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Living Backwards

There are two types of living backward I would like to discuss. Let us immediately discover the upside-down world of our minds and worlds.

    It has been preached that if you ever say to God that it is no wonder He has chosen you for a certain function in the body because you have the perfect skill set for it, then you have missed God and you have willed yourself into that calling. This notion is largely based upon 1 Corinthians 1:26-29.

    1 Corinthians 1:26-29

 “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.”

    Based on the above passage, it is certainly understandable why a pastor would correct someone who is puffed up in thinking that God has chosen them because of how talented they are. However, let me present to you a different perspective of the same passage. This perspective says that the reason that someone has talent in a particular area is because God created them in order to place them in a particular function in the body of Christ, yet they have missed it and used the talent in the world system. 

Take for example motivational speakers. Let us assume that a motivational speaker is extremely successful holding conferences that are sold out and writing best-selling self-help books. Then let us say that this very successful speaker accepts Jesus as their savior and naturally believes that the Lord has called them to preach. In that moment, when they believe that they are to preach and begin to step into that calling, there are some in the body who would rebuke them and quote the above scripture passage. However, I propose to you that those rebuking Christians would be in error. For I believe that the motivational speaker was just thinking backwards and therefore living backwards. Instead of God calling the speaker to preach because they are so articulate on stage, it is the reverse. God has made the speaker articulate on stage because God has called him to be a preacher! This is living backward type one- when we believe that we have accomplished something that God can use for the body instead of thinking that God has given us something to use for the body and we used it in the world instead. 

    Applying the same scripture passage to our next type of backward living, let us examine Paul and Peter. Now then, Paul was a “Hebrew of Hebrews, concerning the law, a Pharisee” according to Philippians 3;4-6. However, God gave him favor to preach the word to the Gentiles {Acts 22:21}. Peter, on the other hand was significantly unlearned in the manner of the Jews {Acts 4:13} and yet he was chosen to minister to Jews dominantly {Galatians 2:8}. Since we know these things, it is obvious how the above verses manifest. Both apostles had a sphere of people that they knew intimately because of their education and experience, a sphere they could “relate” to and yet God called them to minister to the opposite- to the people they could not easily relate to. This is living backward type two. Often we immediately believe that when we get saved we should lead all those we work with or are in various civic groups with to the Lord. While that is true, it is only true for a season. For leading those to whom we relate by way of experience to the Lord is relatively easy because we know what words to use, what manner of speech, which stories to tell, etc. In essence, we have their number because we were just like them once. However, the Lord is calling us to move past this season in our walks onto the higher call of witnessing to, discipling, leading those with whom we have little to nothing in common in terms of background or experience. This type of living backward is true worship and honor of the Father because if we yield to the call of the Lord to preach the word to those un-relatable to ourselves, then we have no choice but to rely upon God for instruction to do so. It is therefore mine and God’s deep and earnest desire that each one of us step out of where we are most comfortable, with whom we are most comfortable and preach the word of God to those with whom we cannot relate so that the Lord will be glorified and that our flesh may not glory in His presence.

    To use the talents God has given you to bring the kingdom on earth is not a violation of 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 but a fulfillment thereof if we use those talents to reach those with whom we have no connection save Jesus Christ and Him crucified!

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