How many believers truly press on and seek to fulfill the high call of Heaven? And how many settle with just doing enough?
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect but I press on so that I may lay hold of that which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do; forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4: 12-14
Now more than ever in the last hour, we need to run the race set before us and fulfill the high call of Heaven. We see the parable of the talents and how the one servant buried his talent. The master rebukes the servant for not even investing his money so that he might receive an increase (Luke 19).
Maria Woodworth Etter explaned-
When the Spirit of God comes on you, you are not going to sit around idle and do nothing.
We find the Holy Spirit is always moving and pressing forward. When we become full of the Spirit, there is a stirring on the inside, and we hear the Spirit calling us to come higher, follow Him, and press forward. The call of Heaven is not always to a foreign field or even to be in the five-fold ministry. Today, the mission field is not some distant nation, but here where we live. Etter said-
God is not calling everyone to the foreign field, but God is calling everyone in some way. make the mistake of going out whom God has not called, and many spend all their time running around to camp meetings.
And she added
And if you are not called to the foreign field, get to work in the place in which God does call you to labor.
Everything we do must be done in the Spirit, and this means we must come aside and be found hidden in the Secret Place. Here spiritual climates are changed as we catch the fire and stand in the Spirit’s boldness. Here we come in our weakness, receive His strength, and move beyond the natural to the spiritual.
“With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.”
Ephesians 6: 18
Etter explained that as Spirit-filled believers we are to abide in the place of always being “prayed up.” As she explained-
As Pentecostal people we should always be “prayed up,” so we can get hold of God quickly and be sure it is for the glory of God.
This is the place where we are plugged into the Spirit and hidden with Him in the Secret Place. The high call demands a full surrender to the Holy Spirit. The high call is built upon a life of absolute obedience to the voice of the Word. We must, therefore, build our lives in the Spirit.
“If we live by the Spirit, let us walk by the Spirit.”
Galatians 5: 25
As we walk in the Spirit, we become more and more like Him and less like the old man. Etter explained-
You must have the Spirit resting upon you if you are to do anything for God, either at home or abroad. You are not fit for work unless you have it, and those who serve at home must have it the same as those who go to China or Africa.
This is a picture God shows you in your spirit, your inner man. If you’ll take note of it and not pass it off as your imagination, you’ll see how eager the Holy Spirit is to communicate things with you.
The race must be run looking to Jesus, the perfect Role Model who walked fully surrendered and led by the Spirit. Paul understood the importance of the commissioning of Heaven over the send of a man. Paul explained-
“Paul, an apostle (not sent from men, nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead).”
Galatians 1: 1
This is not a call to rebellion or lack of submission! It is the opposite. Paul did humble himself to leadership but understood in his day-to-day walk, he had to hear and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit. Paul understood the call came from Heaven, but every revelation he had must be confirmed…
“It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the Gospel which I preach among the Gentiles; but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running or had run in vain.”
Galatians 2: 2
Many accurately hear the call from Heaven, but end up derailing because they refuse to submit correctly. They surround themselves with “yes” men, who for political reasons, simply give a yes to everything that is asked and never a “no” from Heaven. We need spiritual parents whom we trust who can speak into our lives and bring correction when necessary. Etter said
‘I have no authority to send you out. My prayer is that God will give you authority. We can be of the same mind and same spirit though separated a thousand miles. God has wonderfully blessed me by imparting gifts and many have received the baptism when I laid hands on them. You are going out with a courage you never had before. We don’t want to be a hissing and a byword. We don’t want to run ahead of the Lord nor lag behind. Let us get deep in the Spirit, so the power will come on us this morning.’
Our boast must always be in Him and that through the finished work of the Cross we can draw near and know Him. Your sense of value doesn’t come from your call or the results of the call, but from Him and being found in Him.
Then He tells them not to rejoice that the spirits are subject unto them, but rather rejoice that they are children of God.6 Don’t be puffed up by the miracles; don’t get your eyes on them, but keep your eyes on Jesus. You are not saved by miracles. You are saved and kept by the power of God. The miracles are the works of the Holy Ghost.
As a child, I recall a song that I loved, “How beautiful on the mountain are the feet of those who bring Good News!” It is based upon-
“How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”
Romans 10: 14-15
We walk by faith, and we preach in faith. That faith arises as we linger in the Secret Place that we might hear the Word and see faith arise. Always a now faith from a now hearing of the now living Word. Etter said-
He has to bring Heaven down. It isn’t the long prayer, nor the flowery prayer, but the prayer of faith—faith that touches God and brings Heaven down. Hallelujah!
And she also said-
We are not saved by works, but through faith in Jesus, through living, constant faith and prayer. We are kept by the power of God.
As we run the race, one thing you will begin to see is how in the midst of the most challenging situations, as we learned to listen and obey, He was using it to accomplish His greater purpose.
If you cannot get victory for God, you are not called. The hardest place God sends you is just the place where He is going to give the greatest victory.
It is a race of endurance; as Paul explained in his last letter, it is always a pressing forward! There must be no looking back and no comparing to the past. All eyes on Jesus and pressing forward to lay “hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.” You are not here by accident or by mistake. No! But by divine purpose. But this race can’t be run in our strength but His! Daily! Yes, we must meet with Him daily in the Secret Place. We work for Him and with Him. We must seek the smile on His face and His approval, not any man’s. Etter said-
But if you have not the Spirit and power of the Holy Ghost to energize you, you will be stranded. God expects us to be qualified by the Spirit resting upon us even more in these last days than in the time of Moses.
Paul so wonderfully wrote-
“Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.”
2 Corinthians 3: 4-5
We are in the last hour, so let us be found occupying until He comes. Not simply busy doing religious things or off on running the race we want to run. No, though none go with us, will we truly still follow? Will, we serve Him in the small as well as the big? Will we simply be found faithful, even if it comes at great cost? Etter said-
He says this Gospel must be preached all over the world as a witness, and then shall the end come. This is our business, to sound the midnight cry, to herald the King. It is our mission to blow the trumpet in Zion among the saints,13 for the day of the Lord is at hand. It is near, even at the door.