Submission

Answering God’s Call

By: Rebekah Pitz

Throughout my life I have heard the term “God’s calling,” quite often. I have heard people say that they have been “called to ministry,” or “called to be a missionary” or “called to full-time Christian service.” It was just a term that kind of got glossed over in mission’s conferences, or chapel services throughout my life. I know that it is our duty as Christian believers to be involved in some type of ministry so I never really felt “called” to ministry. I just did it because it says in I Corinthians 12:12- “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.” I knew that I was part of the body of Christ, so I knew I was essentially “called” to serve.

The question always remains “where” to serve in the body?

I have been serving the Lord through music for as long as I can remember. I began singing in church when I was three years old. I never stopped. In 2001, I graduated from Cedarville University with a degree in vocal performance. I was not sure what God wanted to do through my life, but I knew that it involved music in some capacity. For ten years I was the music director at my church in Dayton, Ohio before God moved us out here to Albuquerque. When we moved out here, I joined praise team and choir and about a year ago, God moved us to this church where I have been able to serve in that arena.

About 3 months ago, I was feeling under-the-weather and while my husband brought our children to church I stayed at home and decided to worship in my hammock. (I do not recommend skipping church, but if you do have the opportunity to worship in a hammock, you need to seize that opportunity!). I was reading my Bible and began praying about how God really wanted to use me at AFBC. Is there another place that He wants me to be, even if that stretches my levels of comfort?

Let me side-track for a moment and tell you about one of my favorite Bible stories. I have always been fascinated by the little boy Samuel. He was living with Eli the priest and one night he heard. “Samuel! Samuel!” Eli told him that he needed to answer, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening,” for Eli knew that it was God who was calling the young boy. I have often wondered what it would be like to audibly hear the voice of the Lord, as Samuel did that day.

Sitting on my hammock, I felt the Lord nearly audibly whisper “Rebekah, you need to raise up children to be worshipers in my name.” I sat in shock because this was such a new idea to me. But, because the Lord had “called me” I decided to pursue it and ask if they needed anyone to help in Kid’s Klub, Sunday worship times.

Unbeknownst to me, the children’s leadership team had been meeting together for over a year and had been praying for someone to come along to take over the music/worship portion of their services. My coming to them was a direct answer to prayer and it quite literally blew me away.

I cannot deny it. I have been CALLED by the Lord to do this. Because of this, I know that He will bless and I pray that He does so in such a miraculous way that lives will be changed.

Philippians 2:13, “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.” Where is God calling you? Are you ready to answer the call and serve Him today?

 

Finding Hope as We Celebrate Our Nation’s Independence

By: Karen Polich

There is no greater apologetic than your life. It is the foundation of reaching others. Not a sinless life, but one that is upright and blameless. When others can see how Christ has transformed your life, true impact can occur. We live in uncertain times, much like 1st century Christians. In celebrating our nation’s independence, Pastor Michael Cook reminds us that we are called to show respect for our nation, submitting ourselves for the Lord’s sake to the authorities among men, for it is God’s will. (1Peter 2:13) Peter speaks to 1st century Christians who had deep hatred for Rome. They were frustrated and hurt. Peter reminded them that they were called to live on a different level, submitting to a greater Authority. (1Peter 2:11)

Peter speaks of three motives regarding being faithful to our government.
1. Submit to human authority in obedience to God.
2. Imitate our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus did not lash out or fight, but instead took the position of calling us to repentance. (1Peter 2:21-25)
3. Glorify Him. We honor God when we are obedient. God is always faithful.

There is still a battle, even as we submit ourselves.

We are engaged in a battle for what is right. We can’t change everything, but we can change some things. Our responsibility as Christ followers is to do all we can to build God’s Kingdom. God has not called us to submit only to the authorities we agree with, He has called us simply to submit and show proper respect for everyone. (1Peter 2:17). It may not always be an easy task. Pastor Cook talked to us about this and shared the words of radio personality Paul Harvey regarding the battle we face. Listen to Paul Harvey’s “If I were the Devil” from 1965 here.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get discouraged by the things that I see. I long for simpler days and less confusion, days where I don’t feel like I have failed to fully protect the innocence of my children because of the rampant images and sounds available to fuel the demoralization of our minds. But then, I am reminded that I am engaged in a battle that has already been won. God gave us the ultimate gift of salvation through Christ Jesus. I find hope in His Word, in His promises. I am called to be an obedient follower of Christ. To live a life that reflects the words of Peter and to do it for the Lord’s sake.

 

Hope in the Midst of Hurting Marriages – Part I

By: Karen Polich with Kevin Polich

What is on the other side of marital struggle?

The trouble doesn’t happen overnight, it builds over time with little things. But there is hope! God’s Word calls wives to a personal commitment of submission toward her husband. (1 Peter 3:1-6) This is something a wife chooses. It is hard. It is learned and it is scary. Adoration for a husband brings beauty to a marriage, motivating a husband like nothing else. The perfect picture of submission can be found looking at Christ in Philippians 2: 5-11. Continuing his series, The Other Side of Pain, Pastor Michael Cook began looking at marriage. To hear the sermon, click here.

A wife’s perspective.
Submission, a simple word that creates such a commotion in our culture. Should it? As a wife, God calls me to submit to my husband. Not as a servant or a lesser partner, but with confidence and trust. It is liberating. I can be me, basking in the love of a husband who honors me. My actions speak far louder than my words. I have a choice. How do my actions speak to my husband? I can show him how much I respect him when he chooses to do the right thing. I can honor him with gentleness. Belief in him and his abilities to provide for and lead our family is what I want to display. We are on this journey together, with God at the center. As a wife, I have the opportunity to champion him through my actions.

A husband’s perspective.
What impacted me? Hearing this sermon made me more aware of what our marriage looks like and who my wife chooses to be. It is comforting to see the confidence she has in me, confidence in who I am and what I do. I think the biggest part of this is trust. First, we both have to trust God. When we do this, it becomes easier to follow His plan for our marriage. This is how we work together as true partners.

What about you? What are your thoughts on Pastor Michael Cook’s message?