I have been attempting to find my calling pretty much throughout this blog. I felt for a while that it could be boiled down to “defending the hope that is in me”, but I think it is much more than that. Possibly one could read through this and tell me their thoughts on it.
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…(1Peter 3:15)
I went with this verse full force. By doing so, I have had people come to this blog and challenge me, rather than the hope that is in me. I defended the hope, still. Through it, I learned how to follow the rest of the above verse –
…But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (3:15-16)
I do not know how well I followed that, but I have done my utmost to defend, not defensively, but lovingly, the hope that is in me. Let me tell you, it was arduous work. I worked to defend this hope so hard, that I lost sight of the hope itself! My sole focus had become the defense, rather than focusing on what matters – God and His light.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness…(Matthew 6:33)
I had started seeking, not God, but to prove my hope as reality. That isn’t my job though. I defend that hope in loving kindness, yes, but God’s job is to draw them.
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. (John 6:44)
This is not to say that our witness or our missionary work is not what we are to do! Not at all! For, that is what we are all called to do. We should go into all nations to create and teach disciples.
However, I cannot control the people who hear the word of God, or His truths. I cannot control the soil where seeds are cast – and this does not mean I should not sow those seeds. Only that I shouldn’t be discouraged when those seeds are picked up directly, without the soil hearing it.
Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” (Mark 4:3-9)
This tells me that there are all kinds of soils, or people, out there. Yes, I may be speaking to the first kind, but what if those seeds fall into good soil?
I had thought that what I was saying was falling on deaf ears, and that is likely true – but again, what if it falls back onto the nearby good soil? The first soil is likely characterized by this verse –
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4)
I will keep up the good fight, I will continue to defend my hope. Though, I feel that I should redirect my focus – not on the hardened hearts but on God Himself. By doing so, His will is going to reveal itself.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.(Matthew 6:33)
I will continue to post the various things that come to me, but I will not do so in order to bring occasion to defend my hope – only to bring occasion for the sharing of my hope. I will defend when questioned, but the focus will be the sharing :)
I fell across this verse through my study for this post, and thought it worthy of sharing.
Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. (1 Peter 3:17-18)