Excerpts from “Jesus & Company” by Don and Sondra Tipton, a remarkable book describing astounding, miraculous events leading to the founding of the Friend Ships ministry.
“How do I know what God has called me to do?”
This is the question I am asked more than any other. If your heart yearns to serve God but you don’t know how to do it, find a man or woman who is already doing something that is laid out in the Bible and help them. If a man in your church preaches on the city street corner, don’t criticize him because you can’t (or won’t) do what he is doing. Help him. Hold a flashlight on his Bible while he reads, intercede for him in prayer, wash his car so that he has more time to preach. Push him toward the mark.
If you were a father with an estate and had given your eldest son the job of mowing the lawn, wouldn’t it thrill you to look out the window and see your younger son, who had not yet received his own assignment, pushing against his brother’s back, helping to move the lawn mower, anxious to further the needs of his Father’s house?
Help your brother, and before long the Lord will clarify your mission. Be tenacious. God is with you who can be against you?
Satan is a liar. He’s all smoke and mirrors. He makes you believe that he has the ultimate power and strength, but Jesus defeated Satan at the cross. We are the ones Jesus died for. You have the weapons and the power. Take control. You know Satan is our adversary, so don’t wait for him to knock you down before you go on the offensive against him. Be aggressive. Get tough. Get in Satan’s face and “go ugly early.”
We are men and women of purpose. Your birth was no mistake, and it’s no coincidence that you’ve been chosen to live in a time such as this. There is a reason you’re on this earth. Your life is constantly full of great opportunity. God awaits your decisionsùthe choices are yours.
You are children of the living God, saved by grace, “not by òworks, so that no one can boast.” But remember, that the same passage continues on to say that we are “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ” It would be foolish for us to think that God has given us work to do, put it in our hearts and then made no provisions for it. How can we think this of our Father who is the God of Provision?
Some feel that when we give money to the church or to the mission field, we are financing God. Let’s get this straight. God does not need our financing. He doesn’t wake up every morning and check the stock market or the value of the dollar against the yen. No, God blesses us with an opportunity to be part of His work by allowing us the chance to give money or to give of ourselves. Money is precious to most people, so the issue often centers on cash. How easily we forget that God is the one who “gives you the ability to produce wealth.” God is God. He gives us everything we have, even every breath we take.
But if we are wise enough to partake of the opportunity He offers, we will give our financesùand we will give the one thing far more precious to Him than money.
Imagine Jesus approaching you with a collection basket in His hand. If the Great Giver Himself stood before you with His eyes of love and His nail-scarred hands, what kind of an offering might He receive? How excited you would be to give! You would probably pull out every last dollar you had as He stood there in front of you with His old woven basket.
But I know well, and can say with assurance that what He really would want to know as He gazed into your eyes is, “How much of yourself are you willing to place into my basket?”
We know how much of Himself He poured out for you. He valued you above all else. You are the jewels, the fine gold, the rubies, in His sight. Remember, you are the one He loves, and in this day and even this hour, you can choose what to give to God. Take courage. Believe what He has put in your heart. Spread the gospel, feed the hungry, love your neighbor, visit the sick. You’re not waiting for God. He’s waiting for you. Let today be your day of decision. Move by the Word of God. Don’t be faint. Act on what God puts in your heart. Stand and believe Him. Take hold of it and don’t let go.
Maybe you have a dream hidden in your heart, something you have longed to do for your Lord Jesus ever since you were born again. Why aren’t you doing it? If it builds the Father’s house, Jesus will give you all you need. Be bold, be brave. Trust God. Don’t let fear be your companion. “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing and forceful men lay hold of it!” Let it be the last thing you’re willing to give up.
Time after time God reaches down in love and assures us in His Word, saying “Fear not!” Advance and seek the kingdom and everything you need will be supplied to you. He promises, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”
Become committed personally, prayerfully and financially in spreading the gospel and in helping those in need. Step forward. Be involved in whatever way you possibility can. It’s God’s will. He is the Lord. It’s important to Him. He will appreciate it, it honors Him, He will bless you for it, He will multiply your efforts.
Work with great tenacity! It doesn’t matter how knowledgeable, attractive, well dressed, well spoken, affluent or even how wise you are. If you do not sink your teeth in and hang on like a bulldog, you will fail.
The world wants you to fail. The enemy wants you to fail. At times, even some Christians want you to fail, but God wants you to win. If you stick with Him, only Him, and are not willing to be led by circumstances, even when it’s the death of your friends, He can and He will, bring you through. The journey may not be easy and not without disappointments, heartaches and scars. Maybe even your life will be required, but the commitment will be worth it because this is what you were created to do.
If you are willing to work for His glory and His alone, then ask Jesus to make the way. Cast down the fears that stand in your way. Don’t look at the circumstances. Don’t look to the left or the right. Keep your eyes only on Him.
The task set before you may be impossible to accomplish in your eyes but, with Jesus, all things are possible. It probably won’t be easy, friends, but the Lord will make it happen. As He’s filled our lives with joy unspeakable, He will fill yours!
We praise and give honor to our wonderful Lord and King!