12-2-2023 Why am I Here?
Growing up, Jesus had favor before God and man (Prov. 3:3-4, Luke 2:52). As He grew in the natural, He also grew in the Spirit, exampled when He wowed the doctors in the temple at age twelve (Luke 2:42-47). They were amazed at the knowledge of this twelve-year old boy.
John the Baptist was preaching around the Jordan River. Having baptized many, he shared about the coming Messiah (Matt. 3:1-12). Then Jesus approached and was baptized by John. This was necessary for Jesus to fulfill all righteousness (Matt. 13-17). At this time, Jesus was about thirty years old (Luke 3:23).
After His baptism, Jesus was then whisked away into the wilderness where He was confronted by the devil. Luke says that Jesus was tempted during that period of time for all forty days (Luke 4:2) which culminated in (both Matthew and Luke) with the final temptations. Satan tempted Jesus with “eat”, that is food for the body, “jump”, or do You truly trust God and finally, “bow down before me”, or “is Jesus truly dedicated to Father” (Matt. 4:1-11), body, soul and Spirit). Obviously Jesus passed with flying colors: Man shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God; don’t tempt the Lord God; we shall worship only God (Creator of all things) and serve only Him (Matt: 4:4, 7:10).
Jesus was then ready to minister to us and did so for over three years culminating in the crucifixion (Matt. 27:27-50), resurrection (Mark 16:1-18) and ascension (Acts 1:1-11).
Paul declared himself to be a Pharisee and the son of a Pharisee (Acts 23:6). Understand that a Pharisee, in Strongs’s Concordance, is pharisaios or separated one (G5330). That means he was a part of the most influential religious-political party at that time. Pharisees studied and interpreted the Law (Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary). Experts?
After holding the coats of those who stoned Stephen (Acts 7:57-60), Saul, a devout Pharisee, considered the “Christians’ to be a heresy so he persecuted them with all his energy and the church gave him the authority to pursue his desire (Acts 8:1-3). But, as he was doing so, something happened! He encountered Jesus as he proceeded to Damascus to carry out ‘his’ mission and he lost his sight, physically (Acts 9:1-7). Ananias was in Damascus when God told him to go pray for one Saul for he was a chosen vessel to go to the Gentiles. So, Saul was three days in Damascus when Ananias came to him to receive his sight. We see that Saul has also been called Paul (Acts 13:9). Paul then continued his mission to the Gentiles. Interesting, Paul may have been about three years younger than Jesus. According to , Paul’s encounter with the Lord was about three years after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Side note: whether we acknowledge Anno Diem (A.D.), ‘the ‘year of our Lord’ or ‘after the common Era’ (ACE), they both have the same base beginning time or about ‘0’ AD, or the accepted time of the birth of Jesus. (no extra charge for this little tidbit – lol). So, Paul may have been about thirty of age when he started his ministry.
Consider that Paul/Saul and Jesus lived “normal’ lives leading up to their ministry. Then, in the eyes of the world, their lives changed dramatically, as did the world. I wish I could say the same about me. Welllll, I could say it, but it wouldn’t be true (lol).
Understand that Jesus and Paul led ‘normal’ lives until they were released into their God-given ministry. Jesus, being God come into this world in the flesh (John 1:1) knew His ministry. God told Moses that “I AM” sent you (Exod. 3:13). The apostle John turned to see who was speaking to him and what he saw was like the Son of man who said “ I AM Alpha and Omega …” (read it all Rev. 1:1-18). And after his encounter with Jesus, Paul discovered the ministry which God had given him.
Now, the prophet Samuel was dedicated to God by his mom as she had been barren and asked for a son. She promised God that if He gave her a son, she would give him back to God (1 Sam. 1:11, 1:24-27). And she did, under the care of Eli. Later, Samuel had his encounter with God and came t know God’s voice (1 Sam. 3:1-10). Note that three times Samuel thought his mentor, Eli, had called him and it also took Eli three times to realize what was going on so the fourth time God came to him, Samuel said “Speak, for your servant hears You.” (1 Sam. 3:1-10). Many thoughts (voices) come into our heads yet we, too, have to learn to recognize Father’s voice.
Note that Jesus, Saul and Samuel all had encounters with Father. Father publicly acknowledge Jesus when He said this is My beloved Son (Matt. 3:17). Paul on the road to Damascus and Samuel who ran back and forth to Eli before He responded and acknowledged God.
So, “Why am I here?” Do I have a calling on my life? How do I know?
These cited examples are shared that you might have an idea how God interacts with us. May I share how Father has dealt with me. First of all, no, I’m definitely not comparing myself to Paul but as Paul, I try to emulate the qualities and character of Jesus – abide in His love, the best that I can.
As a young boy (under 10), I have a vague memory of attending a Presbyterian church a few blocks from the house in which I grew up. One of my neighbors even took me, occasionally, to their Catholic church. There was also a nearby Southern Baptist Church, to which another neighbor took me with her family. Between high school and the time I married, I did not attend any church regularly. My wife and I attended the So. Baptist church for a couple of years then, we moved out of the immediate area and that started our search for another church. We slipped in and out of a couple different Baptist churches, Presbyterian, and then after our ‘baptism in the Holy Ghost, we attended the Church of God, Assemblies of God and a host of independent Pentecostal churches which included United Pentecostal. We had moved several times and finally ended up in a town, just at the panhandle in Maryland just a couple of miles short of the Pa. state line. A priest in a Catholic church in that town, helped my wife in a most6 difficult time so we even attended the Catholic church for a while. My wife went to be with the Lord in 2005 and, as of this sharing, I’m still in that town.
As Father was growing me, It seemed as though we had a hard time stabilizing in any specific church yet, several years after my wife’s passing Father introduced me to a Full Gospel, prophetic, church where I still am today. I’ll be honest, I attended this church for several months when I was thinking about bailing out – again. Then Father clearly said to me “Buck, this is where I want you!” No doubt in my mind. Since that time, Father has continued growing me into a deeper understanding of His Word and my relationship with Him. I’ve stayed put!
Now, through all those years, even though my relationship with Father hadn’t always been the best. I had freedom of choice and I exercised it but He always kept a thread about my ankle.
In September 2014 Father told me to go to Ezekiel 37 verses 1-14, the valley of dry bones. He said “this is your task to come”. Then He took me to Jeremiah 1:1-4 and said “I will equip you”. But, as with Jeremiah and Ezekiel, Father obviously did not want me to go to Israel so He told me that today’s church is in the same boat as Israel was back then. Full of dry bones an needing help. Again, Father had given me two specific scriptures and said that they were for me. Somewhere in that time frame, I don’t remember exactly, a little before or a little after that September, Father told me to look up the meaning of my full name, first, middle and last. Then He told me to check out the ‘Christian based’ meaning of numbers – my birthday. He told me that my name and my birthday revealed the qualities of my nature, my natural gifts, talents and abilities which He ‘intended’ for me.
I found several lists of numbers but I focused those claiming a biblical base. Two lists that I found were Biblenumbersforlife.com and http://www.gods-kingdom ministries.net/teachings/ books/secrets-of-time/appendix-e-the-biblical-meanings-of-numbers/. To give you an idea let’s take a look at three numbers: #1- unity; primacy, new beginnings, oneness of God, #4- creative works and #7- resurrection; Spiritual completeness; Father’s (or Spiritual) perfection. I suggest to examine several lists on your own and not depend on just one.
Look up your name. Baby lists, meaning of names, etc. for they can shed light on your name’s ethnic origins and what they mean as well as qualities and characteristics, but again don’t limit yourself to the first list you find. Check out several.
As Father told me, this gives you an idea of our God-given gifts, talents and abilities.
I am persuaded that when Father has a specific calling on your life, He will also give you a specific scripture (or more) to back it up. As I said, the ‘valley of dry bones in Ezekiel and Jerimiah’s calling were two that He showed me.
Once you have gathered the information, its prayer time. Ask Father to put it all together for you. ‘What does all this mean to me, Lord?’ He will tell you. It could be one sentence or maybe even several, but it will a be logical, understandable composition.
For me, once all this was done, I asked Father for confirmation, that I was truly hearing from Him. I searched from the end of that September through the end of the year, Dec. 31st 2014, but no confirmation. I was getting pretty discouraged so in January I challenged Father was He really calling me. Spiritually, Father set me down on my keester (bottom) and said “You ask why I haven’t confirmed what I told you in September?” He then proceeded to show me how through special events I attended, the sermons my pastor preached, what I heard from TV ministers, what I saw in magazines, etc. then He asked me what were all these people talking about?” Then I realized and replied ‘what You told me back in September. I was expecting to get a word from all those prophetic people I was exposed to and I thought surely someone would have said “Buck, the Lord said to tell you ….” And, of course, no one ever did. Father then said “How much confirmation do you need?” He gave me three months worth of confirmation.
Bottom line is, Father gives us a calling, great or small, and He will confirm it. Of course we have to listen with both our ears and be aware with our eyes.
You may ask “So, what are you doing about it now?” In the spring of 2015 Father said to start a blog – and I did. I’ve continually asked Him for guidance as to what I put in it. I admit, at first it was probably very boring. In part, I was establishing who I was but the past several years Father has been more and more pointed in what we have put out. More specific to His calling on my life. More specific what He want His children to understand. These last two years He has been very specific. And, even today, Father continues to show me how many ministers are focusing on a closer relationship with God AND Father has shown me some have been very pointed in how to accomplish this. He’s still confirming in me that I, indeed, am still on the right track as I am still learning!
It’s taken me many years, okay decades, for Father to get where I am now, but He has shown me it is for purpose. As He has patiently waited for me to catch up. I had to reach one level before He could take me to the next. He has been continually showing deeper things in scripture that He wants me to know and it has been awesome! Have I arrived yet? Hardly. I know that I will continue to grow until He calls me home.
A word of encouragement. I have been a ‘federal government’ employee all my life. I started with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), General Services Administration (GSA) and I retired fromr the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While at FDA I gave my job to the Lord. Father blessed me by promoting me from a documents clerk to a ‘contract liaison’ where I trained contract personnel, wrote operational procedures and mediated ‘differences’ between the government and the contractor. Father elevated me from (on the government scale) a GS5 to a GS12 – with no formal college. PTL!
We all have a calling on our life – great or small. Not everyone is going to be a great speaker, singer, or artist, etc. but God has given each of us a gift, a talent or ability (or all three) within which we can operate. That calling could be a stock boy, clerk, secretary, supervisor, CEO, whatever. But whatever God calls us into we should always do with all our heart as if we are doing it or our Lord. Because we are. In whatever ‘job’ we function, our beginning prayer should always be “Lord, I give this job to You. Help me to be the best that I can be while I am here.”
Why am I here? Ask the Lord, He will show you. Then pursue whatever that calling may be with all your heart as you live for and in Jesus Christ.