Our calling or Salvation
Jesus said, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Lk 5:32). The term “to call on the name of Christ” means to put our confidence in Him resulting in salvation (Rom 10:12-14). He still summons people to come to Him but not all who hear respond; those who do, come into a privileged position of grace (Mt 11:28, 22:14; Jn 1:12; 1 Pet 2:9). Jesus reputation was growing and when He called various men to follow it was a calculated, reasoned decision on their part to leave the security they had known to become disciples (students) of this teacher who said “I will make you fishers of men” (Mt 4:18-22). He had made a deep impression on them as they later confessed (Lk 5:1-11; Jn 6:68,69).
What God wants to do in us is more important than what He desires to do through us. His focus is on our inner condition (us as the container of His grace), while our focus is on the visible outworking. We have been called to a holy life, “So be holy in all you do” (2 Tim 1:9; 1Pet 1:15).
Our first responsibility is to grow in the knowledge of God with a deepening intimate relationship with Him that is lived out in our personal life through the fruit of the Spirit, then from that basis there will be the outflow into the public arena. Unless the foundation is securely laid and maintained any ministry is susceptible to cave-in.
Regardless of any ministry we have, or will have, the emphasis should always be on our inner character quality rather than the outer work to others.
Our calling or Divine assignment
Christians sometimes speak of their ‘calling’, referring to a specific call of God or assignment for a particular task or occupation in the kingdom of God, such as missionary service. In the lives of individual believers, there will be a different emphasis or expression as that is outworked. Some have a high profile assignment such as preachers while others have a no less demeaning or less valuable position in God’s economy such as a homemaker in seeming obscurity yet bringing children up in the ways of God – who knows the future ministry of these children. Andrew, about whom little is recorded, introduced Peter to Jesus, and Peter eventually brought multitudes to faith in Christ. It is essential for each of us to fulfill our role or mission in God’s Kingdom by actively making disciples (Mt 28:19,20; Rom 12:4-8; 1 Cor 12:7-30). Those who don't have a specific call are to faithfully live by the directions of the Bible, as must those who have been given a definite role.
Am I pursuing my destiny? “Lord, what do you want me to do?” – Act 9:6
walk of faith. Often there is just enough ‘light’ to take the next step; as we take it more is shown. “Speak Lord for your servant is listening” should be our response to the voice of God, followed by obedience, “doing whatever He says unto you” (1 Sam 3:10,11; Jn 2:5).
It is pointless trying to be a duplicate of someone else, when God has a unique original blueprint for us. Our responsibility is to pray, ‘Lord, help me to find and fulfill my calling in you’. This should not come about by striving rather the result of walking hand in hand with Jesus our shepherd and guide who said, as His sheep we “will know His voice” (Jn 10:3-5). “Call unto me and I will show you great and mighty things” (Jer 33:3). Do not run from the call when discouraged or persecuted (Jn 6:66,67). Remember, Jesus was committed to finishing His mission even though He was aware of the cost (Lk 9:51, 22:15,41-44).
The very nature of life demands that we do a considerable amount of ‘non-calling’ activities, yet we make all things serve our calling when acting for the highest good of others and live out the fruit of the Spirit even as we take out the rubbish and do other ‘non-godly’ chores. Eliminate unnecessary tasks or delegate if possible while still being balanced people, ready and involved in good works that relieve the pressure or hardship of others.
Our calling or love-gift
Every Christian (and in fact all of creation) is designed to bring glory (worship and honour) to God (Rev 4:11). This should be our goal as we put Him first in our lives. In the words of Paul, “The most important thing is that I complete my mission, the work the Lord Jesus gave me to do” (Act 20:24). Your life is a gift from God; how you live it, is your gift to Him and those you will influence. The greatest challenge in life is doing what ultimately matters for eternity. Be disciplined and set priorities, proving that you are really are among those called and chosen by God (2 Pet 1:10). Complacency should not be part of our Christian life. “We constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of His calling, and that by His power He may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith” (2 Thes 1:11).
Confirming our calling
His calling on your life will often be related in some way to your life experience up to this time or the awareness of a need that grabs your attention. If you are unsure, try to gain experience in lots of different areas, and see what you are passionate about. What are the factors that have shaped your life or what fires you up? This will provide the motivation to continue when the novelty wears off and during the times of discouragement and setback when the dream or the call is severely challenged (Ex 5:22,23). “You who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus” (Heb 3:1).
Continue to rely on the Lord and persevere, “devoting [yourself] to the work” (Neh 4:9,14, 5:16). It can be beneficial to write down and keep a record of what you believe is God’s call to boost your spirit when feeling discouraged. Satan would like us to be distracted and be so busy doing other good works that our specific heavenly calling gets sidelined. As we lay down our goals, we can embrace His.
Our calling is a strong inner impulse towards a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence. Over time our overall call does not change yet there will be fine-tuning of directions along the way. Follow your call, “For this reason I was born” (Jn 18:37). Evaluate your effectiveness – there should be results. Frustration results from missing your calling, and failing to fulfill what you should be doing with your life. As you embark into your specific area of ministry, others will confirm your calling as they sense God’s anointing on you. Barnabas and Paul were commissioned by the church for the work God had called them to (Act 13:2).
Use your talents, traits and training to fulfill your calling
If God has called you, then you are the right person for the job – so don’t try and talk God out of it, rather in faith see things from His perspective. In dependency rely on Him and receive the ‘on the job training’ that takes place in the process of doing what He has said.
Our lifestyle to confirm and be consistent with our calling (Eph 4:1).