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Healing Notes > Answering God's Call to Wholeness-Pt. 2

13 Jun 2014

In our previous article, we talked about God being a God of wholeness, and that He has called us to be like Him. This means we are to be whole just as He is whole. This time, let’s look at some of the things we must do to answer God’s call to wholeness.

Jesus shows us one of the things we’re do, and reveals it in His discussion with a young man who asked Him; “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” (Matt.19:16) Jesus answered this question by telling the young man about the specific commandments he should keep. After conveying that he had kept these commandments since his youth, the young man then asked – “What do I still lack?” (Matt. 19:20) Jesus, then replied:

“If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” (Matt.19:21)

The narrative ends with the young man, sorrowfully going away, because he had great possessions. (Matt.19:23) Notice Jesus said – “If you want to be perfect, sell all that you have”... Now we know from our past discussions that the word perfect pertains to wholeness. Here, we could interpret this as Jesus saying, “if you want to be whole then it begins with you selling out.”

Therefore, every person’s journey to wholeness begins with selling out to God. Recently, in asking God about where we should begin in moving toward wholeness, I sensed Him saying – “you need to sell out, because if you don’t sell out, then you’ll bail out.”

In reflecting on this word, I realized that through my over thirty-two years of pastoral counseling experience, there were many that I had worked with that bailed out of their personal journey to wholeness. While there were many reasons for their bailing out, the one major reason was that they were not sold out to pursuing the path to their personal healing.

Sad to say there are many within the body of Christ today that haven’t even thought of or even considered working toward personal wholeness. I believe this unfortunate state exists because many ministry leaders and pastors in the body of Christ have themselves not considered or intentionally traveled very far down the trail to wholeness. Remember, the sheep can only reflectively pursue, or do that which is taught or modeled by their leadership.

However, that isn’t the case with all leaders. In fact, one of the major leaders in the body of Christ spoke of his own commitment and journey toward wholeness. Paul stated:

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. (Phil. 3:12)

Paraphrasing Paul here, I believe he was saying “I have not yet arrived, nor am I completely whole; but I press on that I may take ahold of that which Christ Jesus has ordained for me.” May I suggest that the upward call of God in Christ is a call to wholeness. God has called and ordained us to be whole.

Earlier in this same chapter Paul declared:

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ. (Phil. 3:8)

Before Paul ever challenges us to wholeness, he declares his own position of having completely sold out to Jesus Christ. He said he had suffered the loss of all things. He said he counts them as rubbish. He

says he did this to gain the excellence of the knowledge of Christ. And the knowledge of Christ will always lead us down the path to wholeness.

Paul didn’t bail out because he was already sold out. Although the going got tough, and he faced many challenges, he refused to quit, but rather he pushed through, pressed on in his pursuit of God’s call and purpose in his life. And that purpose and call involved a personal invitation from God to pursue a life of wholeness.

In considering the need for every believer to sell out to the purposes of God, I’ve developed a scale to determine various levels of being sold out. We could call this the “sold out” scale.

  1. Minimal – Carnal – flesh oriented – me and God we’re good – I’m o.k. – I feel fine where I’m at – I see no need for change – he feels messages calling for change are harsh and unreasonable.

  2. Mediocre – This is good enough – this is probably as far as I’ll go – don’t have the time – don’t have the drive – yeah, I’ve made a few changes – but – God is still working on me.

  3. Moderate – Engaged to a certain degree – whenever I have the time – as long as it doesn’t get too uncomfortable – I just want to remain a happy camper – endures change – as long as it’s not too far out there – and doesn’t rock my boat – don’t want to look radical you know.

  4. Motivated – A seventy-per-center – seems to be on fire until God touches their holy grail – then they pull away – saying that’s too personal – it could cost me relationships I don’t want to lose. Usually their withdrawal is tied to the one thing they hold above their relationship to God – they may accept other changes – except in this one key area.

  5. Maximized – sold out completely – whatever it costs me personally to give up – even relationships that could hinder my advancing – nothing will stand between me and God

Now don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of good people in the church, but through my experience there are many that have never considered, or are even aware of God’s call to wholeness. Why are leaders and pastors falling left and right? Some pastors are even committing suicide. Why is the divorce rate among Christians comparable to marriage failure among unbelievers?

I believe many of these problems could be resolved if more of God’s people seriously pursued God’s call to wholeness. Answering this call takes a personal investment of time, effort, and energy. But before most make that investment, they have to sell out. So what do we do to begin the selling out process?

First, we need to count the cost. Jesus challenged those seeking to follow him to sit down first and count the cost. Paul said he counted all things as loss. We need to ask ourselves “am I ready to fully follow Jesus, or am I happy with the status quo.”

Second, we need to fully commit ourselves to Gods call to transformation, change, and wholeness. This means we stand ready to do the personal work required. In today’s church many want to do the works of Jesus, but few want to do the work to become like Jesus. Signs and miracles focus on outward appearance, but pursuit of wholeness zeroes in on mastering matters of the heart.

Third, courageously follow through. It takes courage to step out and face the challenges that threaten our movement toward wholeness. The fear of man tries to trap us in behaviors based on neediness and Satan will intensify his efforts to restrain us. He knows that holiness is a by-product of wholeness.

Remember, the first step to answering God’s call to wholeness is to sell out, because if you don’t sell

out you’re surely going to bail out!

© 2014 Ivan Doxtator 

Ivan Doxtator