Every man or woman of God will face barriers to their movement forward. Once a believer realizes they were allowed to be placed on earth at a specific place and time in history for a specific reason, then the challenge for them is to discover what that calling is,develop it, then deploy it in the world to change history! One person who finds their calling and walks in it is more significant to fulfilling God’s purpose than an auditorium filled with immature, unbelieving believers, always wondering about it yet perpetually wandering from it. And it’s not good enough just to know it in our heart, but to get to that place where we are actually doing it,deploying it efectively. Whatever it is we are called to do, we are to do it heartily as unto the Lord. But unfortunately, even in the process of doing it,some don’t make it.
Jesus said in Mt 22:1:14 “Many are called but few are chosen” and the best translation of the Greek word kletos is called, with the implication of AN INVITATION. An invitation is great because it means we are invited, but whether or not we get there is up to us. We have to do certain things to ensure we can comply with the calling and be chosen.We actually have to prepare to be chosen in this sense and God wil give us grace. 2 Pet 1:3
Chosen is the Greek word eklektos which means, “the one who showed up,participated and stayed for the wedding”. Just like when a close friend asks you to be in his wedding, whatever that requires for you to do to get there,what you should wear ,what you should bring, is up to you to accomplish. Each of us must determine whether the cost ,time and effort is worth it to us. To be “chosen” is more accurately then, those ones who counted the cost and endured to the end,almost as in an athletic contest. Paul also uses this racing analogy of Olympic-type competition when referring to the Christian’s race in life in 1 Cor 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
God invites us, but we must then decide to choose if we want to respond or not. If we buy into wrong theology that removes all responsibility of the Christian ,then it also removes all the reward. How can you be rewarded if you do nothing? If all is settled and done? Even if we make bad choices on the way to finish, we can overcome! Jesus appeared after the resurrection to over 500 disciples at one time and many other times and these all knew about the promise of the Father Luke 24:49 ,that they were to go to Jerusalem and wait for it,but only 120 were in that upper room in Acts 1:8. It;s clear in scripture we make choices that determine whether we fulfill our destiny or not. So we all have to daily decide which way we are going to walk. We have to agree with the invitation,decide to respond to it and prepare and align ourselves to be there.
Will we miss it alltogether?Will start with a bang,but drop out? Will we start but then finish poorly? Or will we think long-term and pace ourself to finish and finish well?
After 36 years of being around many leaders,I realize NONE of them,including myself,are flawless or perfect. All of them can be weak,yet the great ones,quickly repent and don’t allow themselves to be carried away by their own fleshly desires or allow their destiny to be hijacked. Here are 4 barriers all leaders will face and must get past to finish well:
1) The betrayal barrier– How we respond to offense and betrayal is really tough because you can’t be betrayed by a stranger, but only by those closest to you. You have to be close to someone for them to stab you in back! Some people fall away after close friends turn on them and cause them harm.Family, friends and loved ones all can and may fail or betray you and nothing prepares you for it. There is a great idealism all pastors and leaders have about the nature of people and why they came in so close to you. All of us desire friends and pastors especially need friends but sometimes it is difficult to have friends in the church because the desire of some people to be given a place of honor or a seat near the center of power. Many of my biggest mistakes in ministry or leadership was when I believed more in the calling and potential of a person than they did . Also, people come to our churches most times from other churches where they had a bad experience and they bring an expectation to have that again with YOU! Jesus warned us why this happens and encourages us to press on. Mk 13:12
…….Continued in part 2……