By Gboye Omolayo
In the Holy Spirit inspired writing of apostle Paul to the Church at Philippi (Phil 3:14), he wrote ‘I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus’.
There is a high calling that God has made to all believers. This high calling is different from the call to salvation which is made to all human beings.
The high calling is exclusive to those who have accepted the gift of eternal life which Jesus offers, those who have been saved or born again, re-born spiritually by the Holy Spirit.
The high calling is one, which when we heed and fulfill as believers, we are rewarded by God for. A reward which we will have in and enjoy through eternity.
This reward (prize) for fulfilling God’s high calling determines who or what we believers will be through eternity.
Eternity is beyond a ‘long, long time’, it is timeless, it is forever! All believers have the potential to meet the mark for the prize (reward) for this high calling of God. We can all fulfill God’s high calling.
Salvation in Christ is not an end in itself, it is a means to an end.
Our salvation is not meant to ONLY/JUST (barely) get us to heaven, otherwise God would have taken us to heaven the day we got born again. Our salvation is additionally meant to put us in the position where we can fulfill the high calling of God for our lives.
The high calling is God’s purpose for leaving the believer on earth till today. The purpose is exclusively God’s kingdom related.
It is all about God’s agenda to present every human being that is born into the world an opportunity of spending eternity with Him and not in hell.
It is God’s agenda to recruit all who receive the free gift of eternal life (salvation) in His workforce on earth to ensure everybody lives their time on earth doing His will and enjoying His blessings.
According to apostle Paul in Phil 3:10, you will only know your high calling as a believer as you get to know Jesus and the power that raised Him from the dead.
This knowledge of Jesus is not mental (head) knowledge, but experiential knowledge. The kind of knowledge you have of a friend by walking/dealing/relating with them daily.
Experiential knowledge of Jesus comes through revelation of the word of God (the bible) by the Holy Spirit (not by dreams and visions, as most erroneously think these days. To know Jesus by experience, seek the word, not dreams and visions).
Jesus is the LIVING WORD (John 1:1,14). The only way to access the LIVING WORD is through the WRITTEN WORD.
The LIVING WORD is the WRITTEN WORD revealed.
The experiential knowledge of Jesus that a believer has (and by extension, the knowledge of God) is limited by how much of God’s word he/she understands by the revelation of the Holy Spirit.
The experiential knowledge of Jesus that you have determines the level of your spiritual maturity. It is in this experiential knowledge that the Lord makes clear to you God’s high calling or God’s purpose for this life that you have been given to live.
God’s high calling is always about spiritual things, not earthly or worldly things.
It is always of things pertaining to God’s kingdom which is not of this world (earthly) – John 18:36. The calling/purpose/work can only be accomplished by the help of the Holy Spirit (talents and human abilities cannot do it, they are limited).
Now, if it is not contributing to the maturing of the saints to enable them do the kingdom work which results in the quantitative and qualitative increase of the body of Christ (Ephesian 4:12), then it is not the high calling of God.
Make no mistake, the ministry gifts are given only to some (men/women of God) to mature (prepare) the saints (all believers) to do the work of the ‘ministry’ (serving/ministering/helping one another with the view of ensuring that everyone fulfills their high calling). It is an error to assume that ‘ministry’ work is given to only some, it is given to ALL.
When Jesus gave the command in Mk 16:16, he gave it to ALL believers, not just apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. Otherwise He would have said ‘these signs shall follow the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers…’.
He however said ‘these signs shall follow them that believe’ (Mk 16:17). This includes you (except you are not a believer), and the signs follow you ONLY as you step up to fulfill the high calling of God for you.
Beware of anything/anyone that discourages/misinforms you as a believer that God does not have a high calling for you.
Find it out by MATURING spiritually, get accustomed with the written word through daily fellowship and prayers for God to reveal Jesus (through the bible) to you by His Spirit.
Seek out God’s high calling for you, work on fulfilling it so you may have an (good) account to give on that day (Rom 14:12; Mt 25:14-30).
To succeed at finding out God’s high calling for us and fulfilling it, adopting apostle Paul’s strategy gives us an advantage. First, we discount the world and what it offers (Phil 3:7-8) and then learn to forget the past (whatever in our past that can make us lose focus/get discouraged) and aggressively seek more and more knowledge of Jesus with the view of doing His bidding (Phil 3:12-14).
We must prioritize knowing the Lord Jesus above everything else, that is the purpose for which we are kept alive. We do this in order to possess the best reserved for us by Him in eternity.
It is a fact that this may only appeal to sincere believers, those who desire to mature spiritually to fulfill God’s high calling but my prayer (like apostle Paul’s in Phil 3:15b) is that you also will desire it and therefore pursue it. Why will you not?
If you have the hope of spending eternity with God, you will stand to give account to Him for this high calling, why not make it good now (while you can)?
The Lord give you understanding and the zeal to heed and fulfill His high calling for you in Jesus’ name, amen.
Meditate on these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all (1 Timothy 4:15).
Pastor Gboye Omolayo is the Resident Pastor of Church@Allen (House of Prayer Int’l), Allen TX, USA. He is a prolific writer and preacher who believes the efficacy of the word of God and the potency of the works of the Holy Spirit are still available to the Church today, as they were at the Church’s infancy.