14 March 2016

Jesus shows the way.

“Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles:”
Luke 6:12-13 NKJV

Two observations:

1) Jesus spent an entire night in prayer to prepare Himself to call His apostles. The One who had a constant, clear, powerful connection to heaven, who did nothing but what the Father did and said nothing but what the Father said, spent many hours in prayer before calling the twelve. 

2) He called them apostles before they had been filled with the Holy Spirit . . . before they had received the blueprint of heaven in their spiritual DNA, the internal experience of the love of God that so powerfully recreates us into the image of God.

I find the way Jesus called His apostles both beautiful and powerful. Maybe He spent the night not searching out the Father's will, but doing battle for each of those He was about to call, throwing Himself into intercession. Maybe He had some things to work through; He asked in Gethsemane if the cup could pass from Him. Maybe He had to work through some things before calling Judas, since Jesus was tempted in all points just as we are. 

But regardless of the specifics of His praying, I can see a powerful patterns set by Jesus for the things we know we need to do in His work:

1) Be in prayer always, and don't hesitate to spend dedicated and specifically-focused time in prayer before times or events where we know we will need an infilling of the Holy Spirit.

2) God calls us by the title He has in store for us before we are ready to operate in it. He called the twelve His "apostles" before they were fully equipped to be apostles. He calls us in the same manner, and once we have accepted the calling, He begins more specifically fitting us for the work ahead. The call of the first twelve apostles happened in 28 AD, while the day of Pentecost didn't come until 30 AD. (Dates from BibleHub's timelines.)

Father God, thank you for the patterns so evident in scripture, and most of all for the example of your Son. Thank you for the chance to hear a calling before we're required to fulfill it, and thank you so so so much for the bounty of mercy that allows us to get it wrong as we learn, and the endless generosity of your grace that empowers us to increase in capacity and ability to walk out your will. I just pray for everyone you are calling, everyone you are equipping, and everyone who earnestly longs for you that we will all hear you, all receive you, and that every one of us will open ourselves to experience intimacy and and the fullness of relationship with you through your Holy Spirit, in Jesus' name, amen.

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!