The Carnal Mind Exposed- (Part 2) The Idolatry Of Our Calling
Part 2- Lie: My worth is determined by my Calling
I am going to address a widely spread misconception about who we are as His children…and who we are not. The truth is, our worth is never changing. It cannot be added to, nor can it be diminished. Our calling (or “purpose, or “anointing,” our “vision,” etc..) is independent of our value as a child of God.
Ministry is an outflow and by-product of our relationship with the Lord. We are called to Himself, not to ministry.
“Such as I have, I give to you…” (Acts 3:6)
If we derive comfort from a calling, we misplace our identity and self-worth. Invariably the question of “who am I?” will have its answer centered around what we believe He has commissioned us to do.
We misplace our rest. Our rest is not in our calling. Our rest is not in our ministry. Our rest is in Christ. Him alone.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” (Prov 29:18)
This is another verse that is so often twisted. How often this verse is used to encourage this “quest” for our identity. When we get wrapped up in trying to determine what our “ministry” or “calling” is, we will feel lost unless we know what we are “supposed to do”. This is misplaced identity and it is another area which reveals we are drawing from the fallen thinking of the carnal mind. We will remain feeling lost. Or worse yet, we will become a Pharisee. We accept Christ and then instead of being taught the truths about how special and wonderful we are as His child, we simply run to another idol for our sense of well being and value. Only this time we do it under the guise of spiritual maturity.
One of the main reasons the body of Christ struggles so much to look different from the world is that we don’t feel much different from the world. What is more, we have not been taught to think from the mind of Christ that is now inside us, and is accessible through His word and prayerful communion. We are discouraged, sullen, depressed, without peace and rest. Above all we don’t understand the vision we are called to walk in.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you.”(Isaiah 26:3)
The vision we are to have is not a vision of ministry. It is the vision of our Savior. We keep our eyes fixed on Him. He is our vision. He is our calling. We are called to Him.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.” (Prov 13:12)
The reason so many children of God fall to deception, discouragement, depression, witchcraft and pride is because our hope is misplaced. Our hope is never meant to be in how He will use us. Nor is it in what He will “do” through us. That is not our true vision. If we study the Word, and look at how our brothers and sisters who had a relationship with their Redeemer lived, we will see a common theme. A principle of His kingdom is this: Greater revelation of Him will reveal greater revelation of what He wants to do.
Study the prophets. Every vision God gave them, whether it was events to come (foretelling) or expounding on events or principles that already exist (forth-telling) was aimed at entering that child into a deeper understanding of the nature and heart of God. This is to be our vision.
The definition of “vision” is this: “the faculty or state of being able to see.” The more we seek to see the heart of our Creator, the more we see what He sees, feel what He feels, and are passionate about the things He has passion for. This is called “communion.” This is fellowship.
And this…. is why were were created. It is our purpose, our ministry, our true vision, our calling.
“You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for you have created all things, and for your pleasure they are and were created.” Rev 4:11
It brings Him great pleasure to spend time with His creation. I urge you to read Genesis, The Songs of Solomon, The Psalms, Hosea….
“Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” (John 13:23)
Did you catch that? John was literally resting his head against our Lord’s chest. This picture often chokes me up. Both Jesus and this man were so secure in who they were, the freedom to give and receive from each other was without hindrance. I say “both” because we often forget Jesus was a man… in fact he was the … perfect… man.
Did you hear that guys? Want to know what a man is? Read about Jesus. Begin to let go of what fallen man says, and let yourself be who you are created to be. Stop stuffing it behind the veil of this fallen world, constructed by the one who made himself unworthy to stand in the presence of God.
Misplaced vision causes us to begin to create a conditional sense of self-worth, contrary to what God says about us. We are complete because we are His child. Not because of our calling. Not because of the vision He has given us to minister to others.
NOTE: If we seek to find worth, not acknowledging that our worth is already forever established as His child, servant, and friend, we will fall into self-deception.
That deception will come in the form of legalism, spiritual excessiveness, self-delusion and pride, to name a few.
NOTE: Any area in our life that we pursue because we think it will add to our worth is in opposition to the Kingdom of God, to His word and to His will for our life.
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel….” (Col 1:19-22)
We are already complete. It is finished. What we do or don’t do cannot alter this reality. All we can do is live in the realm of self-deception. A “vision-based” identity, at its root, is to say that there is more to get than what Christ has already imparted to you. This is a lie.
This is one of the greatest deceptions being perpetuated in the Church today.
Let’s read the rest of the verse:
“..this is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.” (Col 1:23)
What is the Gospel? The word gospel means good news. The good news is not that God has a vision for us in terms of ministry. The good news is not that He has a plan for us to make ourselves feel special and unique based on the unique, one-of-a- kind blueprint for our life.
The Good News is we are reconciled to the Father!!
To the degree that we do not understand and embrace this is the degree to which we will walk in pride. Pride is to seek worth apart from God. Our rest and completeness is in abiding in His presence and communing with Him and in Him. Ministry is not our reward. He is our reward.
“After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” (Gen 15:1)
There is a growing movement and trend, especially in men’s fellowships, to try to give men of God identity and purpose by filling them with a sense of destiny. This is misplaced vision. Depression, despair, and any perceived lack is a result of not knowing who we are as His child. Seeking God so that we can fulfill our destiny leads to a perversion of who we are called to be. Fellowship is not to be “me” centered. When this occurs, our motive is now to find meaning…and the Word says we already have meaning.
Failure to embrace His truths toward us leads to:
1.Intellectual Ascent (our worth comes from our mind)- we turn to the soul as our source of worth and our relationship becomes one of mental understanding. The realm of the spirit becomes a closed door to us. (study the Pharisees)
2.Spiritual Mysticism (our worth comes from our spiritual experience- this is a grave danger). Seeking experiences is never to be our goal either. We must instead seek Christ. We spend time in His presence and develop our spiritual senses through communion. Spiritual understanding is a natural result. We do not seek Him in order to experience the “supernatural.” We seek Him to spend time with our first Love. To seek Him in order to get something from Him is spiritual prostitution. It leads to all sorts of experiences that have nothing to do with the Holy Spirit. (read the Book of Jude, Acts 8:9-25 ). We will never get to hear or know the heart of the Father with this attitude.
3. Pride- by the power of our own will, and not the Holy Spirit, we accomplish our goals. Now we see ourselves as superior to those around us. Worse still, we attempt to swallow up others in our drive to see our vision fulfilled. Our vision is linked to our identity and worth. Titles and presumption begin to fill our soul and the motive of our heart is to try to “become more.” The spirit of Pride seeks to strip others of their identity. People become an extension of our own driven self. Many of God’s children are suffering under this bondage today. (read Kings and Chronicles, & story of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel)
“God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor 5:21)
Our calling, our God given vision, meaning, our purpose, our destiny is to be reconciled by the ONLY means that salvation comes: the blood of Jesus Christ. This is not the end. This is the doorway to which intimate fellowship may be experienced.
It was not the outer court of the temple that was split when Jesus died. It was not in the inner court either. Man could worship in either of these places already. It was the Holy of Holies shroud that was torn in two. We have access to a place that would have caused man to die before the atonement of the blood of Christ.
Make sense? Under the old covenant… up until Jesus died, if a person walked through that curtain… it was “curtains” for them. Death. Instant…death.
Anyone who received the Spirit at Pentecost weeks later (the new covenant being initiated with the Holy Spirit now dwelling IN the believer) could have walked right in there though…Our destiny is to live with him, in the Holy of Holies.
Look at any person in scripture that was willingly used by God. They were not seeking a commission. They were seeking Him. They were seeking His face. Their calling came as a result of their communion. God initiates. The answer to the growing sense of lack of purpose is not resolved by a 12 point self help book or an emotional stirring of our “purpose” to “do.” We are not called to “do.” We are called to “be.”
Our destiny is the throne. That throne is in us by the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit. The answer to the sick heart of the body of Christ is found in communion with Him. This is is not exciting to many because we do not have a revelation of our self worth coming from Him alone. Instead, ministry, calling, and “doing” feeds our worth to the degree that we continue to cooperate with the carnal mind.
“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Rom 8:6)
“But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you.” (Rom 8:9)
When we received Christ, we died to the carnal man. We now have the Spirit of the living God inside us. We are his temple. (1 Cor 3:16)
“Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death?” (Rom 6:3)
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal 2:20)
We are given a new mind and a new identity. We are partake of His righteousness and we are think His thoughts. As a redeemed Child, we now have the ability to do this, by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.
“For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor 2:16)
Sadly, the carnal mind, which we died to when we accepted salvation, is still being dug up and communed with in the Body of Christ.
This is a spirit of necromancy. It is communion with the dead. It produces no Godly fruit, no life, nothing of eternal standing. It brings forth death.
“I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” (Rev 2:2-4)
My brothers and sisters…this is Jesus speaking. He is talking to born-again believers.
We are to walk by the mind of Christ which we are given and is in us. If we truly understood what it means to be the righteousness of Christ, we would want nothing more than to spend time with Him. It is in His presence that we experience the fullness of His nature. We commune in Spirit and Truth. This is not a mental experience. It is a spiritual one. To live on the other side of the veil is a world beyond anything else we can experience on this side of eternity.
Church- let me end here with a final word of exhortation. Lets make this hit home a bit more.
“Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed before (Moses)..” (Read Exodus 33 & 34)
“Then He said, ‘Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.’ … but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” (Read 1 Kings 19)
Jesus, once again, speaking to born again believers…children who had the received the Holy Spirit, said:
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will eat with him, and he with me.” (Rev 3:20)
There is no greater revelation to seek than the Voice, Mind, Heart and above all, Love He has for you.
There is nothing greater… the Creator…talking to YOU…about what is on His heart.
“Then the LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?” (Gen 18:17)
This fellowship produces His nature made manifest in and through us. This is what delivers us from depression, anxiety, fear and all bondage.
My dear brothers and sisters…I say to you on behalf of our Father…let it all go. Just let go. Go back to the beginning. Go back to where it all began when you saw the earth as shiny and new and clean. When you first realized there was true life and that that life was now in you. He was orchestrating all of creation to meet you there.
He is not waiting to impart to you His ministry for you. Or His vision for you. He so desperately walks the garden of your heart in the cool of the day, waiting for you to meet Him there…searching for you.
He wants to impart to you…. Himself.
And He waits still….