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.