I Give Up My Rights

Terms And Conditions-stampThere are many rights afforded me as an American citizen. The United States Bill of Rights guarantees all its citizens certain rights under that constitution. I am still amazed at this document that became the foundation and the very spirit of our democracy. We have lots of freedom under that law, but with that freedom comes great responsibility. There are still boundaries even in the “land of the free and home of the brave”. Our freedom also came with great sacrifice. I’m living in this free country today, because of many brave men and women who’ve gone before me and fought back against threats to our freedoms. I am given “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” under our constitution. This well-known phrase gives three examples of my unalienable rights given to me by God, which the Declaration of Independence declares that governments are there to protect.

Paul talks about his rights as an Apostle. He also gives up his rights for the sake of the gospel. He really sets a high bar when it comes to spreading the gospel. Check this out….

19 Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. 20 When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. 21 When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.

22 When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. 23 I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings. (1 Corinthians 9:19-23 NLT)

I believe it’s important in sharing the gospel to explain its simplicity. It is certain simple to trust in Jesus, but it’s certainly not easy to live it out. I heard a great quote once by Les Brown that said: “If you do what is easy, your life will be hard, but if you do what is hard, your life will be easy”.  Becoming a disciple of Jesus is definitely harder to live out day to day than it sounds. He calls me to surrender who I am to who He is calling me to be. I can fight that call, but He won’t stop calling me. I have found that surrendering to that call puts me in a place of great blessing – in the center of His Will for my life. Just because I’m a follower of Jesus doesn’t make me “better” than anyone else. I am still broken and flawed. I still sin and make colossal mistakes in my journey of following Him. I’ve given up my rights to follow Him. I’ve surrendered all that I have and all that I’ve done to follow Him. Everything I have is His. Everything I am is His. I have no rights to speak of except what He’s given me. I surrender all that I am and ever hope to be just to know Him and make Him known here on the earth.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

The Clear Call of God

gesture of handI remember connecting with the Lord in powerful moment and being called to serve Him. I was so blown away and amazed by His love for me that I wanted to whatever He wanted me to do. I can’t really explain this to someone who has never noticed His directing their path. I’ve convinced because of my experience that the Lord speaks to His kids all the time, but some listen better than others. I even think that there are seasons of my life when I listen more attentively than others. Abram (who later was named Abraham) was clearly called by God and he clearly went. Check this out…

1 The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

2 ‘I will make you into a great nation,

    and I will bless you;

I will make your name great,

    and you will be a blessing.

3 I will bless those who bless you,

    and whoever curses you I will curse;

and all peoples on earth

    will be blessed through you.’

4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. (Genesis 12:1-4 NIV)

I believe that the call of God can change the entire trajectory of a persons life.

I believe that the call of God will never contradict the Word of God.

I believe that the call of God can be ignored but God is incredible patient.

I believe that the call of God is a very personal experience.

I’ve seen people do radical things and say that it was the call of God. Although the call of God is a very personal experience, I believe people of faith can be discerning. I certainly want to have some more conversations about what God is calling me to do. I want to make sure the call I’m hearing is from Him.

I took a lot of criticism from fellow believers when it was time to leave the full time ministry and go on a new career path. I felt the Lord clearly affirming each step of the journey for me. Sometimes in the middle of obedience, the plan of God is not clear. I want to be found obedient to the Lord whether it’s logical to others or not. The call of God is a very clear sign of His direction for me. I trust the One Who created me to know what is best for me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne