The Bible study meeting was going rather well until this “calling” question.
After the discussing the outline, the leader had asked if anyone had any other questions. And this was a question that had bothered this guy a lot.
He started with “I’ve been working for about 5 years. I like what I do but last Sunday during the sermon I started wondering if I am meeting God’s calling for my life. I’m afraid that I’ll get to heaven and God is going to tell me that I did not fulfill His call for me.”
He continued “my calling may be to work with at-risk kids and I’m afraid I’m not living out my calling.”
“Why do you think so?”, asked the leader.
“Well, I am an investment analyst. All I do at my job is making money and I am not meeting the real needs of the world. My calling should meet real needs and change lives.”
It was clear from the responses that a couple of people in the group also had questions about their calling
So, how do we sort out this calling matter?
The Mystical Word – Calling
Unless you haven’t been hanging around Christian circles, you must have heard the word dropped a few times.
Come to think of it, you even hear it occasionally in regular conversation. But I’d like to keep our focus on its context in Christian circles.
Calling is the stuff that everybody talks about but nobody seems to be able to explain it in plain English.
Calling is what you get warned about – if you miss it, then your life is toast.
Find it, live it and you get to ask God anything you can need. Why? Because He always gives first priority to those who live out their calling
So, we spend the rest of our every day wondering when we are going to get angel Gabriel’s knock on our door. Or listening out for the voice to say “your mission, should you choose to accept, is so and so”
Who Let The Call Out?
I bet you have heard it said: “you have something very specific to do in the world only you can do.” And it goes further by saying “if you don’t find it, you are depriving the world of a great gift”
I get the logic of what statements like these try to build up to. But there is an over-simplification to the point of error with that sort of thinking.
You are unique but you don’t have a unique one-of-a-kind task to do in the world.
We confuse the individuality of existence as the individuality of creating value in life. You are one-in-a-billion but you don’t have a one-in-a-billion task on this blue earth.
I hope I have not shattered your self-motivation with this sort of talk. You may have been ramping up your confidence thinking that you are a “special one”
And all we had to do to save the world is to save you from mediocrity.
Without you, the world will still continue to do fine
But you still have a part to play, we need to find that part.
And Your Calling Is…
Let me get out the most important news you need to hear.
Your calling is not “what you do in life”, it is a “how you do life”.
This is where we got things mixed up. Most of us have always been thinking about what we should be doing. That is not the question.
The question is “how should you be doing or living out your life?”. We all want to live a meaningful life.
There is only one way to live a meaningful life – live every day to make God happy.
And we understand more every day how we can make God happy. This is the reason why “we grow in our calling”
We grow in our calling because we discover more ways to do things in a way that make God happy.
Your calling is how you live your life to make God happy. It is not a one-thing you do, it is constant how-experience you create in everything you do daily.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, a make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – 2 Pet 1:5-11
Why A Need Is Not Your Calling
Now that we have the “calling” business out of the way, let’s talk about the other elephant in the room.
There are so many needs around us. And there are different ways we can be part of addressing a need. But being bothered about a need is not a calling. It is a call-to-action, not a calling.
Some people follow a call-to-action for all their lives while for others it’s for a short time. How you go about answering a call-to-action is how you live out your calling in that situation. The need is not your call. How you make God happy meeting the need is your calling.
The brother in the story can start with supporting financially an NGO that works with at-risk kids. He can also volunteer as a mentor helping out these kids. If he feels God is asking more of his time, he can increase his commitment in whatever capacity – even to the point of leaving his current job. But it is not the need he is meeting that is his calling. His calling is the decisions he is choosing to make God happy in that need. After a while, if he feels that there is something else out there for him, as long as it makes God happy, he does not need to feel under obligation to continue with serving the first need.
Our calling is not need-pleasing – it is God-pleasing.
Living Out Your Calling Everyday
Your calling is how God wants you to live your life. A need is how you express the calling.
You don’t have to do social work to live out your calling. You can do it right on your job – even in the hustle and bustle of money making.
You must be ready to make every day a day you choose to make God happy with you. This is your calling.
By the way, you are not seeking God’s approval because of any brownie points to get you into paradise. You already have a free pass because Jesus died for you.
You are looking for ways to make God happy with you as a way of showing your appreciation for what you already have – Jesus Christ.
Every day is an opportunity to let God feel a sense of pride in you. Remember what God told the devil about Job?
Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” – Job 1:8
It was God’s way of showing off to the devil.
That is what I want for you
Give God the opportunity to do a show-off with your life
This is one of the reasons He saved you