Believers Share in the Heavenly Calling (Hebrews 3:1)
"Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess" (Hebrews 3:1)
Part 3 of 4
Knowing that we are consecrated and set apart from birth does not guarantee success. Victory comes when we understand that we share in the heavenly calling because what we have been called into is a relationship. This is the single most important mission for your life, knowing God in an intimate way.
Jesus said in John 17, "For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" (John 17:2-3). Our job is to know God and to know Jesus; this is the definition of eternal life. By experiencing an intimate relationship with God we are experiencing the abundant life Jesus promised to his followers (John 10:10). It is true, as believers, we will reign in eternity with Jesus, but knowing that our heavenly calling right now is to know God, we can enjoy and experience eternal life right here in this world, starting today.
Our mission is to know God because everything for the Christian life begins here. As we experience this relationship our hearts begin to change, aligning with His and the result is incredible and drastic. When our hearts change, our lives change as well, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7 KJV). Meaning the true intentions and attitudes of a man come out in behavior and actions. To experience true change we must change what we think at the core level. The only way to do this is to allow God to rewrite His truth on our hearts, to let us see life as He sees it. To have His thoughts and values be ours. This is why cultivating a relationship with God is the single most important thing you can do, because this type of change is a byproduct of that relationship.
Busyness & Service is Not Our Heavenly Calling!
Since our heavenly calling is relationship it is important not to get sidetracked with other things even if these things are good. So many times, we believe that we need to do in order to be effective for the kingdom but God doesn’t want our service he just wants us. Look at the example of Mary and Martha. When Jesus visited their home, Martha was busy preparing and serving the Lord and her guests while Mary sat at Jesus' feet and listened to him. The Bible records that Martha was distracted; she probably didn't hear a word Jesus said. As she was occupied and busy she became upset at Mary because she wasn't helping. When she brought this to Jesus' attention, His response shows the importance He places on relationship versus service. "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:41-42). Martha's things were good, they were needed and Jesus didn't condemn her for doing them. In fact, I'm sure he appreciated the hospitality he enjoyed while staying there. But Mary had chosen better, she chose to sit at Jesus' feet, enjoy His company and learn from Him.
Martha probably started out like Mary. The family was close to Jesus and He probably stayed with them whenever he was in the area. She probably started out listening and fellowshipping with the Savior when He was in town just as Mary did. As her love for Him grew she probably wanted to serve Him, make special meals for Him and make Him comfortable in her home. It is only natural for this to be the case. But somewhere in the midst of her preparations the focus was taken off Jesus and pleasing him and it turned solely to the work at hand. The change, although slight was a matter of the heart. She became distracted, busy and overly occupied. At this point she didn't have time for the person of Jesus even though she was doing for Him. Mary on the other hand recognized the most important thing, which was sitting at Jesus' feet, realizing that everything else could wait.
Now, I am not bashing Martha, because I tend to be somewhere in the middle of Mary and Martha. Service is needed in the body of Christ; there is much work to be done. But when the focus switches from Jesus and serving out of gratitude to the busyness of what needs done then something must give. Like Peter, when he took his eyes off Jesus, he sank. We must return to the real focus of life, relationship with God. Looking to Him in everything, this is our heavenly calling.
The more we fellowship and know Jesus the more we will be equipped and ready serve the body. Because His love will pour out of us and overflow to everyone we meet. We will share His wonderful truth and love with everyone that will listen. The Great Commission will also be fulfilled in our lives simply because we will want to share with others what we have. All of this comes from relationship. We must understand that the most important thing we can do is remove both busyness and distractions and simply focus on Jesus.
Tomorrow we look at Part 4: True Success Comes From Making Jesus Personal in Your Life