St. Paul gave us some good advice in his letter to the Corinthians. He helps us today in removing the stumbling blocks in our seeking the Lord: “You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of human masters. In whatever condition you were called, brothers and sisters, there remain with God.” (1 Corinthians 7:10-24 NRSV).
God calls people in all sorts of conditions. Our conditions when called make no difference. Paul said to the Corinthians, “Were you a slave when called? Do not be concerned about it. Even if you can gain your freedom, make use of your present condition now more than ever.” Being called by God does not carry with it a promotion in the world.
We are called by God to use our present condition for His glory. All who are called by the Lord are of equal stature. He calls the poor and the rich, the slave and the free, the healthy and the sick and dying.
Our circumstances are of no weight in God’s eyes. Access to Him is open to everyone. He has work for all people in all places. I am reminded of this every time that I go into a prison. I see the worst of the worst being touched by God and fulfilling that call right where they are. Experiencing a prison inmate ministering to other inmates, the guards and others in authority is something to behold. Yes, the spiritual life can be lived inside a prison.
Worldly things that want to master us should not impact our spiritual lives. People at all levels of society can become slaves to human masters. We are called to impact our environments for God no matter where that may be. Paul said, “For whoever was called in the Lord as a slave is a freed person belonging to the Lord, just as whoever was free when called is a slave of Christ.”
We should wait no longer. We are called to Christ to carry out our ministry in Him right now and right where we are. Look around you at the opportunities. Don’t pass up anybody.
Look! There is a homeless person. Hey! There’s a non-believing business executive. Oh! There’s a child in need of a mentor. Gosh! There’s a prisoner with the AIDS virus. Wow! My enemy needs my prayers. God’s team is the only team that wins whenever it plays. Its players come from all places and backgrounds. As St. Paul tells us, whoever and wherever we are, “Make use of your present condition now more than ever.”