Summary: Do we continue in a lifestyle if sin? Is our life filled with any form of violence? Do we yearn and live our life based on corrupted wisdom? What sort of worship we bring before God? Is pride evident in our lives?
Opening Illustration: Narrative of Krupy who used to be our worship leader in the Middle East. As soon as pride and corrupted wisdom entered his heart, God eliminated him from ministry and his calling was stunted.
Introduction: The devil was at one time a righteous angel! Therefore, he, too, is a spirit being. The prophet Ezekiel spoke of Satan before he rebelled. We are told he was an “anointed cherub [a powerful angel] who covers,” a reference to those angels honored to stand at God’s throne (Ezekiel 28:14; see also Exodus 25:20). Isaiah 14:12 tells us that his name then was Lucifer. “Lucifer” is translated from the Hebrew word heylel, which means “shining one” (Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew Lexicon).
However, at some point this high-ranking angel became corrupt. He turned egotistical, violent and selfish. Lucifer sinned against his Creator. And in doing so, he became Satan, meaning “adversary”. Other scriptures indicate that Satan convinced one-third of the other angels to join his rebellion in an attempt to overthrow God (Revelation 12:4, 7). Because of his rebellion, God said to him: “I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain [government] of God; and I destroyed you O covering cherub from the midst of the fiery stones” (Ezekiel 28:16).
Christ told His disciples that He had personally witnessed this momentous event (Luke 10:18). Let us see how Satan destroyed his own calling, even though he is a spirit being. And how can we also fail our own calling when we walk the same footsteps.
How can you fail (kill) your calling?
1. Iniquity (sin) (Ezekiel 28:11-15)
One of the ways Jesus changes us is to give us wisdom about what’s driving us to that sin in the first place. For example, maybe for some people, their sin of habit is pornography and they feel really guilty about it. But very few of them have ever thought and prayed on the question, “What’s driving me to look at this in the first place?” A big motivator for some is that they use pornography as a stress release. Well, now, if we want to move past this habitual sin, we’d need to learn how to live a lower-stress life and learn what godly, healthy stress relievers look like. But we’d never come to that point if we’d clenched our teeth and decided to “just stop it” in our own strength. What is the root issue of your sin of habit?
Most Christians are confused about how we move past a sin. The truth, as we were just saying, is that we do so piece by piece, bit by bit, with wisdom guiding the journey. Human willpower and gritted teeth alone don’t lead to changed lives. Paul realized it pretty quickly. Failure to recognize the strongholds of sin in our lives and not to tackle it in a godly way, can easily bring a demise of our calling.
Jesus had no sin in his life. “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me” (John 14:29-31). We must realize Satan is a legalist. He has a legal right to sift you if there is any sin in your life. Sometimes there are open doors in our life that must be closed. An open door is a place where you allowed Satan to meet a need in your life instead of God. Or it can be a wound in your life that has never been healed.
2. Filled with Violence (Ezekiel 28:16)
Violence in our homes, our schools and streets, our nation and world is destroying the lives, dignity and hopes of millions of our sisters and brothers. Fear of violence is paralyzing and polarizing our communities. The celebration of violence in much of our media, music and even video games is poisoning our children.
Fundamentally, our society needs a moral revolution to replace a culture of violence with a renewed ethic of justice, responsibility and community. New policies and programs, while necessary, cannot substitute for a recovery of the old values of right and wrong, respect and responsibility, love and justice. God's wisdom, love and commandments can show us the way to live, heal and reconcile. "Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal" are more than words to be recited; they are imperatives for the common good. Our faith challenges each of us to examine how we can contribute to an ethic which cherishes life, puts people before things, and values kindness and compassion over anger and vengeance. A growing sense of national fear and failure must be replaced by a new commitment to solidarity and the common good.
If our own personal lives are captivated by violence and enjoy any form of it, it will surely have detrimental effects upon our calling. Look at where Lucifer was and what he intended to do with God by using violence. He failed miserably and was thrown out of the heavenlies. His call was stunted and never restored to that position.