Credit goes to @gielizza for replying to my tweet and asking me about this blog. It’s two days late. But I needed more time to gather the data.
We’ve all heard the concept of calling before. We see someone who’s really good at what they do and we say, “They’ve found their calling.”
But what does it mean to be called? And how do we find what our calling is? I did a simple research on what the Bible means by calling. Here’s what I found:
1. Calling begins with your relationship with God through Jesus.
Most of the time that the Bible talks about us being called, it isn’t talking about what job you should have or what course to take in college. It’s mostly about the fact that God is calling you because He wants to have a relationship with you.
God calls us:
- to be holy
- from darkness to light
- to repent from your sins
- to have a relationship with Jesus
This is amazing because it means we have a personal God who knows you and is looking for you.
Recently President Obama visited the Philippines and many people posted tweets and Facebook statuses welcoming him. But he didn’t read any of them because President Obama doesn’t have the time, energy, or desire to get to know us personally.
But God wants you to know Him personally. That’s what this call is about. So the first step to finding your call, knowing what you should do with your life, is to ask do you have that relationship with Jesus already?
As Steve Martin says as Jacques Clouseau in The Pink Panther, “Everything else follows like liquid mercury flowing down a sloping …thing.”
2. Your calling doesn’t guarantee a painless life or job.
The idea of a specific calling can be seen in Paul, who in many of his writings begins with “called to be an apostle.”
Paul clearly knew that his role and function as an apostle to the early church did not come from other people alone, but from God. God didn’t just call him to have a relationship with Jesus, God called him to a specific role.
Many other people in the Bible believed the same thing. But, like Paul, it often brought them discomfort, pain, opposition, and injustice. What kept them going, though, was the conviction that this path wasn’t just their own invention, it was something God called them to.
In the same way, if we’re in an unsatisfying position right now, we might dream of this blissful paradise of “our calling” where our bosses won’t drive us crazy, our coworkers will be angelic, and our only job assignments will be the things we enjoy.
Sorry, that’s not how calling works. The only guarantee is that if that’s what God called you to do, it will honor Him and that will please you too.
3. Calling is about being faithful where you are.
This insight came as a surprise to me. Too often, we treat calling like something elusive that we must pursue. But the Christian faith doesn’t teach that view alone.
Yes, there are moments of searching God and getting His direction. But just as important are the days, months, and years of being faithful, engaged, and consistent wherever He’s placed you right now.
Consider these verses in 1 Corinthians 7:
Verse 17: Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.
Verse 20: Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him.
Verse 24: Brothers, each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to.
Three times over 8 verses, Paul makes this case of being faithful and remaining where God called them.
Too often, we feel a little discomfort, we don’t get along with someone at work, we aren’t promoted as quickly as we would like, and we look for the exit sign. We rationalize our fickle mentality with religious words:
- I didn’t feel the Spirit in that place.
- I asked for a clear sign to go.
- I know God told me to leave.
These reasons may be true. But they can also be employed to mask our unwillingness to sacrifice in this area we’re in. That’s not looking for your calling, that’s laziness.
Does that mean I’m doomed to stay wherever I am right now? Not at all! In fact in 1 Corinthians 7:21, Paul says if slaves can gain their freedom and improve their situation they absolutely should do so. So there are moments when we can change and move.
So when are those moments? And how do I know where to go and what to do? These are great questions, to be sure. And we will get to them Monday next week. I needed to lay these foundational truths first.
Hehe, sorry bitin. Hope it helps though! See you on Monday!
Please leave comments and questions to help me know if I need to adjust anything.