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Faith Bloopers | Christian Living

Called by God

Christina Walker

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Called.


We’ve all heard about it.  Our pastors and preachers inform us that we have been given a calling.  Our schools teach that we have a vocation.  Radios broadcast that we are “called to be God’s children” and Bible Studies push us to discover our calling.


Peter demonstrates to us the importance of our individual callings when he writes in  2 Peter 1:10-11:


Therefore, my brothers and sisters, 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.


Election is a fancy term for “choice.”  So what Peter is telling us is that we need to be sure of the purpose that God has created us for, and to be dedicated in our choice to live out that purpose.  And if we do, we will receive a huge welcome when we come home!  In fact, the first 11 verses of 2 Peter are so intensely packed with direction in confirming our calling and election as believers that the next Faith Bloopers blog post will explore this passage in more detail.


In 1 Corinthians, we are instructed, “Nevertheless, each of you should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to you, just as God has called you.”  Before this verse, Paul is discussing how the believers should conduct themselves in marriage.  Recognizing that marriage, as such an enormous aspect of your life that sets the course for all future events, is part of your calling can be terrifying.  God doesn’t just call people to preach, He calls people to be married.  To specific people.  He doesn’t just call people to serve in his church, He calls them to be parents.  Jesus’ calling might be for you to be a missionary, but an equally important part of His calling might be for you to remain single for life.


Wow.  


Realizing that we have such little control over our own lives can be incredibly humbling.


Our calling is not just part of our lives.  Our calling is our life.  It is the purpose for which we have life.  Here’s how to check if your purpose has already been completed:  place your right pointer and middle fingers over your left wrist.  If you feel a pulse, then your purpose has not yet been completed!  We have each been called to a specific work that only we are able to complete!


So far, the Bible has told us that we must confirm what our calling is, be determined in our choice to fulfill that purpose, and that our calling incorporates all areas of our lives.


Determining what our calling is exactly can be very obvious for some, but for most of us figuring what we’re here for is a challenge.  And I don’t have all the answers to help with that.  God calls each of us to such unique work in an individualized and special way, that there is no easy 8-Step approach for discovering your calling.  


But never fear! All you can do is ask for God to reveal His will to you.  If you live in a manner that is consistent with God’s will, as we have been exploring, God’s purpose will be made known to you through the Spirit at the right time that God desires for you to discover it.  So be patient, friends!


Once you determine what your calling is, however, living out that purpose will likely be difficult.  No Biblical figures were given an “easy” calling.  Daniel and his friends faced probable execution, Moses had to walk around a desert for 40 years after bringing suffering down on his former adoptive family, Steven was stoned to death, Job lost everything, Joseph was sold into slavery, and Mary faced the possibility of shame and stoning for being pregnant with a baby that was not her husband’s.


Hopefully our callings will not involve stoning, being fed to lions, slavery, or wandering in deserts!  But there are thousands of Christians today who are called to witness in areas where owning a Bible is a death sentence.  Let us remember these brothers and sisters in our prayers each night and every morning.


In the last year and a half, I have worked in a job in which my understanding of being called has been drastically changed.  As an Emergency Response Therapist, I work 15 on-call 24hr shifts each month.  So half the hours in a month, I am on-call to respond to mental health crisis calls.  Which is great!  There are days that I’m working where all I do is watch Netflix, read, play with my puppy, or spend time with family.  In fact, I am on-call right now as I write to you.  However, my phone is always on me, and the moment I get a call I’m out the door.  It might be 2:30am, it could be in the middle of my shower, or just as I’m sitting down for dinner.  I never know when a call might come in.


As a Christian, you are on-call for God 24/7 all 365 days of the year.  You never know when you might be presented with a task from God.  Opportunities to love those who are hurting, to share with those in need, to teach people that seek instruction, to counsel people searching for guidance, or to forgive those who have wronged you.  A son or daughter will be watching how you react when the waiter brings the wrong order.  And that waiter might have just found out that his mother has been diagnosed with cancer.  Be prepared.  Jesus did not call us just to attend church on Sunday morning, pray before bed, and refrain from cursing.   He calls us to share Him with the world, every moment of our lives.


Strive to live in such a way that people realize you are a Christian without you needing to tell them.  Please do witness to them though!  Do not feel as though I am instructing anyone not to share about Jesus verbally!  But make sure that you are always prepared to act out your calling, no matter the time of day or circumstances.


For me, it helps knowing that it’s not really the doctors, sheriff deputies, or nurses that are calling me in to work.  In reality, it is God calling me to help one of his children in need.  Keeping in mind that the duties you have been given or the work that you are asked to do has been assigned to you from the Creator of the Universe who designed you specifically to complete that task, will hopefully make your work easier to complete.  Whether it’s facing a den of lions, supporting the young single mother whose children are overwhelming her in the grocery store, or creating a smartphone app that helps Christians with Bible memory verses.  Whatever your calling, you are the only one that can complete it!  You have been given the skills, vision, and inspiration that can come to none other than you!


I pray for each of you, friends, as you strive to fulfill the calling that the Lord has given you.  Please feel free to share your own experiences and prayer requests in the comments below!