How do you discover your calling?
I never thought too much about that question until I first started to have an interest in Bible Study. Sure, I’d always gone to Sunday school and church, but I it wasn’t until about ten years ago that God really gave me a passion to dive into what we were studying on my own. It soon just became second nature to create studies (and now blog entries) out of what I discovered.
Looking back, I can see how God orchestrated several confirmations in my life to cause me to consider writing (in whatever form) as my calling. Maybe you can relate to several. Let me start by saying that when I say “calling”, I’m not talking about principles and commands that He has asked us all to live out as Christians, such as the great commission itself (spreading the gospel), loving your neighbor, etc. Nor am I talking about the spiritual gifts we all have as believers (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faith, Gentleness, and Self-Control, Gal. 5:22-23). I’m talking about specific abilities or aptitudes that are unique to each of us.
I’ll start with internal confirmations today, and continue with external confirmations in my next post.
So without further ado, here’s my list. You can know God’s calling on your life if:
- God initiates it – Remember Paul’s journey to Damascus? (Acts 9:1-22). God got his attention, to say the least — He struck him blind. Some days after being restored, Paul began to preach Christ in the synagogues. (Acts 9:20), as he was commissioned (Acts 9:15).
Now God may not be as dramatic with us, but He will get our attention. He had to get mine through a long illness. It was really difficult, but I look back and see how He used it to re-direct me back to Him in the first place, which then led to studying and writing. Whether dramatic or not, He will steer you closer to Him, so that you have a heart that is ready to use the abilities He has given you. After all, “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.”(Phil 1:6).
2. It is by compulsion – Hear the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:16: “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me, yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel”.
I love one commentary of this verse: “Paul did not preach from personal pride, but from divine compulsion. He had no other choice, because God had sovereignly set him apart for service” (The John MacArthur Bible, P.1742)
Do you ever feel compelled for God’s service in a particular way? Sometimes I look back at my work and wonder when I had time to finish them. I guess the Lord just put the desire in me and put it into motion.
I don’t consider myself a writer…but it’s what God has given me to do.
It’s the offering that comes out of me.
My friend Chuck has a natural gift to teach. It’s second nature for him to stand in front of a group and speak. Every once in a while, he’ll tell me how especially articulate he felt, how the words flowed out of him. That’s God giving him that lucidity.
Now, this doesn’t mean that ministry will be effortless or without hardship. Again, Paul is a great example of this. (2 Corinthians 11:23 -27), but I believe it does mean that we as believers will be given the strength to be the vessel God uses for His purpose.
3. It is through what we love doing – I believe that we discover our gifts, big or small, in terms of what energizes us the most. It’s what we would do even if we are dog-tired, just because we love it so much; because it is so much a part of who we are. This is what writing means to me. It’s a quiet joy that glows inside of me, a joy I have to remind myself to restrain so I won’t constantly talk about it so much that I bore everyone! 🙂
If you find yourself praying for God to grant you the physical ability and time on earth to pursue the ministry He has given you, you may have found your calling.
Well, that’s it for now. The next post will feature a couple of external confirmations of one’s calling.
Have you discovered your calling? If so, have any of these rang true in your life? Anything you’d like to add? I would love to hear your stories!