Recently came across a statement I found to be an alarming one and one that is literally rampant across many circles which I found unhelpful.
The claim was if something wasn’t working out in “my favor” then it’s clear that it’s not where I’m called to be. As if success of a calling is measured by how it works out in “my favor”. I’ve dealt with this type of perspective and while it might prove to be true on a surface glance, it proves ultimately how bad this notion is and it becomes more of a poison to people than a salve meant to assist a person, even if they don’t agree with what was done decisively.
I find this idea of “working out in my favor” to be an erroneous idea. As if we measure success by favor of a situation working positively in our interests. While there might be some measure of soundness to this idea, I find many more Scriptural instances where it didn’t quite work out in the favor of the Biblical figures and various other moments where it looked as though the calling was “hopeless” and “didn’t work out”.
Paul comes to mind when he goes places and does what’s needed. But the man was shipwrecked twice, stoned, bitten by a snake, under house arrest but had a goal to go to Rome to preach the Gospel. Didn’t quite turn out how he wanted but following the Kingdom rarely turns out the way we want but the implications of such hold far greater purposes than that of our own inclinations or ideas. At first glance, things didn’t really quite work out in Paul’s “favor”
Jacob I doubt wanted to spend 14 years before marrying the girl he wanted in the first place while working for an equally devious uncle who screwed him over the first 7 by giving Jacob a less desirable woman before landing Rachel. Again, if we look at it from the perspective of this troll, it’s clear Jacob wasn’t called to marry Rachel, according to this belief. Clearly that didn’t pan out and Jacob ended up marrying Rachel so obviously, he’s wrong.
Esau probably didn’t expect to sell his birthright and get tricked by his baby brother as how he would liked to have been granted the position of head of the family.
Adam probably didn’t want to be expelled from the Garden and have one of his sons murdered in cold blood.
Israel probably didn’t want to be exiled to Babylon for over 140 years but there were greater implications such as Daniel, Esther, Nehemiah, Joel, who all were involved in the life of Persia and did so much good and also, God wasn’t far from Israel during this time either.
11 out of the 12 Apostles probably didn’t want to end up dead as that’s really not in their favor as far as we’re concerned much less end in the situations they were in but their deaths held far greater implications and they received the best gift ever, entry into everlasting bliss with Christ dying for the very mission they laid their lives down for, the spreading of the Gospel. If success was measured by how it worked out well for the Apostles, I don’t think DYING means your calling was successful based on the premise of things not working out for you equals you not being called to XYZ. We all know it worked out in the end and many are well off because of their deaths.
The troll who interacted with me probably meant well and swore that he wasn’t out to be malicious but at the same time, his perspective pales and failed royally. To assert that “… this is how the Kingdom works…” is a pompous statement and positions himself to be some kind of authority on how God ACTUALLY works and it’s people like that, turn many off to Christianity, fail to serve people, and is just arrogant. I don’t have time for that, others don’t have time for that, and the Kingdom is far more nuanced than what he asserts, and as stated before, it’s born out of arrogance than it is out of humility and well…
Faith is far more than events that work out for us. Faith is both a tension of trust and logic, of explicit understanding as well as mysterious circumstance, it’s exactly what the author of the book of Hebrews states that “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for , the conviction of things not seen.” Another translation says, “… faith is the confidence in what we hope for and the assurance of what we do not see.” The Message Bible says it this way, “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the first foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.”
It’s the trusting in God to pull through as He claimed He would, even when it hurts to believe. You don’t see what’s going on and perhaps you never will but to cling to God because only He can pull through for you. It’s not an easy lesson as you get older and experience life and find situations getting more and more complicated but the trusting in God to do what only He can do under girds your life and keeps you walking as steady in your pursuit of growth in Him. These are the Kingdom nuances that we don’t like to explore because it’s hard. But surely as faith is the assurance of things hoped for, it’s clinging to the God Who will bring to life what was hoped for, and the conviction that what you don’t see is still in His capable hands. And favor, well… if you’re in Christ, you’re under grace by the Cross found in the Gospel. You have it. No need to search through the ether to find the access point to get favor. You already have it. It’s now asking God to help you wade the waters of this life as you journey forward. And things might not work in your favor but there is a God Who loves you enough to keep that favor from you perhaps so you can grow a little. And just because something doesn’t work out, doesn’t mean it’s a stamp that shows you’re not “called” to something, somewhere, someone, and sometime. It means, there’s a greater purpose to it not working but ultimately, keep trusting and believing God and keep walking and keep praying and conversing with this God.
IF someone like this person begins to case doubt upon what you believe God has opened for you, let him/her pass. Remember that there’s an enemy who casts doubt upon hearts to rip you away from the One who birthed the hope in you and the wants to whittle away the trust you’re supposed to exhibit.
To me, this individual was a tool of the enemy, used to remind me to believe God’s abilities over man empty perspective and that this call for me to be here in Atlanta was something only God could open up and allow me to walk into.
So, to this person, I thank you for your effort and fulfilling your purpose as a needed reminder that you haven’t the foggiest idea what you’re talking about but that you listening to the Enemy and in turned voiced your perspective while appreciated wasn’t needed, and it reminded me of the basic premise on why I’m here in Atlanta. Your role is over and you served your purpose well.
I will continue this trek regardless of what is said and what is touted because in the end, it shows more about you than it does anything else and I find it both sad and laughable.