From time to time my blog will include excerpts from my book “Blueprint.” Like any author/blogger, I find it difficult to leave the words I have written in my computer. As I start to navigate the editing, typesetting, cover design and other aspects of the publishing process I find I am still impatient even though I am getting closer to the finished product. Maybe it’s because someone somewhere needs to read these words now.
A Little Understanding – The Call beyond the Call
One room floor plans are littered with people who have followed Christ as Saviour but will not step out and trust Him to be Lord. When He calls them to step out, they are either content with the minimum or afraid to trust God and venture beyond the entryway.
“As they were walking along the road, a man said to Him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:57-62 (NIV)…
…This wasn’t the first time that Jesus used the phrase, “follow me”. He said to the disciples, “follow me” and they left everything and joined Him. “Follow me” in these passages seems to mean something different than believing in Him which we also call following Jesus. Could this be the calling beyond the calling? Are there two callings? If so, do they both apply to everyone? I want to be cautious when presenting this idea. There is nothing in the Bible that states believing and following are separate. The name Christ follower is often used in place of the name Christian as a way to say the person has chosen their faith rather than a description for those who are not Jewish, Muslim, Hindu etc. by birth. To put it another way, Jesus leads they follow. The basics of Christianity are faith in the redemptive work of Christ on the cross accepted and embraced by individuals who choose to follow the Son of God instead of their own sinful desires. Jesus leads all who will follow Him into the entryway of salvation and beyond through His call to have childlike faith.
As we get further away from the beginning of the movement started in response to His call; repentance, the U-turn from more of me to more of Him, seems to be limited to a call for more of God and less of my sinfulness. Seeking more of God beyond this has been reserved for certain people, a kind of second calling for people who become pastors, evangelists and others called to greater involvement in ministry. Those who seek more of God beyond salvation and are not in traditional ministry positions are sometimes looked at as weird religious freaks even by fellow Christ followers. Jesus calls us all to seek more. We are called to be His disciples. We are called not only to follow the requirements for salvation, childlike faith and trust, but to continue in this childlike faith and trust to discover more of God and therefore more of what He wants us to be. Not one room but many. Not one lesson to learn but more and more. Not one response for the life of a Christ follower (repentance) but a life filled with responses to our need for “more of God” as we continue to explore the many rooms of the floor plan designed for those who are maturing in their faith daily.
“Then He said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 (NIV)
There is to be no return to outside the entryway, the way of the world. There is no excuse to return to the simplicity of the entryway, childishness. Instead we move forward in the call beyond the call of salvation to discover more of God.
“…No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62 (NIV)