Monthly Archives: April 2013

Calling to Christ, check…but now what?

“So, my calling has less to do with a thing, and more to do with my identity and contentment in Christ.  Okay…but now what?”

It’s funny, I always go back and read my blog posts 24 hours later.  This helps because right after I finish I just have ZERO desire to read it.  This is why I was a B student in my english classes.  I love writing.  I hate re-reading.  Anyone else despise having to read over your six page paper after you just spent all night writing all six pages?  No?  Just me…

Well, after reading and processing through what I was saying I realized something.  There is clarity and comfort in the fact that my calling is to Christ himself.  I find extreme freedom and comfort there.  The Holy Spirit truly has protected me from the anxiety of being overwhelmed by the future.

But there is still one problem, right?  We are all thinking it…

We still have to make a decision about our future!  I get it.  I feel you.

I think what I would say here is first and foremost, I understand.  If I was candid and honest(which if you know me is pretty easy), I feel like I’m at a point in my life where a lot needs to start happening.  I feel like I’m the GM(general manager) for the Bobcats(worst franchise in the NBA).  I got to start making moves towards building the legacy that I want…problem is I don’t know the right first move, and there are SO MANY THINGS THAT NEED TO GET DONE:

You probably feel this way too right? Got to get a wife/husband, need to apply for jobs, need to send out financial aid applications, need to move back to X, need to get experience for the next job.

Whatever happening to being okay with the process

Okay, this is coming from a place not of wisdom but simply opinion.  If you walk away from this blog and disagree with me and say “THAT’S SO WRONG”, GREAT.  You have that right – enjoy that freedom.  But, I seriously believe that there is nothing wrong with this concept:

Just walk.

Just walk.  Don’t run trying to beat everyone else to find out where and what you are doing.  There is something really beautiful about the process…I have seen it first hand.

You cannot sit here and tell me that God himself expects and mandates us to just NAIL it the first time.  There isn’t a character in the history of Scripture that was just killing it right away.  Look at Israel in the Old Testament – it was a freaking process to get them to bow and find their True North.  For Heaven’s sake, God had to resurrect himself for them to finally find it.  Why do you hold yourself to a higher standard of perfection and obligation then Peter and Paul did  toward themselves?  Or that God has on you for that matter.  I mean Paul had been faithfully following Jesus for years, and his response to individuals thinking he had figured it out was pretty blunt:

“Brothers, I do not consider myself taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind, and straining toward what is ahead.  I press on toward the goal that God has called me Heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14

He’s forgetting what is behind.  That must mean that there was stuff he did & choices he made that didn’t point him to “it”.  Forgetting doesn’t mean he disregards it and slanders that as the “wrong” but it was part of his sanctification!  Those things are so necessary!

Just walk.

Here’s the deal.  You got a couple job offers?  Pick one.  Neither one of those hold any bearing on if you are more or less IN CHRIST because if you believe in Christ, you will be called Heavenward.  Just choose.  You have that liberty and gift of choosing.  Put a little more trust that the Holy Spirit is guiding you.  And if you make a decision not led by the Spirit, God will redeem it!  You think David the “man after God’s own heart” choosing to holler at Bathsheba was a decision being led by God.  Nope.  Did God redeem that?  Oh yeah! Led David back to his Father.

But what if one isn’t the right choice? Impossible.  It might not be where you are meant to dwell.  But you needed to choose that to learn that even amidst seasons of struggle; your call is to Christ so rejoice.  Don’t believe me, fine… Paul?

“I have lost things.  I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him.”-Philippians 3:8

Notice Paul said that I may GAIN Christ, present tense.  He wants more of Christ and receives more communion with God when the things of the world start to fail him.  Because they will.

You have no job offers?  Just move somewhere.  I suggest to where you have community, REAL COMMUNITY.  Not just your buddies that are fun.  Get plugged in to a church that will aid in your gaining more communion with Christ.  Just go.  Take a job, it doesn’t have to be in the career path you want to stay in.  Start somewhere and let the Holy Spirit work in your heart.

What if we put just as much worry, stress, focus, conversation, research on the internet, preparation we put towards the NEXT STEP in life toward striving to enjoy the Lord in whatever it is you are doing?  Just do something!  And then find a way to redeem whatever it is you are doing.  Because here’s the harsh truth people…

Most of us, God has us where we are and in the work places we are not for the job but for the lost and broken people that work alongside of us.  I think we get side tracked by the worldly task of doing our jobs well.  Don’t misread me- that’s important I believe that!  Christians should worker harder than everyone in their work place.  But that job well done is the means to what we have to offer(The Gospel) for the people we work with.  God is reconciling that place to himself. I think…okay I know, He wants and has called(oops there is that word) you to be a part of redeeming that place.

So, moral of the story.  I have no idea what I am going to do after my job here in Waco.  I don’t know if it’s full time pastoral ministry, starting a company, working three different part time jobs, corporate America, fill in the blank. I do know that my calling will not change in any of those avenues.  I do know that I am first mandated to lead my wife and soon to be child to the cross of Christ.  And I do know that God will continue to develop, shape, and mold me in to the man that He wants me to be.  I’m okay with waiting, it’s worth it.  He hasn’t messed up a thing in history… I trust the guy.

But I hope that wherever I go, I remember that my job is more about redemption and less about the bottom line; ministry or not. Redemption happens everywhere if Christ is involved.

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Do you feel called?

What is your “calling” in life?  This calling is the one thing that will guide and motivate most of your academic, location of living, and career choices for a long time.  This is a big decision – to put it lightly.  I have always been extremely weary of this question; to be honest it actually drives me nuts sometimes.  Just the pressure that comes with that question:

What are you called to do?

I DON’T KNOW! (Are you thinking this too?)

I fight this question a lot.  I can imagine many of us do frequently.  College students, you are graduating soon and everyone is asking you that question; “So what do you feel called to do?  What career do you want?”  The reality that this next decision of where to go and what to do could set up the trajectory for the rest of your life.

Don’t panic, there’s a remedy.

High school student.  You got college coming up.  Where do you go to school?  Which place will be the “right” place that will set up you up for the calling on your life?  What major will you choose that will make life just right for you and your future spouse(oh gosh, pandora’s box…another day)

You too, calm down.  Keep reading.

I struggle with this too.  Some days I love ministry as a full-time job.  I mean come on, I get paid to read my bible, love and care for people, and share the greatest story ever told or will be told!  But am I called to ministry?  What’s after K-Life?  Do I go into pastoral ministry?  Am I called there?  It lines up with my giftings and strengths, people affirm me in the position, what’s stopping me.  

I don’t know….

But on other days, the things that get me most excited about my job is building something and making it more efficient.  I love the business side.  I love managing, leading and empowering people to be better at their jobs!  I like being creative on how to go about accomplishing our mission as an organization.  Maybe I’m called to the corporate world?  Would I truly represent Christ well in that environment?  Could I handle it? 

I DON’T KNOW!

Where is my calling?  What am I suppose to do with my life?  What about you?  Do you hear an audible voice from the Lord?  Not me.  Or maybe he’s spelling out S.E.M.I.N.A.R.Y in your cheerios(more like Lucky Charms) in the morning.  No?

Me neither…So what do we do? 

A while ago I started looking into this “calling” concept in Christian culture, and I decided to start at the source.  It’s funny, in the New Testament whenever it refers to calling almost always it is DIRECTLY connected with our calling AS believers (Romans 11:29, 1 Corinthians 1:2, Ephesians 1:18 & 4:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:11, 2 Timothy 1:9, Hebrews 3:1, 2 Peter 1:10)  not our calling to specific tasks, occupations, or places. 

This is good news!  This is freeing!  This discovery was literally the Holy Spirit practically working out Romans 12:2-3 in my heart and mind, “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  It was like the Holy Spirit was reshaping my framework of how to function.  Guys, there are VERY few people that have a specific calling on their lives that God reveals to them clear as day in one fail swoop.  I want to be clear, he can and does work that way sometimes (Moses, Abraham).  But by in large, he chooses to let us slow cook our way to things.  Look at Paul.  He literally spent like his entire lift studying, preparing and equipping himself to be a Pharisee, and all that was actually preparation for what God really had for him.  It wasn’t until he was saved TO CHRIST that he saw what He wanted of his life — All in all, it’s on God’s timing.  That’s His choice, He gets that choice, He’s God!

So here’s the deal, the patterns of this world say that you must and should know what you are “suppose” to do.  The patterns of the Christian culture says that calling is a lighting strike to our heart one day during a really great prayer with Hillsong blaring on our Ipod.  But really calling has less to do with what and where and how and everything to do with WHO….

You were called by Christ out of darkness in to light – Colossians 1:13

You were called from the slavery of sin, to slavery to righteousness – Romans 6

You were called TO be salt and light to the world – Matthew 5:13-16

You were called to represent Christ and bring his message—2 Corinthians 5:18-20

Think of it this way:  You were bound up in your own sinfulness before you were called to Christ.  You were a slave to your own free will.  The problem was that your will could do NOTHING but sin against a Holy and Perfect God.  You could not have chosen the right calling if your life depended on it—and your life does depend on it.  If it was up to you, you would never chose the right thing.  But, and that word is so sweet, God in a disturbing amount of mercy and grace called you back to himself.  He breathed life in to your lungs, and like he said to Lazarus when he was dead, he said “Come out!  Wake up!” And after your eyes opened, your heart started to beat for the first time, you walked.  And from that moment on, you will walk in confidence that you are fulfilling your calling.

He is in you(Ephesians 1:13).  He has bought you(2 Corinthians 5:21). And he will sustain you(Psalm 119:116).

You are called to God.  Because of him, you can now walk in obedience in whatever you do! 

  • So ministry, or corporate… I have been called to Christ and will walk with Him. 
  • Texas Tech or Baylor…. You have been called to repentance and belief in the Cross and you will be provided for because of it. 
  • Communications or Engineering…you have been called to represent Christ character and will because of the Living Spirit inside of you. 

What if we spent less time worrying about what, and more time focusing on who?  I pray that I will not lose sight of this.  My wife deserves to be led by a man who is fixated on his calling to the Person of Christ, not my personal vocation.  My future child deserves a father who will encourage them more in their call to Christ than their purpose to be the next big _______. 

There is freedom in this!  Hope you find it as much as I do. 

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