Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke, who writes and hosts the excellent blog; FLOWING FAITH. Ponderings of an Almond Tree in Bloom graciously wrote this post for Soulfari. Mari-Anna’s Scriptural insight and timely posts always encourage me, so I suggest you make visiting her blog a daily pilgrimage.
Thank you Mari-Anna!
Called to Live in Light by Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke
What does following Jesus really mean? Sure, it means we’re saved by
grace through faith in Jesus Christ and for that we give thanks to
God! But how is God calling you to follow?
Because God loves and calls each and everyone of use uniquely, taking
into consideration our personality and life experiences. We are not
just a bunch of people to God. We are individuals with needs, desires
and dreams. We are God’s children with whom he wants to communicate on
a daily basis. God even wants to live within us. Not as a result of a
mandate from him but an eager invitation from us.
I’ve laid down my life to Jesus and asked what he wants me to do with
my life. I’ve come to understand that my calling is to blossom and
bear fruit by talking of God so that everyone might know the love of
God, receive the grace of Christ, and live in the presence of the Holy
Spirit. How this calling will be lived out each day/month/year of my
life differs, that’s why I need to be in this ongoing conversation
with God. I’ve been sent to teach overseas and I’ve been called to
take care of our children right at home. Now I am urged to write more
and God knows where I will be sent in the future.
God has more to offer us than we can ever imagine. There will be
plenty of light to live in as Jesus promised: "I am the world's Light.
No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide
plenty of light to live in."(John 8:12, MSG) God will provide us
whatever it is we need. God will send us out uniquely equipped to
serve him in unique ways in unique places.
Even when we have found our calling we need once in awhile to have
reality checks. Am I faithful in my following? Am I somehow sabotaging
my work? Do I entertain doubts? Do I surrender my feelings of
inadequacy to Jesus? Do I first and foremost love Jesus or my work?
Whom am I serving? Like someone has said “Ultimately you are doing
what you do for one of two reasons: to serve oneself or to serve God”.
On the road someone asked [Jesus] if he could go along. "I'll go with
you, wherever," he said. Jesus was curt: "Are you ready to rough it?
We're not staying in the best inns, you know." Jesus said to another,
"Follow me." He said, "Certainly, but first excuse me for a couple of
days, please. I have to make arrangements for my father's funeral."
Jesus refused. “First things first. Your business is life, not death.
And life is urgent: Announce God's kingdom!" Then another said, "I'm
ready to follow you, Master, but first excuse me while I get things
straightened out at home." Jesus said, "No procrastination. No
backward looks. You can't put God's kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize
the day." (Luke, 9:55-62, MSG)
When Jesus asks you to follow him…Do you offer him excuses or are you
ready to serve? Do you procrastinate or do you ask him to help you?
Following Jesus is putting our faith into practice day by day by day.
And see, there is no more stumbling in darkness. Jesus provides plenty
of light to live in! Let’s not put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow!
Let’s seize the day!
Thank you for loving us individually and wanting to know us personally.
Thank you for calling each & every one of us to follow you.
Help us to let go of excuses.
Help us to seize the day.
Show for each one of us how to follow you.
Ready us to love and serve you with everything we have.
Give us clear guidance & plenty of your light to live in.
Because you are everything to us!
In Jesus’ name,