Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Reliant Calling

Paul takes a counter-intuitive approach to weakness - he celebrates it! 2 Corinthians 13 verse 9 gives an example of this: if it comes down to a Christian 'them and us' style comparison, he would rather be found as the weaker one ...

For Paul knows deeply two things in his own life and ministry:
  1. That he is called by God to minister God's good news for the world
  2. That he is to be, and can be, reliant on God at all times.
Weakness, in Paul's self-understanding, reminds him and connects him with his reliance on God. He does not need to worry or doubt, because he knows he is called (thing 1) ... so he is free to trust and rely, with weaknesses highlighting or amplifying that need to trust (thing 2).

Paul therefore lives a reliant calling: assured by God's calling, able to be glad in weakness since that simply throws himself back on God all the more.

We need to get a handle on this approach, since it is all too easy for us to look for things or measurements that act as signs of strength. Whether it is size of church, amount of activities, or a host of other parameters, it is possible that we can lose our true reliance, and drift from our original calling.

We might forget that Jesus doesn't actually call us to build His church. In fact he doesn't even call us to build His Kingdom! Rather he calls us to faithfully bear the good news, creating conditions in which people can experience His Kingdom, and so be drawn to it that they might receive/inherit it themselves.

And through this process, Jesus will build the church.

So let us get back to our calling, rely on Him, and see what He does through us. Jesus summed it up, when He said 'Seek first the Kingdom, and all these things will be given to you as well".