You know those nights where you are tossing and turning until the sun rises because your thoughts are going about a million miles per hour? And, no cup of chamomile tea or soothing spa music is going to do the trick? Yeah, that is what the past couple nights have been for me. So, I thought I would share with you all what has kept me awake at night…and, yes, I am drinking a cup of chamomile tea as I write this. Hopefully, it will do the trick tonight.
Calling. It is a word that we may hear a lot about. What is my calling? What is your calling? The dictionary defines this word as a strong urge toward a particular way of life. Within the Christian life, we are all called to become new through Christ, to live our lives with a strong urge towards righteousness. Yet, what’s beautiful about the church, while the mission(the calling) of the Christian life might be the same, our work to fulfill that mission will all look different.
“The highest calling is not becoming a pastor, but becoming all God called you to be, namely a person who glorifies God in all you do.” -Dave Gibbons
With that said, our calling, as Christians, is not necessarily to become a preacher, a missionary, a worship leader, etc. But, rather, our calling is first and foremost, as God’s children, to choose the gospel above all else. Because of His love (it all comes back to God’s love for us), He has given us unique gifting and talents to continually bring glory to His name. Sometimes, we can get caught up in our work for the church that we lose our identity in God.
As Jordon Raynor addresses in Called to Create, “Because of the gospel, ‘Our work becomes the expression of our identity, not the source of it.'” Titles/Platforms/Positions do not equate to calling. They might be a part of the calling, but it is not the source of our calling. While I may be the Hyphen Director/Young Adults leader at my church, it is not my specific calling. My calling is to bring glory to God’s name, in all that I do, at church, on the job, around my family members, when hanging out with friends on the weekends…every single day. (And, daily, I need God’s grace and help to do this).
We are all creative human beings, no matter what field of work we are a part of(in both the church and our day jobs). And, it is through our identity in the gospel(not our individual work itself), that we come to discover the basis of every breath we take; for it is God’s love that calls us towards heaven. So, let us not become so concerned with the question: Am I supposed to be this or that, or work in this function of ministry, but, instead let us find ways to ask God, “How can I be a better disciple?” Ultimately, the calling is a strong urge towards a life that pursues The Great Commission of Jesus Christ.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:16-20
I admit that there are different works of the calling, but there is one calling that we, if we are to take on the name of Christ, is not up for discussion and it is simply this: we are called to make disciples. So, if you are called to teach, evangelize, write books, perform music, play baseball, work in politics, the list could go on, you aren’t called to the work itself, but rather you are called to bring glory to God and make disciples through that specific work.
So, I ask the question again. What is your calling? What is my calling?
I hope you have a clearer understanding of that answer, even if you don’t know the details on what that will look like for your life. However, when we begin to think in this way (that in all that I do, my hope is to make disciples) then it will change our outlook on the calling itself.
My friend, Charity Hall, and I have been discussing this concept this week, and when you get a revelation of calling, it entirely changes the way you pray and live your life. She states, “we’ve been given a mandate to create disciples. To pray for others. Not simply to pray for ourselves and our own pursuits, but to create in others the fruits of the spirit, to help them discover their own giftings.”
Side note: Dear single friend, If you are thinking that your call to ministry will become fulfilled once you are married, I have news for you. Marriage itself will not fulfill your ministry (your spouse may in fact bring strengths to your ministry that you may have lacked, which can then make it stronger(if you marry the right person, which I pray you do), but it will by no means be the thing that will elevate your ministry/calling. So, to both my single and non-single friend, I say to you, do not let your ministry(calling) depend/wait on another, but let that call be answered today, let your ministry become the best that it can be today, and with each day that comes, let it continually become God’s very best. For, above all else, that is what God desires for our lives…and, He gave His best for us when He gave us His Son, so since we’ve gained the best, let’s give that to others in all that we do. And, in fact, none of us will truly have had the calling on our lives fulfilled until the new Kingdom is established when Jesus returns and finally calls us home.
“And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to the purpose.” -Romans 8:28