“Whereunto I am appointed* (see note) a preacher,
and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles”
2 Timothy 1:11
Those appointed by God know the weight of His definitive call upon their lives. The Christian experience is not meant to be one of aimless wandering. There is a deep sense of accountability within those who know this call. The press within to make Him known exceeds the desires of selfish pursuits.
In his Epistles, Paul repeatedly declares that his apostolic expression is “not of men”.
“Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ,
and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)”
It is a call that requires separation and obedience. It is a call to God Himself, not to an organization, a ministry, or for selfish gain. God’s call leaves room only for Himself. If we do not hear and respond to His call we wander in a barren land without an overriding sense of purpose.
“And I have thanks to Him empowering me, our Lord Jesus Christ,
because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry”
1 Timothy 1:12
It takes little effort, even in casual conversation, to recognize one who is responding to the Call of God. There is a fire, a passion, and a desire for the apprehension of those things to be accomplished in their lives. There is an intensity that transcends the status quo of attending meetings, hearing messages, and engaging in casual religious conversations.
Paul cries out with an intensity of spirit that he might “…apprehend that for which he had been apprehended”. This cry is not the result of teaching; it is an inherent response to God. Without this sense of divine purpose, there is little motivation to apprehend. Meetings, conferences, and sermons will easily satisfy those to whom the call has become distant and dim. The fire fades and the need to apprehend His purpose gradually loses its hold. Retirement and comfort become more important than fulfilling the call.
The Fear of the Lord
How precious is the fear of the Lord! It holds us to our course. It keeps us attentive to the things of Him in our life. We are graciously stirred by the keeping power of His Spirit to stay focused concerning our portion in Him. The true fear of the Lord produces humility and an understanding of His grace and our dependency upon Him.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
1 Peter 1:3-5
“In every Christian’s heart, there is a cross and a throne, and the Christian is on the throne till he puts himself on the cross. If he refuses the cross he remains on the throne. Perhaps this is at the bottom of the backsliding and worldliness among gospel believers today. We want to be saved but we insist that Christ do all the dying. No cross for us, no dethronement, no dying. We remain king within the little kingdom of Mansoul and wear our tinsel crown with all the pride of a Caesar, but we doom ourselves to shadows and weakness and spiritual sterility.”
― A.W. Tozer
*Note: “Appointed” — τίθημι
títhēmi; imperf. etíthoun (Mat 5:15; 2Co 3:13), fut. thḗsō, aor. éthēka, perf. tétheika. To set, put, place, lay.
(I) Particularly, to set, put, or place a person or thing. In the act. it means to place; under a bushel (módion [G3426], Mat 5:15; Mar 4:21) or under a bed (klínē [G2825], Luk 8:16); in a secret place (kruptḗn [G2926], Luk 11:33)
– Spiros Zodhiates
There is an indicated humility in this word. It carries the hint of those appointed as coming under His authority and Will. The constraints of His Spirit exercise a submission and a ministration of Him by the power of Grace to which they are ever indebted to HIM.