Formations lesson for Feb. 16: Vocation - Called to Discover and Value Who I Am
January 31 2003 by Robbin B. Mundy , Joshua 17:14-18; Luke 5:7-32

Formations lesson for Feb. 16: Vocation - Called to Discover and Value Who I Am | Friday, Jan. 31, 2003

Friday, Jan. 31, 2003

Formations lesson for Feb. 16: Vocation - Called to Discover and Value Who I Am

By Robbin B. Mundy Joshua 17:14-18; Luke 5:7-32

It seems that we are never satisfied. The more we have, the more we want. This was an issue in the beginning of humankind, and it is an issue today.

Also at issue today is an overwhelming number in our society (churches) that believe they are less useful to God than most everyone else around them. This is interesting and a bit alarming. Is it any wonder that we have failed to reach the "ends of the earth" with the gospel at a time when transportation and the Internet are available?

It is true that when we focus on God, when we concern ourselves with answering His call, when we value ourselves as much as He does, then we discover our own potential for answering God's call.

Joshua 17:14-15

The tribe of Joseph questioned Joshua about the land distribution. Why, when the Lord had been so good to them were they being given some of the hardest land to manage? Did Joshua not remember that their tribe was large and had greater needs? Joshua instructed them to put their large number to good use - to clear the land. Overcome and maybe even threatened by the challenge, they failed to see their possibilities.

Joshua 17:16-18

There was another problem. A powerful tribe, the Perizzites, who had iron chariots, occupied the better portion of the land they were given. There is some debate as to whether or not iron had been developed by this time. Nevertheless, they were a challenging tribe.

Joshua instructed them to clear the land and drive out the powerful Perizzites. Again, it seems they were so overwhelmed by the task at hand that they underestimated their own abilities.

Luke 5:27-28

Jesus approached Levi and said to him, "Follow me." Notice that the scripture gives no indication of Jesus mapping out a game plan or making promises of a better earthly life or even significant changes in circumstances.

Levi responded by "believing" and "following."

Luke 5:29-32

Levi gathered his friends; many of them were tax collectors sitting around the banquet table. The Pharisees and their scribes began to complain and quiz the disciples why they should be in the company of "such as these." Jesus explained that "these" were why He had come. "Perfect" Jesus came to call the "imperfect" to follow.

There are two important points:

First, "following" God sometimes means, "leading the way." Levi (who would have made a great Baptist) threw a banquet, which gave his friends and co-workers an opportunity to meet Jesus. He opened the door so Jesus could come in.

Second, Levi trusted God to be capable of being God through his actions. And, unless Luke's 'word count' was as restricted as mine, neither Levi nor Jesus pointed out the failings of the crowd who had gathered, but rather, they took advantage of an opportunity to become acquainted. There didn't appear to be a sermon delivered that day. Everyone was welcomed to the table with an invitation only to meet Jesus. Then the work of God could be done - thanks to Levi's willingness to do "what he could."

Conclusion

Joseph's tribe expected an easier life. And Levi took a step of pure faith - following without knowing the path - trusting that there would be a place for him.

I don't know about you, but sometimes I feel like the tribe of Joseph, feeling forgotten by God. When I finally get to the place where I can move beyond myself, I realize that God was there and sustained me even when I took my eyes off of Him.

Other times when I am on the go, I realize later that by some sense of divine leadership, I stepped forward and began following the path that seemed to be leading somewhere. And the most amazing things have happened over and over; I have discovered new gifts, new abilities, new interests, new ideas and new levels of "followship."

Where are you on the path? Are you among the tribe of Joseph or at the table feasting with Levi?

The "perfect" calls the imperfect. God sees great value in each of us - more than we see in ourselves.

Does our poor vision and lack of personal value impose limitations on God's mission? Beware of Pharisees who study and learn but fail to put their new knowledge into action.

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1/31/2003 12:00:00 AM by Robbin B. Mundy , Joshua 17:14-18; Luke 5:7-32 | with 0 comments
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