Every person is called by God and entrusted with a part of His nature as an image bearer: one who reveals and reflects God to the world. Such a high calling, yet one we easily forget because of the mundane pressures of life. Our fleshly reactions often replace purposeful Spirit-led actions.
Paul encourages believers to lead a life worthy of this calling and gives 5 principles for us to pursue: humility, gentleness, patience, unity, and peace.
Choose today to walk worthy of the calling God has set before you.
“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.” - Ephesians 4:1-4 NLT
Christians who aren’t experiencing fulfillment and joy in their walk with Jesus often complicate Kingdom living through religious pursuits.
The simplicity that Jesus offers in walking with the Father and responding to the Spirit in alignment with our design and assignment gets replaced with more “spiritual” activities.
I’ve met so many believers over the years who are completely focused on things like praying for revival, spiritual warfare and intercession over their region/country, social injustice and political issues of the day, etc, and are completely worn down and worn out. It’s overwhelming. They are often pursuing things out of personal zeal and obligation without the grace needed to do it.
When we walk in the fullness of who God actually created us to be, it is spiritual warfare in itself. It causes demons to flee. It causes the powers of darkness to be pushed back. It places Jesus on the throne, and He is glorified in and through us.
Don’t hear what I’m not saying… none of those things are inherently wrong or bad. I just think it’s a lot easier for the religious mind to focus on things that “seem spiritual” ￼rather than the simplicity of living in the freedom and power the Kingdom of God offers every believer.
It seems if believers would actually start walking in the power they already had, the revival the have been praying for would suddenly appear.
As you mature in the Kingdom, you have to pass through a number of moments that are designed by God as “eye of the needle” moments. An invitation to promise and fruitfulness, impact and influence that requires a shedding of the old. A release of what has been for what’s to come. A recognition of and repentance for reliance on things other than His voice.
For Abraham, it was his certainty and security. For Paul, it seemed to be His knowledge, authority, and reputation. For the Rich Young Ruler in Mark 10, it looked like his desire and dependence on his wealth. “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:25 NKJV. For the rich young ruler, it wasn’t about the money, per se. It was about his heart. And it is the same for us today.
These moments are designed by God as refining moments where we are faced with an opportunity to deeply examine our own hearts and make a decision.
Will we choose our desire, comfort, and understanding or trust God in the unknown?
Are we willing to voluntarily lay down the things we have drawn strength, identity, and comfort from in exchange for the security of God’s presence and what He has has promised.
For every person, these moments are different and divinely crafted. Moments of struggle and contemplation that make us ask the hard questions and look deep into our own motives and framework for living. But in the end, when we choose to lay down the things that so easily entangle us, we are freed to pass through, unencumbered, to the next season.
What are you carrying today that needs to be released in order for you to move into the next thing God has for you?
I hear people say “I’d love to but don’t have the money “ a lot these days. ￼They blame it on the economy, political, the usual suspects. Normally, it’s in regards to something they desire to pursue regarding their calling in God’s Kingdom. ￼Something like a conference or course, tools or skills, a program or resource they need to progress in their calling. And so there they sit… Stalled. Paralyzed. Shut down. Frustrated. ￼For another year or even decade. ￼in full agreement with their belief that they don’t have enough.
Affordability has nothing to do with whether or not God said to do something. That’s simply a reflection of your natural situation, not God’s supernatural ability.
Moments like this have everything with it to do with your willingness to step out in faith toward the vision God has shown you. Believing that where He guides, He always provides.
Someone who says they can’t afford $10, $100 or even $1000 to pursue their dream (or the knowledge it takes to mature in the skills they need to operate in it)￼ would “beg, borrow, and steal” to find that same $100 if I told them it would buy them a brand new car. Why? Because they are fully convinced in their heart that the car is worth much more than the $100 they need to exchange to get it.
Conversely, you encourage someone to step out in faith and believe God for the provision they need BEFORE they have received it in their hand and they will look at you like you're crazy. Why? Because they are fully convinced that it sounds like a crazy idea. It won’t work out. You and God are not trustworthy. They trust their disappointment in the past more than God’s promise for the future.
I know this sounds offensive to some but it’s true. God always calls us to exchange what we have now for the promise of what’s to come. He always requires us to sow before we can reap. And Jesus himself tells us to pray in Mark 11 to pray like we already have the thing we desire, not begging like orphans. That’s how the Kingdom of God is designed.
The sooner you get used to coming into agreement with God and stepping out in faith - especially when it doesn’t make sense to your natural mind - the sooner you will see supernatural provision showing up in your life.
In John 7:38, Jesus’ promise to every believer is rivers of living water flowing out of your belly. The promise of Holy Spirit power moving in and through your life. What a picture of God’s overwhelming abundance!
And yet, for many, the issues of life have formed a dam over their heart, blocking that flow. Fear and anxiety, worry and distress, wounds from the past and their associated traumatic effects, beliefs, and assumptions that have little to do with God’s best, comparison and inadequacy, lies from the enemy and others.
Each moment of pain is like a rock, expertly placed over your heart until the gushing flow of God’s river of abundance is slowed to a trickle or even stopped.
Years of trickle or no flow can make you believe that’s normal, but it’s not. Your normal isn’t always Kingdom normal. Thankfully, Jesus has made a way for you to return to abundant life in Him.
He is the dam breaker, the wall destroyer, the rock remover. As you invite Him into your situation, ask Him to show you what rocks are blocking the flow of your river. When He shows you, simply offer them to Him and invite Him to remove them from your life once and for all, healing your heart and restoring your flow.
There’s freedom IN you… let it out. There’s freedom FOR you as you let it out. There’s freedom for OTHERS as they experience your freedom flow.
Have you ever realized most of the things people pray for and/or prophetic words people seek after are often things already promised by God and restored through the finished work of the cross?
We all need prophetic encouragement from others from time to time. That is one of the beautiful benefits and blessings of being God’s child, and a part of the body of Christ. And probably why Paul tells us it’s the gift we should most earnestly desire in order to edify, encourage and comfort one another. But don’t get addicted to seeking the convenience “a word from the Lord” from others when really what you really need to do is learn to walk by faith on the word you already know.
Walking by faith requires us to take hold of what God has already declared as true and walking in that reality now, regardless of whether we see the manifestation yet in our life.
Prayer, in its best form, is a way for us to commune with God in His presence, hear His voice, allow Him to mold and make us into the image of Christ, and receive by faith those things which He’s already provided for us. No need to beg, plead or get desperate. Simply come and experience the freedom of new life in Christ. Then get up and walk in that new reality. As you do, the reality of the Kingdom you cultivate on the inside will be experienced on the outside.
Many people resist the fact that God loves to bless His people with material blessings. Denominational church leaders rail against what they call the “prosperity gospel” while refusing to embrace the truth of God’s word regarding practical provision and finances.
One verse I love is Deuteronomy 8:18, where it says “Remember the LORD your God. He is the one who gives you the power to be successful (create wealth), in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.” Here, God is saying that His blessing of His people with the ability to be successful (create or get wealth) actually confirms His covenant with His people. In other words, when people see how blessed you are because of me, they will know I am the Lord who keeps my part of the deal. Wow.
God’s supernatural provision in your life not only demonstrates His goodness and faithfulness to you, it also becomes a sign and a wonder to others who are still striving in their own strength.
“But Matt, if I’m struggling financially, does that mean God doesn’t love me? Or if someone is walking in financial abundance that God loves them more?” No, and no.There are lots of issues at work when people take a hard look at their financial life, like bad choices, mismanagement, fiscal frivolity, greed, or on the other side good stewardship, generosity, and talent.
Regardless of where you may need to grow and mature, realize your provision is a promise from the Lord because of your position, not your performance. Choosing to receive that by faith and disconnecting from the life of financial striving is where that begins.
No matter where you are on this journey, realize God has already blessed you with everything you need to thrive and flourish in this life because of your position as His child, not your performance as His worker. You only have to receive it by faith.
In Matthew 6, when Jesus taught about provision, He revealed a little-known Kingdom principle: you are designed to receive your provision through your design.
And why would he use the examples of birds and flowers? Because they have completely different ways of receiving from the Father in line with their design, yet both are abundantly provided for each day. They were made to exist and thrive in a different realm.
Consider the “birds of the air”. They are constantly moving around as they fly. They have unique vision to see opportunities for food and shelter. They peck the ground, eating bugs and earthworms. They have the ability to build their nests, lay eggs, and multiply. None of this stresses them out because it’s how they were designed by God. They were made to move and exist in the realm of the air.
And consider “lilies of the field” - simple flowers. They sprout, bloom and wilt all in one place. They grow deep roots which enable them to receive nutrients from the soil. They grow foliage that reaches toward the sun to receive light and life through the magical process of photosynthesis. They were made to bloom and flourish in the realm of the ground according to the seasons.
What about the branches in Jesus’ parable in John 15. They receive everything they need through their connection to the main vine. They were made to grow and thrive in the realm of the vineyard.
Birds can’t grow roots and aren’t designed to receive provision by photosynthesis. Flowers can’t eat earthworms. It’s simply not their design. It’s impossible.
But when each receive God’s abundant provision through their unique design - in the realm they were designed for - they thrive while in a place of rest. It’s second nature to them. There’s a flow and a rhythm to life unique to them. They don’t have to work for it, only cooperate with what God has already provided for them.
And so, Jesus finishes the story by reminding us that if the Father provides for the birds and flowers like this, how much more will He do it for us, His children, “of you of little faith.” In other words, you’re going to have to choose to walk this way by faith if you want to experience these results.
When you pursue provision outside your unique, God-given design and the realm God designed you for, it’s like a lily trying to eat an earthworm. It only leads to frustration. What brings exhilaration to one will bring frustration to another. What brings life to one will bring death to another.
The quicker you embrace this principle in your life and your uniqueness in the Kingdom, the quicker you will start to experience the abundant flow of Heaven’s supernatural provision in your life. That’s God’s plan for living.
When your identity is established in Christ, your unique design is uncovered, and your kingdom assignment is revealed. ￼But when your identity is rooted and grounded in brokenness from the past, your unique design remains covered and your kingdom assignment is hidden.
Many well-meaning Christians live their whole life in this place. Saved, and on their way to heaven, but still defined by who they used to be before they became a new creation in ￼Christ. ￼They spend their whole Christian life trying to do things for God, be a good Christian and ultimately pay him back for the free gift of grace. He is so generously given. ￼ Not realizing the whole time that they have been restored as sons in the Kingdom of their Father. ￼
But seeking an assignment - along with the resources, ideas and opportunities - to do something for God never produces lasting fruit.￼ it produces striving Christians trying to realize spirit birth results through their own works. ￼
The model of living that enables you to have lasting impact in the kingdom is to allow your assignment to flow out of your unique design, as you are rooted and grounded in the love of God as his child. ￼
No accomplishment for God, however earnest in your intent, will ever satisfy the longing for his presence only found in knowing your identity in Christ. ￼ No amount of expertise will ever replace the favor of God and his grace operating in your life to open doors and connect you through divine appointments in a supernatural way.
He is the well of life, which is now living in us through the power of the Holy Spirit. He desires to flow freely through us in the unique way he has designed us for the unique things He is created us to do withHim in His Kingdom.
The frustration many Christians experience in not being able to walk in the abundant life, is not due to God withholding, blessings, or favor from them, but in their misunderstanding of how the Kingdom of God is designed to work in the life of the believer.
The Kingdom is always on, always working, always available and always abundant for everything at all times. ￼Alignment begins with establishing your identity in Christ, so that you can see the world, God, and yourself the way He does. His perspective for His assignment in your life.
Mental flip-flopping creates spiritual instability. Thoughts and feelings come and go like the changing of the weather. However, if you allow yourself to be tossed - to and fro - by these, it creates an atmosphere of double-mindedness, which leads to instability.
As a gardener, I am reminded of how true this is. Once you plant something in a good place, you must leave it where it is. You have to water, fertilize and cultivate an atmosphere around it that is conducive to growth. If you keep digging the plant up and moving it to different locations based on the outward circumstances of the weather, it may hang on for a little bit, but eventually, it will die. Why? No roots are going to be established.
Renewing your mind is the same way. You have to decide what you believe about who God says you are, what you can do, and all he has for you in the kingdom. Once you do, you have to stay planted in that reality. This is not something God does to you but something God does with you. Over time, your roots will grow, and you will become established in the Lord. If you choose not to and allow yourself to be dug up every time the wind blows, no matter how much you love Jesus, it’s impossible for you to experience growth. ￼
Stay planted, my friend.
Matt Tommey is an artist, author and mentor who is passionate about empowering artists to thrive spiritually, artistically and in business.