Our “Calling” Part 1 - What It’s Not! | Northlands Church

Our “Calling” Part 1 - What It’s Not!

by: Jennifer Schmidt

God knit your life together with a clear purpose in mind. He has bestowed gifting and calling on your life. However, for some of us, common misconceptions about our calling are keeping us from discovering and living in it today.

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. … Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth— everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” Isaiah 43:1,6-7

People everywhere are searching for their answer to the question: What’s the purpose of my life? We are aching to know why we exist and what good can come from our lives. Christians often rephrase the question as: How do I figure out my calling? Either way, all of us deep down want to know if our lives are significant. The answer is resoundingly, Yes! God intricately made each person on this earth with a purpose in mind. He has bestowed gifts and unique callings on His children and He equips us to identify and walk in step with those each day of our lives.

However we often navigate days, years and decades of our lives without clarity about our purpose. We constantly wonder what we are called to do. Satan has been whispering lies for too long to God’s people, trying to keep us from walking in the power that comes with clarity around our callings. I want to share four common misconceptions (a.k.a. lies) that can hold us back from understanding and stepping into our callings today.

1. It’s [NOT] a big secret. I have spent a lot of brain power over the years trying to figure out what God has called me to. I used to view “my calling” as some elusive secret I had to chase down. But Ephesians 1:9 says “He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him.” God wants to reveal to us His will for our lives. It’s not a secret kept under lock and key but a plan He knit together long ago and promises to make known to us. “Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name” (Isaiah 49:1).

2. It’s [NOT] a destination. I spent a lot of my life viewing my calling as a destination, a physical place where God intends me to end up and serve Him. There are destinations along the journey but those are not the calling. Our calling is a lifestyle and a life message we carry with us wherever we go. The word calling is simply defined as “a strong urge toward a particular way of life.” We are called to unique lifestyles that reflect and glorify God. “It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 2:14).

3. It’s [NOT] for the distant future. I also used to think that my calling was down the road, like way down the road when I “arrived” at some predetermined spiritual maturity level. Essentially thinking, when I am a better/stronger/wiser believer I will be able to “walk in my calling.” Not true! We are called and purposed today. As many promises and purposes as God has for our future, He likewise has for our present. You are worthy, ready and equipped to live in step with your calling today because you are filled with the Spirit of God. In Philippians 3:14, Paul says, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” He is indicating that pressing on towards the call is a process or journey, it’s a present engagement towards a future glory.

4. You might [NOT] miss it. I used to fear that if I messed up too badly I might miss out on the whole call for my life, like I could royally mess up God’s plan. What a devastating thought! Romans 11:29 says “for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” It doesn’t say the gifts and calling of God are dependent upon your own merit or performance. Romans 3:28 says, “So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.” While it is important to heed instruction, counsel and direction from God, our gifts and calling are not dependent on how perfectly we obey. Now THAT’s grace! You can’t miss out on His call, so let go of that fear and trust His power and faithfulness is greater than our imperfections, once we are hidden in Christ. God promises, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you” (Psalm 32:8). Even when we make mistakes, the Lord redeems and restores us every time. His wise counsel is our constant companion through the Holy Spirit helping us to walk in His will and our calling.

Stay tuned, in next week’s post we will look at practical strategies to discover the unique lifestyle and life messages we are individually designed to carry out on this Earth!

Prayer

Lord thank you for reminding me that you have a good plan for my life, a purpose and calling that will bring you glory.  Thank you for reminding me that today I can walk in step with you and live each day with purpose.  Holy Spirit reveal to me in even greater depth and with more clarity the calling over my life. Please show me the gifts and remind me of the passions that you want to use for good, through me, on this earth.


© 2016 Northlands Church and Jennifer Schmidt. Permission to share so long as credit is given.