Called According to Purpose (continued)
Have you not seen how many a things started by God definitely under His anointing ... many an instrumentality serving Him most wonderful has just gone so far and stopped, and from that time it has gone no further. It has come under arrest and it belongs, really belongs to the past. Although it is being kept going it is living on a tradition, it is living on a past, it is living upon a name and a reputation of the last generation or generations ago. There is nothing right up to date in fullness. Why? Because it was not realized that was only in line with something more, it was never intended to be something by itself. The ultimate full purpose encompassed that and swallowed it up. It was related. Now some of you will perhaps see the point of this more than others, but it is tremendously important that we recognize that any vision that we have must not stop short with the thing that we are in, it must not stop short with the present aspect of things. Any God-given vision which is for a specific time is only related to the ultimate and must give place to the ultimate, and the fuller must come in and swallow it up. Oh, let us ask the Lord to save us from settling down into something less than He intends. There must always be with us this sense, this deep-down consciousness, we are called according to purpose not yet fully realized. There is a wonderful future with which we are related and this is not the end of everything. We must have that sense. Have you got it? Have you got what we have here before called this "sense of Divine destiny," this something, calling you on, pulling you on, not allowing you to accept anything less than all God means, that is vision in reality. Or does your vision just reside within the narrow limits of a piece of work that you are doing for God? Or trying to do for God. Is that your vision? It is not adequate, it is not adequate. No, "called according to purpose."
Now I must close, but I have read in conjunction with these chapters about Gideon the later chapters of the prophecies of Zechariah. Of course you wonder how they can be brought together, but they are part and counterpart. Those later chapters of the prophecies of Jeremiah still have in view God's full purpose and its realization where Israel was concerned. Oh, read them, you are amazed, you are almost bewildered, what is said there of God's purpose yet, concerning the land and the people. Why, here in these prophecies you have the uttermost thing said, that all, from all over the world should come and bow and worship at Jerusalem and if all will not come and worship the Lord at Jerusalem there will be a curse upon him and all his cattle and upon all that he has, a terrible curse. And it is described in language that we today can understand better than Zechariah could understand it when he penned it, "Their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets." We understand that, do we not? "Their tongues shall wither in their mouths." The atomic age, there it is.
Now all who will not come to worship the Lord at Jerusalem are going to be involved in that. That is tremendous, is it not! A Divine purpose. But here I look at the book of Judges and I say, "My word, my word, something has got to happen to get Jerusalem into that position, to get Israel into that state, where all will come and worship the Lord at Jerusalem, from every nation." Yes, but Gideon, this is the point, Gideon was apprehended in relation to that ultimate. So far as God was concerned the full vision was still in view when he took hold of Gideon and it's like that. We may have conditions such as those in the days of Gideon. But, the Lord still got his full purpose in view and he'll lay hold and say, "Have I not sent thee? Go and thou shalt save Israel from this and unto that." Oh that there might fall upon us dear friends this new sense of divine calling and apprehending into relation with his full purpose. Though meantime it may be connected with something that is out of line, out of accord with that purpose. And the purpose where we are concerned within the whole purpose is this; it may be evangelism, it may be to bring in those who are called unto His eternal glory, it may be any aspect of ministry. But it must be in full view of the end, it must be a related thing, it must e under the anointing and not just some piece of work that we have taken up and are trying to do for God. But this sense of tremendous calling, tremendous vocation, tremendous apprehending, this is the thing to which God has called me.
So many there are who are wandering about and missing the way, are in a state of ineffectiveness because they are in the wrong position. They are trying to do something God never called them to do. They have seen Christian work is such and such and so they have taken it up and they are trying to do it, but no, there is no sense of it. God laid hold of them for that, trying to do it. I wonder if you have grasped the emphasis this morning, "Called according to purpose," ultimately in its fullness, at present in some way necessary unto the ultimate. Whether, whatever it is, it has got to be this: that you and I know that our lives are apprehended. Lives until we get there and have that consciousness. There will be weakness, there will be loss, there will be confusion, we have got out of the purpose. The Lord draw us by a mighty new sense into the thing that He is Himself concerned with at this present.
(continued with # 15 - (The Ground of His Presence and Power)