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Your Commitment and Your Calling

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
May 18, 2021 8:00 am

Your Commitment and Your Calling

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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May 18, 2021 8:00 am

How much satisfaction can you get from following your life's calling? In this lesson, Dr. Tony Evans explains that it depends on who did the calling. Join him for this look at finding out how to avoid getting wrapped up in the wrong agenda for your life.

The Urban Alternative
Tony Evans, PhD
Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts
Truth Talk
Stu Epperson
The Line of Fire
Dr. Michael Brown

We've been climbing to the top of the ladder discovering it's leaning against the wrong wall. Dr. Tony Evans says taking the popular route to success won't help you discover God's calling. It may give you money, it may give you a house, but it doesn't give you a reason for being. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans. Author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. Nobody succeeds without commitment. But commitment to what?

Let's find out today as we join Dr. Evans. Well, we've been studying you and your calling, called for a purpose. And our goal is to address the issue of what your life purpose is. It is unfortunate that far too many Christians live life wondering why they are here, where they are going, what God's uniquely customized life purpose is for them.

So that is the concept of our series. We defined it that a calling is a customized life purpose for which God has ordained and equipped you that will bring him the greatest glory and allow you to have your maximum impact. That is your calling. We stated why it's important. It is critical because it defines why you're here. What a tragedy to die never having known why God saved you in the first place. What your life purpose is to meander from place to place, thing to thing, and not know why you're here.

Many people don't have joy because they're looking in something other than their calling, what only their calling is designed to give them. And so we're going to continue to unveil this as we look at how your experiences, good, bad, and ugly, will fit into your calling, how your giftedness, the divine bestowals that God has given you, fits into your calling. We're going to see how people were called in the Bible and how God got them to where he wanted them to go.

We're even going to see how people were recalled who got lost in their calling. So it's going to be a fun time going through this all the while desiring to help you to know how you can find your calling. I'm going to give you the fundamental, it's not the only one, but it's the foundational issue for discovering your calling.

Your ability to discover your calling is intricately tied into the level of your commitment. Turn your Bibles with me, please, to Romans chapter 12, verses 1 and 2. Romans 12, verses 1 and 2. These are two of the most well-known verses in all of the New Testament. I beseech you therefore, brethren, or urge you by the mercies of God that you present your body a spiritual sacrifice. It's a reasonable request, the King James says.

It's a spiritual service of worship. And then he says, do not be conformed of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you will prove what the will of God is, that which is good, acceptable, and perfect. When you are positioned right under God, you won't have to find your calling, your calling will find you. Now that ought to make you feel a lot better already, because a lot of folks are looking for their calling, but if you don't know what it is, how will you know when you found it? What he wants you to know is that when you are positioned right, many of us do not know our calling because we're not in position. But when you are positioned right, your calling, God's divinely ordained, customized purpose for you, will locate you.

It will track you down. Now you recall we've already related the issue of the will of God to the calling, because remember Romans 8 28 lets us know, 27 and 28, that the Holy Spirit pleads according to the will of God, and then all things are working together for good to them who love God and are called according to his purpose. So he makes a direct connection between your calling, your purpose, and the will of God, and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Those all work in harmony with one another to lead you to where you want to go. He says, I urge you, beg you, entreat you, I'm pleading with you, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice acceptable to God. If you want your calling to find you, the first thing you need to know to get positioned is that God must own all of you. Don't expect for God to show you his calling if the person he's going to show it to he does not have, because then you will take his calling and do your work with it. And many Christians spend their lives wanting God to bless them rather than wanting God to bless his calling for them, and that's the difference. I urge you to present yourself a living sacrifice.

That's an interesting phrase. It's somewhat contradictory because sacrifices were killed, but he says, I want you to present yourself a living sacrifice. God wants you and me to be a living dead thing.

If Paul the Apostle were here, he would probably support this truth with his favorite verse, probably Galatians 2.20, I am crucified with Christ. I'm dead. Nevertheless, I live.

I'm alive. God is not fundamentally interested in blessing your calling for you. He is fundamentally interested in blessing his calling for you. And therefore, to know your calling, God must know that you are a living dead thing, that is, living to him dead to you. You are willing to climb up on the altar. The only problem with God's sacrifices is they keep climbing off the altar, and God wants us climbing on the altar to become living dead things. Now, that's a hard prayer to pray. It's a hard prayer to pray and tell God, I am willing to die to me that I might have you. God doesn't want you to commit because somebody makes you commit.

He wants you to commit because you've seen that he's been good. Your worship is not in your church attendance. Your worship is in your total commitment. Church attendance without total commitment becomes sacrilege, not authentic worship. God cannot show you his calling if you do not authentically worship him, and you're not authentically worshiping him if there is no total commitment to him. So one of the questions, if you are seeking your calling, you must ask, does all of me belong to all of him? Or do I have a spiritual addict in my life?

That's the place where you put away the stuff that you don't want to deal with. I love Paul because his commitment was so deep, and we're all growing in this, but his commitment was so deep you could never intimidate him. They came in one time and said, we're gonna kill you. He said, that's cool, the diet's game. I'm gonna be better off.

Let's get it over with. Well, since you're that nonchalant about it, we're not gonna kill you. We're gonna let you live. He said, that's cool, to live is Christ. See, if you kill me, I'm gonna go live with Christ. If you let me live, I'm gonna stay here and serve Christ.

So I said, well, and now you're too cool for that, so let me come up with another. We're not gonna kill you or let you live, we're gonna make you suffer. He said, that's cool, because I reckon that the suffering of this present time is not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed under me. You kill me, I'm gonna go to be with Christ. You let me live, I'm gonna stay here and serve Christ. You make me suffer, I'm gonna get more reward from Christ, so it don't matter to me, it's all Christ anyway. It was a total, consuming life for Christ, and that is your worship. God wants you to deliver to Him you and me.

That's the first thing, in positioning yourself. There's a second thing. God must own all of you. Verse 2, the world must own none of you. Be not conformed to this world. The word, Greek word for conform, was what a potter did with clay. A potter takes clay and he squeezes it here, shapes it here, molds it here, so that the clay comes out looking like what the potter intends.

So if the potter wants a cup, he squeezes it so it's shaped like a cup or a bowl or a salsa or a plate. He said, don't let the world squeeze you here, mold you there, so that you wind up looking like what it says you ought to be. You don't want the reason many of us haven't found out our calling because we've been letting the world teach us what success is. And since we've been following what the world's definition is, we've been climbing to the top of the ladder discovering it's leaning against the wrong wall.

We've discovered it has not answered our reason for being. It may give you money, it may give you a house, it may give you cars, it may give you clothes, but it doesn't give you a reason for being. And your calling is your divine reason for being.

You have a reason to get up in the morning because you have a calling to fulfill and a charge to keep. So don't let the world be a potter over your life. What do we mean by world? The Greek word for the word world is cosmos.

We get our English word cosmetic from that word. The Greek word cosmos meant to arrange or to put in order. So when a lady goes before a mirror and says, let me put on a face, she's very biblical at that point.

Well, some things need to be rearranged, moving right along. The cosmos can be more formally defined as that system headed by Satan that leads God out. To be worldly, you don't have to be a drunkard or a drug addict. All you have to do to be worldly is excuse God. College students often ask this question, but not limited to them, about the gray areas of life. Can we do this?

Can we do that? Well, the easiest way to answer that is to remember whatever you do, God is doing with you, is he having as much fun as you are? Or must you leave him outside? The cosmos is a kingdom headed by Satan that opposes the program of God. Now you have to live in the world. You cannot operate as a hermit somewhere.

You must live in this world. But God does not want this world squeezing you and molding you so that its value system becomes your value system. Its goals becomes your goals.

Its dreams become your dreams. And if you spend all of your time letting this world define your calling, you'll never hear God's calling. Because the kingdom that you are called to is in total antithesis to the kingdom that you were called from.

You must clearly identify which kingdom you're hanging with. Many of us belong to heaven, but we regularly service hell. And we wonder why God won't bail us out of our circumstances.

Why he won't bail us out of our situations. Why should he call you to know that your service for him will be used to help the enemy overcome him if such were possible? He says, be not conformed to this world. Don't let this world control you. So all of you must belong to God, none of you must belong to the world. But we're relating this to the calling because this is positioning you.

He then gives a third thing in chapter 12, verse 2. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Renewing of your mind.

Key. In other words, when you say God has all of me, when you say the world has none of me, you have done the greatest single thing you can do, and that is clear up your confused mind. We are divided. James has a word for that. He calls it double-mindedness.

We're trying to live in two worlds at the very same time. He says, but when you've cleared the static, when you've arranged things properly, then there will be a process by which the Holy Spirit begins to work on your mind, because you will discover your calling in your mind. That's where the will of God will be revealed to you.

God will deal with your thinking. Dr. Evans will give us a look at some specific ways God communicates His calling to us. That's coming up after these thoughts on 40 years of faithfulness. As we come into the celebration of our 40th year since the beginning of the urban alternative, words cannot express my gratitude to God for His faithfulness to the development of this ministry. Little did I know when we began with cassette tapes and we were bagging them up because people were requesting the sermons, that He would take humble beginnings and turn it into an international ministry. Now on over 1,400 stations daily in 130 countries around the world, reaching hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people with the truth of God, I am humbled by His faithfulness to me and to us and to the urban alternative. And I'm certainly grateful for all the friends He's given us who have been faithful too. I praise God for 40 years of His favor on us. You know, Tony has said that the more people who meet Jesus, the more lives will be transformed.

It's a simple equation and it's the driving force behind this ministry. None of what we do here would be possible without the faithful contributions of people like you. And that's why I want to let you know about a special package we put together as our way of saying thank you when you make a donation to keep this ministry going. It starts with our current two-volume 12-message audio collection called For a Purpose and includes a copy of Tony's life-changing book, Discover Your Destiny, Let God Use You Like He Made You. Together, this powerful package expands what we've been learning about your one-of-a-kind, custom-made calling. God has something special He intends for you to do, and these resources will help you discover what it is and set a course toward doing it. There's no greater source of satisfaction and success than finding and fulfilling your purpose. We feel this information is so important, we'd like you to have a copy of Called for a Purpose and Discover Your Destiny is our gift when you make a donation to help support the work of the alternative.

But don't wait, this offer will only be around for a short while. Details are waiting for you at, where you can also sign up for Tony's free weekly email devotional. Again, that's Or call our 24-hour resource request line at 1-800-800-3222 and let one of our friendly team members help you.

That's 1-800-800-3222. We'll have more of today's message right after this. Impactful, amazing, intense, thought-provoking. That's how just a few students describe their experience since enrolling in the Tony Evans Training Center. The best part is the training center is wherever you and your online connection are. Going beyond a Sunday sermon, these compelling Bible study courses take a much deeper look at Scripture, the Bible's writers, social issues of today, and so much more. Log on today to learn more at Explore the kingdom anytime, anywhere. Do you know the main way that the Holy Spirit speaks to you today or applies the Word of God to you is in your thoughts. He wants to get access to your mind because really as a man, think of that is what he is. He says you need a transformed mind, so the Holy Spirit is free to give you his thoughts. There's a great, great promise in John 15. He says, if you abide in me and my words abide in you, then you can ask me whatever you will and my Father will do it.

How can he leave it so open? It's very simple. The Holy Spirit because he's part of the Trinitarian Godhead always and only thinks what Jesus thinks, because these two are one. God wants to transform the thought, and then he says, and you will prove. That's a great word. It means you'll see worked out the will of God.

A good quarterback can hit a receiver even though he's got the enemy team's defensive back riding on his back. If the receiver is positioned right, if you are a sailor who knows how to handle a sailboat, you understand trying to get the wind to change directions is not a good idea. You might be out there a long time. You have to adjust your sail to the direction of the wind, and then the wind blows the boat in concert to where it's going. God wants to give you your calling, but only if your sails are set to the direction he's blowing, to where he wants you to go, what he wants you to do, what he wants you to be. This means coming to God and saying, okay God, all of me, if you'll take this faith move of all of you, no reservations, none of the world, no compromise, and you will discover whatever God's calling for you is is good. That means it's the best thing that can happen to you. There is no greater plan for your life than the plan God has for it.

It is the best plan for you. Students go to counselors to help sort out what they want to major in or to help get a life's direction. Nobody can come up with a better life map for you than God, because he knows stuff about you that will never show up on anybody's test. He knows your personality. He knows the talents he's given to you. Now let me tell you something else God knows.

Watch this. He knows your scars. One of the main things God will use to call you are your scars. The things that happen to you in life, maybe some caused by you, maybe some caused by others, that he will use. When Joni Erickson dove into that water, God knew that rock was there. That one negative event, that was a negative event in terms of human life, there's no other way to explain that, but that became the basis of her ministry. And I heard her on the radio talking about, while I would prefer to be in another physical situation, I praise God that even in my pain, there is a purpose. Did you know God will use your scars for his purposes? It may not seem good, but it is working out for good, okay? All things work together for good.

Two, it's acceptable. It's the best thing for you, and you're going to want the result. When God shows you your calling, it will match your passion. You won't get called to do what you despise. You will be called to do what you love. Now, that doesn't mean you will like everything about it, but the thing itself, the essence of the thing itself, you will love.

God's calling will be acceptable because it will relate to your passion. Finally, it is perfect. Verse two says, you know what perfect means? It means complete, unstoppable, nobody can have yours.

It means it will reach its intended destination. What a wonderful thing that if I'm in the will of God, I can't die until my purpose is concluded. That's why Paul could die with such confidence. He says, I'm finished. Jesus says, I've come to finish the work my Father has for me to do.

My time is now at hand, but all the other times he says my time is not yet, because he was in the perfect plan of God. I'm not supposed to be in Dallas. That wasn't the plan. My plans were all set. My plans were Winona Lake, Indiana, Grace Theological Seminary. All the plans were made, went up, been accepted, paid my fees, found housing.

Those were my plans. Then God showed up, and through one phrase that one man said, one day in college, it totally diverted me in a whole different direction. See, in the human standpoint, I'd say, I changed my mind.

Romans 12 two would say, the Holy Spirit transformed your thinking. A little girl came to her father and said, Daddy, you promised to give me a nickel. So he reached into his pocket, couldn't find a nickel. I said, well, you've been a good girl, so I don't have any change. So he reached into his pocket, thought he'd give him a dollar bill, but he didn't have any ones.

He only had a 20. He said, whoa. You know what? You've been so good, I'm going to give you a $20 bill. She said, but Daddy, you promised me a nickel. No, you don't understand, baby.

There's a bunch of nickels, whole bunch of nickels. She said, as tears rolled down her face, Daddy, why won't you keep your promise? Daddy, you promised me a nickel, and I don't have a nickel. He tried to explain again.

No, you don't understand. It's a $20 bill. She went off on Daddy, because Daddy wouldn't give her a nickel.

That's what a lot of us do without calling. Settle for a nickel when God says, here's a $20 bill. This is what I want to do with my life.

This is what I want to be. And God says, but here's a 20, and we screaming, but why won't you give me my nickel? God is wanting you to take the risk of saying, not my will, but thy will be done, because I believe even if your will is a cross on Friday, there'll be a resurrection on Sunday. Dr. Tony Evans, encouraging you to put your personal agenda in God's hands. Part of his series called For a Purpose. This two-volume 12 lesson collection will help you find and fulfill God's unique plan for your life. As I mentioned earlier, we'll be happy to send you this complete audio series on CD and digital download, along with Tony's life-changing book that goes hand in hand with the material we've been hearing today, Discover Your Destiny, Let God Use You Like He Made You. We're offering both of these resources for a limited time as our thank you when you request them and make a contribution to help support the ministry of Tony Evans and the alternative. So be sure to visit right away. That's Or call our 24-hour resource request line at 1-800-800-3222, and let one of our team members help with your request.

That's 1-800-800-3222. The Bible tells us every believer is spiritually gifted, but identifying those gifts and figuring out how to use them is another story. Tomorrow, Dr. Evans will explain how what makes you special can make you effective. Be sure to join us. The alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by the Urban Alternative and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-17 12:24:35 / 2023-11-17 12:33:51 / 9

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