I am just sharing where God is leading me, and I just pray that in some way, God can use my story to bless and encourage you.

In closing, and in the words of Paul from Ephesians 3:14-21 (NLT) "14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,* 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.* 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. 20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen."

 
At 26 March, 2007 11:25, Anonymous Niels Tvesok said...

Sorry, my English is so poor that I'll write this in Danish. Hope it's okay though, it's just for you anyway, so...

Jeg hørte en prædiken for nylig af en meget viis præst.

Undervejs gjorde han via to skriftsteder opmærksom på, hvordan der var forskel på, hvordan Gud(s retning af, hvor man skulle gå hen) var meget konkret synlig i sky/ild-søjlen under selve ørkenvandringen, men hvordan, da Israelitterne skulle til at træde ind i det forjættede land, ikke længere havde denne meget konkrete søjle foran sig længere, men fra da af blot måtte gå hvert skridt i tillid og tro(en på, at Gud ville være med dem, i hvert skridt (retning) de valgte at gå fra nu af). Initiativet til, hvilken vej man skulle gå, var overladt mere til mennesket nu, men Gud ville være med dem, så snart de var kommet med en ide/plan for, "hvad de ville"/"hvor foden skulle sættes næste gang".

Jeg ved ikke, om det er dit dilemma (om du ikke ved, hvad Gud vil have dig til at gøre), men hvis det er, så kunne man måske bruge ovennævnte tanker til at beslutte sig for at gøre et eller andet, bede Gud om at være med og så ellers "nøjes" med at stole på det.

KH

 
At 26 March, 2007 15:59, Blogger Torsten Pedersen said...

Thank you Charles and Tvesok for your comments.

Charles, thanks for your remarks. I do struggle to believe that God is at all interested in me personally.

Tvesok, ja din commentar er absolut relevant til det jeg føler. Jeg længtes måske for meget efter skyen og ildsøljen...

 
At 27 March, 2007 06:52, Blogger Lasse Bech said...

One thing is certain: God loves you!
I think you know that much.

Mayby (and I might sound heretic and cynical) we have been too focused on the personal bit. We are very indivitualistic in our understanding of calling. Mayby God is calling us first of all to be part of the fellowship of disciples/apostles (read: followers/missionaries).

I think the words from Micha 6:8 are helpful.

 
At 28 March, 2007 11:43, Blogger Torsten Pedersen said...

Lasse, I think that's what I'm trying to say.

Evangelical Christianity is somehow too focused on individual calling and (dare I write it) purpose driven living.

Somewhere in my life I got this wrong idea that there was a specific purpose to my life, that I was created for a purpose. I just needed to discover it and fulfill it.

I just can live under the burden of purpose/calling anymore.

 
At 29 March, 2007 12:11, Blogger Charles said...

I agree that the whole concept of finding a "purpose" can be challenging - and discouraging. It has for me! I firmly believe, however, that God does have a purpose for everyone - and individually. I believe that He has one for me.

Does that mean that everybody is supposed to be a Dwight L Moody or a C.S Lewis or play some pivotal leadership role? Absolutely not! Scripture clearly points out that, and Micah 6:8 very clearly states that our first purpose is to bring glory to God. We are to live our lives for Him by the way we act, worship, and treat others. Basically the way we live our lives has a purpose - to bring honor and glory to Jesus Christ.

Colossians 2:8 states: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." Lastly, Dwight L Moody once stated, "One person may read the Bible, but a hundred people will read the Christian."

That is Purpose. What greater purpose could their be?

 
At 01 April, 2007 17:07, Blogger Torsten Pedersen said...

Charles, I think its very important what you wrote and I not in disagreement with you. I need, however, to truly understand that the purpose of life is to bring glory and honor to God in whatever I do. And I need to find rest in that purpose.

The purpose that you describe a generic one, applicable to all. However, what I so long have believed in, was that God had a specific job or calling that I was intended I do. Whether this meant I should become a minister, accountant or plumber, I didn't know. But I was certain that if I stepped out in faith, God would show me what work he had in mind for me.

Driving by this belief I have lead a life searching for that calling. I have therefore made some disastrous choices in my life. This search for calling has lead me to the point where I lost almost everything that matters to me. I have lost my home, savings, job, future prospects, friends, and more... and I still haven't found a calling.

I must therefore face the fact that I have build my life on false and bad theology, and that I have hurt myself and my wife in the process. I need now to find healing in Jesus.

 
At 03 April, 2007 14:00, Blogger Charles said...

Torsten,

I am so sorry that you have had to deal with this kind of pain and disappointment. I profess no great knowledge as to why God allows things to happen or does not allow them to happen, or why He steps into some circumstances and others He does not. This life we live is, way too often, quite mysterious.

Lasse said it quite nicely: One thing is certain: God loves you! Jesus loves you. And I pray that you will find the healing you need. You've got friends on the other side of the Big Pond that are praying for you and Becky.

 

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