A Calling to a Mysterious Place

Keith KettenringAncient Paths, Bible Insights, Christian Living10 Comments

God is calling you to a new place. That sentence is in the present tense. The “is” has been happening for a couple of decades and continues until now. You probably will experience this for the rest of your life. It’s a calling that keeps on calling. Perhaps it will never end, even in eternity.

“God is faithful who has called you into the communion of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:9). The “is” happens every day, every moment. God’s faithfulness means He began a good work in you and will continue that particular work until the end. Though you become enamored with diverse distractions, God does not. His will for you never changes. You are seduced by ministry, politics, education, counseling, preaching, study, mentoring, sports, theology, evangelism, and the like. All the while, He simply wants you to actively participate in His life. It is as plain as day. How can you miss it? “Abide in Me,” “Come to Me,” “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him,” Jesus proclaims. How foreign are your ideas of what the Christian life is all about? Yet, the Father remains faithful in steering your life towards the reality of living this calling of communion with the Trinity.

God is calling you to experience the Son’s communion with the Father and Spirit. This sounds so ethereal, so unearthly. And yet, it’s given to you as an actual, real calling…something that’s to happen in everyday life. Get it? Well, not exactly.

As this reality gradually takes hold of your life, you will begin to experience all of life differently. Welcome to the journey.

This is how life and ministry are supposed to work – out of the life of the Trinity spiritual activity blossoms forth – His will done on earth as in heaven. Everything will be different.

His calling on your life, a calling for all, is an effectual entry into what Jesus experiences every moment of His life – communion with His Father and Spirit. This communion is not merely positional or theoretical as you once thought. But, in reality, it is the communion Jesus had with His Father while on earth in a humble body, doing what the Father willed, giving Himself to others in loving service and sacrifice, providing life to all. This level of communion seems impossible – an invitation too demanding to accept,  a daunting task too difficult to undertake. Perhaps St. Paul’s use of the words “fear and trembling” to describe your “work of salvation” (Phil. 2:13) was not so far off.

Jesus and the Father and Spirit are one as you are with the Son. The difference is that Christ actually lived in such communion, He only did the Father’s will. You struggle to experience such communion, more apt to do your own will than Christ’s will. You start each day with good intentions yet are unable to sustain your desire to walk in union with Christ. Let’s be honest, only a few enter this narrow gate. You struggle to be among the few. The temptation is to believe you are emulating these revered saints when in reality you will always be an amateur. But that’s OK. They thought they were novices, too.

Please don’t be discouraged or despondent. Let your calling into Christ’s communion stimulate you to repentance – a constant turning to Him, to humility – a constant recognition of your weakness, to faith – a constant need to trust Him, to perseverance – a constant movement towards life in Christ, and to love – a constant commitment to know Him.

So, my man, answer the call. Don’t be intimidated by its mystery. Struggle with it. Learn. Grow. Make mistakes. Persevere. Be faithful to your calling even while failing. God is faithful. Trust Him and take the next step.

 

10 Comments on “A Calling to a Mysterious Place”

  1. Hi Keith, I am glad to have you back. We are all pilgrims learning to have open hearts and say “Yes, and…” instead of “Yes, but…”, to the triune God. I believe as you quoted Paul, the hashing out of Salvation can be the dance of David before the ark or Peter on his face after the abundance of Jesus love was caught. I’m encouraged by your pursuit of Him and his mystery. I think you are headed towards a depth of his mercy that will continue to transform you for the sake of all the Family🤗. Much Love.

    1. Hi Tamara. It’s great to hear from you. Thanks for reading and responding…grateful that this reflection encouraged your “pursuit of Him and his mystery.” Let’s keep at it with humility and with perseverance. Thanks be to God for all things! Keith

  2. Keith! Ugh, I read this just as I am fully justifying my part of a fight I am in currently with my wife. I didn’t have to read an entire paragraph before I realized, Lord, save me again! Forgive me, Father, for the puffed-up man I am. I need your mercy, and I need your grace.
    I need a new place. The old one isn’t working out very well.
    Thanks for writing this blog! Very helpful to me.

    1. Hi Eric. I’m thankful that this reflection hit home with you. It’s in our “failures” that we often recognize our need for God’s intervention – mercy and grace. Let’s keep seeking Christ and His Kingdom – our only hope. It’s great to hear from you. I hope you’re doing well. Keith

  3. I continue to seek a definition of repentance. In the feat model, it is the beating up of myself and saying I am a failure. But my experience tells me it is the dependence upon Christ: to trust, to persevere, to be kind to myself as Christ’s mercy extends to me.
    “The temptation is to believe you are emulating these revered saints when in reality you will always be an amateur. But that’s OK. They thought they were novices, too.” I love this statement. It is freeing ,but in reality it is not my call to make. That will be in the hands of God to judge me. So I echo you, dwell in mystery. Mystery demands comfortablilty with the unknown, and trust, simple peaceful trust.
    Thank y ou for your writing.

    1. To be honest, I don’t know repentance very well. It is a great struggle for me. But as you remind me, all in good time…God’s time, and thus a mystery. Thank you for reading and responding. I am honored and humbled by your engagement…and thankful. Blessings to you. Keith

    1. No problem, John. I appreciate you and am thankful for our friendship. Thanks for readin’ and hangin’ in there with me. Keith

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