I used to take my little black dog for a long walk through the local Northumbria countryside. I love walking and talking to God and my dog seems to enjoy it too! As I walked down this English country lane I found myself praying and claiming a promise that my mother had written in the front of a concordance she gave me when I was first called to ministry. Below is the actual words she wrote on my twenty third birthday:
“The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:24)
And I found myself declaring that because He has called me and He is faithful He will come through for me in the areas I’m concerned about in my life and ministry namely:
- Give me the wisdom I need each day
- Protect me from all harm and every attack of the enemy
- Never leave me nor forsake me
- Surround me with amazing people
- Grant favour, open doors & provide all that we need for the Dream Centre
And I felt God say – “You need to share this with the people so they can stand on it themselves – it’s not just for you or the church! It’s for everyone – that’s why it’s in my Word!”
Paul is assuring the Thessalonians that the God who has called them will complete the work of sanctification (act of making holy, like Jesus) in each of them in preparation for Christ’s return. Pauls confidence rests in the God who can be relied upon to finish what He starts! In the Greek it reads: ‘Faithful is the one calling you who also will perform it.’
Here are some of the thoughts I had about this great verse and Gods faithfulness:
Sometimes we lose sight of who God is – The Great I Am!!
That’s who He is! Our nation has faced political turbulence and shaking and we’re not alone in that….but He remains in control!!! He’s the One!!
Everything in your individual world might be shaking- but He remains in control. Nothing ever takes Him by surprise or catches Him off guard!
“Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’” (Isaiah 46:9-10)
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (Revelation 22:13)
He’s the ONE! Can I ask you – is your perspective right? Do you get it?!
He is THE ONE! He is the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent ONE!!!!
And of course – He is the one…..who has called you!
WHO CALLS YOU
There will have been a time in our lives when God called us. His initial call was, of course to Himself in salvation. That’s just the beginning of His work in our lives and as Brian Houston puts it so succinctly in his great book “Live, Love, Lead.” our determination should be to; ‘live called not simply saved.’
We are all called to know God and love Him but in addition to that we all have a unique individual calling. In fact:
“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.”
(Ephesians 1:11-12 MSG)
Life is very much intended to be a ‘big adventure’ with Father God at the helm. I absolutely believe that if we will surrender our lives to Him and be partner with Him then we will enjoy the most amazing life there is. We have been uniquely shaped for a unique purpose and God will enable us to discover that if we will allow Him. What synergy there is when we discover & live out His call and purposes as we go through the seasons of our lives.
During my journey I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my work in Boys Brigade, leading a youth group, coaching school football teams, running my own retail store, football chaplaincy, church planting, leading Christian camps and also the amazing Newcastle Dream Centre. God knew how He had shaped me – it might not be your ‘cup of tea’ – but I have loved every minute of it.
In every season of our lives there is a calling!
We must understand & grasp this. You might be:
- Student finding your way through school/college
- Employed in the public or private sector, arts, music or building a company
- In the early years of married life or parenting (the most important role & primary calling!)
- Retired – looking after grand children or perhaps serving, mentoring and encouraging young guys
In every season there is a calling!! There is a place where we can be fulfilled and fulfil God’s purposes on earth.
Do you know what you are called to in this season?
Do you trust Him enough to ask Him and then listen for His answer?
When He comes calling how will you respond?
At one point during his earthly ministry, Jesus was walking down a road and calling people to follow Him. There response was this:
“Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” (Luke 9:57-62)
I wonder how you react when Jesus comes calling?
- Put off until circumstances suit
- Make excuses (forgetting that the one who has called us is Faithful – He called us knowing about the difficulties, obstacles we would face but knowing He could make our paths straight)
‘If you wait until all the lights are green before you leave home – you’ll never get started on your trip to the top’ (Zig Zagler)
- Dismiss or ignore
I believe that sadly some Christians have become so used to saying NO to God that they’ve forgotten how to say YES! Of course the devil senses destiny and potential and will try and put us off following our calling. This quote is scary:
‘Every moment my thoughts are saying no to the God of the universe the are saying yes to the enemy of my soul.’ (Joyce Meyer)
The TRAGEDY is that when we disobey – ultimately – we miss out. Can I encourage you to simply obey him. You never know where it might lead.
Say YES to the small things and God will start to lead you into some BIG things that will blow your mind!
We live in a world where loyalty & faithfulness is constantly being challenged and questioned. God has proved himself faithful in every way in my life. I was given up for adoption at 6 weeks. See my story here. Through victory & failure, trial, fears, difficulty, attack, sickness, bereavement & loss, threats – God has proved Himself absolutely FAITHFUL! He is faithful to all His promises and loving….
‘God never made a promise that was too good to be true.’ (D.L. Moody)
Have you experienced His faithfulness? You might have done in trouble and trial. How about about discovering more of His faithfulness?! Isn’t it time you stretched your faith? You will experience His faithfulness every time you step out, take a leap of faith or obey even though it looks crazy to everyone else?! That’s where you discover His faithfulness. That’s where you discover that where He calls He equips. When we left Leicester….in 1992 to head for Bible College with our four children our situation was this:
- debts of £13k
- our house wasn’t rented
- no income and no money to rent the house we moved into
- no grant and just £5 in our pocket
- no course fees
- our belongings were transported in a horse box!
God was faithful!! He provided in every way!
‘Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase’ (Martin Luther King)
We have witnessed God’s incredible faithfulness over the past thirty years. We could tell you story after story of His incredible provision and protection. The story that began to unfold at the Newcastle Dream Centre is one of Gods incredible faithfulness….. Food, clothes, coats, knitting, CAP Release course, Keys Detox, Adopt A Block, New Baby Essentials etc.
We regularly saw people rescued, restored and rebuilt!! YES!!! Gods faithfulness is amazing. He is faithful – the one who has called us IS faithful!
AND HE WILL DO IT
You might feel completely out of your depth……and be saying: ‘Why Me -Why has he called me’ to:
- Have this job with all its pressure – I can’t cope!
- Run this business, team, ministry
- Serve on this team
- Lead through this difficult period
- Launch that ministry
You’re In Good Company!
- Jonah – asked why him and did a runner!
- Moses said – ‘send someone else!
- Saul – was found hiding at his coronation!
- Gideon – said ‘how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” (Judges 6:15)
You’re in good company – but remember…..
“The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.”
Wherever He has called you right now – you need to grasp that God has actually called you to whatever it is! Why? Because:
- He knows you can do it…….He believes in you!
- He doesn’t look at the outside appearance or intellect – He looks at the heart.
- Where He calls He aways enables, equips & fully provides. (Phil. 4:13 AMP)
- He loves to be glorified by using ordinary men and women to do great exploits.
- He uses the foolish things to shame the wise! I’m sure one day in heaven and they said – ‘I’ll confound them – I’ll use that Lawton bloke.’ Haha!
When I used to lead the Dream Centre – at times it was overwhelming and I felt completely inadequate, lacking the necessary skills and out of my depth, but I stood on this promise totally. I know for sure that ‘the one who has called me is faithful and He will do it!’
Recently we were called, out of the blue, by God, to lead a new church in Selly Oak, Birmingham. It took us completely by surprise but we’re loving the new challenge and the fact is that God has called us and is faithful and will do His work in us and through us!
No Sitting Back!
I’ve learned in my life that if I will do everything I can – then that opens the door for God to do everything He can! So I pray, believe, fast, ask, seek, knock, give, obey…and then I TRUST Him to do it!
Why don’t you make this powerful promise yours today:
“The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”
Because He has called me and because He is faithful, He will……(you finish the sentence and make the promise your own)
If you’ve enjoyed this post you might like to check out my book entitled ‘Imagine’ that is all about trusting God based on the amazing promise in Proverbs 3:5-6. Imagine is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble and other major book sellers worldwide. There is more information here.
One recent Amazon reviewer said, “This is an incredibly powerful book written as if the author is chatting to you about his own life, struggles and experiences during his ongoing walk with God. It is a very real and honest book with bible verses to back up what the author is sharing about. Personally this book is having a big impact on me and my faith in God. I would recommend to anyone to buy this book if you want to deepen your relationship with God at whatever stage you are in your walk. Imagine the impact this book could have on your life….”
Another reviewer said ‘A wonderful story of faith and dedication overcoming all obstacles. Full of practical advise and wise instruction. The book invites the reader to ‘dream dreams’ and to live out vision with tenacity and determination. A good hearty read.’ (Pastor Paul Hallam)