What is my calling? How many sermons have been preached with this title? How many of you were like me and struggled with this question for years. Yes, they have a test that tells you what your spiritual gift is and yes there are some things that are easy to explain, but for the majority of people, figuring out your calling is one of the hardest things to do as a Christian.
First off, I know that we are called to make disciples. I know that we are to love the Lord with all our heart and our neighbor as ourself. These are things that are pure and they are true and they are without question. The problem I had and I believe a lot of others have is figuring out how to do these things in our vocations.
For thirteen years, I and my family sang gospel music all across the southeast and some in the Midwest. We had the bus, and songs ranked in the charts and our songs got played on the radio. We were even able to help lead several people to Christ during our time on the road singing. This was a good time, and it was an honorable thing. Apparently it wasn’t our calling. How do I know that? Because I can see it now in hindsight and God’s hand was not allowing us to prosper. I’m not talking about making million, I’m talking about prospering in his ways. Yes God used us and yes we praised him, but the one thing I got out of our singing career was that just because you are doing God’s work, doesn’t mean you are doing God’s will for your life. This is a common misconception in the church and among most Christians. “I must be doing what God wants me to do because I am doing a lot of good stuff in the church and for others.” There is no question that doing good things for others is not a bad idea and doing things in the church is not a bad thing. However, if we are going to be successful in our walk with Christ and our service for the kingdom, then we have to be willing to do anything that is his will and nothing that is not his will for our lives. So many times, we overlook opportunities to minister to others because we think that is the preachers job. We think because he is being paid, he should earn his money. Let me let you in on a little secret. If a man is a called out man of God, he will never be paid enough on this earth for all the things he does. His payment and rewards are in the same place mine is as well as all other Christians, in heaven.
That brings me to the one other thought that is a little controversial. Every man that stands behind the pulpit is not called of God. So many times in my life, I have seen men accept Christ and gain some spiritual insight and maturity and immediately decide that they are called to the ministry. They start out like a wild man running on emotion and excitement. But if a person is not called by God, the world will beat him down and he will fail. It’s hard enough for those who are truly called and are serving to keep their heads up. If you are not truly called, you are destined for failure. Many times they fail and blame God because they burnout or just get tired. If we are doing what God tells us to do in his strength, we can’t burnout. We burnout because we either do something that we aren’t supposed to do or we try to do something in our strength and not in Gods. I heard that an older pastor was talking to another pastor who was considering getting out of the ministry. The older pastor looked at the younger man and said, “If you can get out, you should because you shouldn’t have gotten in to begin with. Another pastor told me himself that anyone who says they are called but gets out of the ministry to follow some other career probably wasn’t called in the first place.
So what is the answer? I can only tell you from my personal experience. Go to God and ask him specific questions. Pray and seek him with all your heart. When you do this, he WILL answer you and he will answer you specifically. That’s the kind of God we serve. He doesn’t get angry at us when we ask specific questions. He gets angry when we don’t accept his answers and try to go our own way. I know when I got tired of being sick and tired and was willing to accept whatever God had for me, he showed me clearly without there being any way for me to argue with him. He called me to be a writer. If you don’t know what your specific calling is, pray and ask and be willing to accept whatever he shows you. When you do that, he will hear and answer when you are ready to receive it.
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