Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Chosen for a purpose

Has God called you into ministry?

Jesus said in John 15, 'You did not choose Me, I chose you!' If you are serious about serving God, it is essential you are called and chosen by Him. When God called me, He did not call me as a pastor, preacher or evangelist, He simply said, 'David, I want everything!' - 'I want your time, your money, your family: everything!' The call of God on my life, and the calling on your life, is to serve Jesus; we must serve Him in whichever way He directs.

A few years ago I revisited the place in Brighton where God first spoke to me when I was 15 years old. I was with a group of young Christians walking along the beach, but God was speaking to me, challenging me. God was saying to me, "I want you David!" And the devil was saying, "Don't you realise you're saved, you got baptised in water, filled with the Holy Spirit – that’s enough!" But God was saying, "I want YOU!" He didn’t say, "I want you to be a preacher, I want you to be an evangelist, a missionary…" – God said, "David, I want ALL of you, EVERYTHING! – Your life, your family, your time, your house, every single thing – I want the lot!" People talk about tithing, the biblical pattern of giving a tenth of your income to God, but a long time ago I tried the opposite, keep a tenth for yourself, and give God 90 percent! You cannot out-give God! Give everything! The more I give Him, the more I receive financially, the more power of God I receive! – Give and you will receive, 'pressed down and running over!' – This is why God says, the only 'reasonable' thing is to present your body as a living sacrifice, wholly acceptable to God! – And this is only the beginning, the norm, the 'reasonable' bit! I want the un-reasonable, the extra-normal! I don't just want to receive the Holy Spirit like everybody else, I want a double portion, a treble portion, ten times, a hundred times more! I'm hungry for God! I need that anointing, that power! Jesus told of the servant who did everything that was expected of him, what was reasonable – but the master did not thank him – it was expected of him. But I want to receive! The more you give, the more God gives back! I remember that tremendous challenge when God said to me, "David, I want YOU!" That night I had to say, "Lord, I’ll give you everything!"

After I went to bed that night I had wild dreams that the preacher wouldn't turn up next day in church, dreams of evangelising... Next morning was the most glorious day ever! I got out of bed, on my knees, and said, "Lord, I have given you everything, now I will do whatever You want, I am all Yours!" I was expecting great things! I went downstairs full of excitement. Today was the day when I was going to start preaching to thousands… But the first thing I saw was a row of dirty shoes – I have never liked cleaning shoes then or now – and the Lord said, "Clean those shoes!" And I did it because I had made a commitment. I polished those shoes as if Jesus Himself was going to wear them! That's reasonable service. You don't start at the top, you start at the bottom. I didn't start by evangelising in great meetings. I started witnessing as a boy in the street, in my school. Where did your salvation begin? Your salvation began when Jesus GAVE, when He paid the price – His sacrifice on the cross. That's where our ministry has to begin – giving – its only reasonable service.

Didn't Jesus say in Matthew 20:27-28, 'Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many'? We have the false idea that success in the Kingdom is all about bright lights, fame, celebrity; no! God called us as servants. If you want to be the greatest in the Kingdom, then serve willingly in obscurity.

Listen to 'Chosen for a Purpose': http://davidhathaway.podbean.com/e/chosen-for-a-purpose-featuring-vinesong/

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