Calling: Seeing & Clarifying It
A Central Issue for the Creative Kingdom Servant
Have you ever thought about what kept people going who faced tremendous difficulties like:
- Abraham? [Gen. 12: 1-3]
- Joseph? [Gen 50: 19-20]
- Paul? [Acts 20:24; or Romans 15:15-16]
- David? [1 Sam 16: 11-13]
- Isaiah? [Is 6:1-8]
Essentials to Know:
- If you know nothing else, know this: YOU ARE CALLED …
- Into a special relationship with God, Himself; and
- For special and particular purposes—that flow out of the WAYS HE’s made you—within HIS broader will and purposes.
Settling on this truth is especially important for the “artistic ministry specialist” because of the reality that church, mission and Christian academic leaders remain unsure as to how and where creative Kingdom servants are to be used.
Without being clearly convinced you are called into a special relationship with God, Himself, as well as called by God for special purposes in this life and the lives of others—you will certainly be confused, unconfident and unmotivated as you attempt to live out your unique life, especially living in a church community that may continue to be hesitant (at best) and skeptical (at least in many contexts) about your God-given orientations and make up.
It’s easier to serve God without a clear vision
Says Oswald Chambers . . .
“It is easier to serve God without a vision, easier to work for God without a call, because then you are not bothered by what God requires; common sense is your guide, veneered over with Christian sentiment. You will be more prosperous and successful, more leisure-hearted, if you never realize the call of God.
But if once you receive a commission from Jesus Christ, the memory of what God wants for you will always come like a goad; you will no longer be able to work for Him on the basis of the commonsense.
What do I really count dear? If I have not been gripped by Jesus Christ, I will count service dear, time given to God dear, my life dear … unto myself. Paul says he counted his life dear only in order that he might fulfill the ministry he had received; he refused to use his energy for any other thing. Acts 20:24 states Paul’s almost sublime annoyance at being asked to consider himself; he was absolutely indifferent to any consideration other than that of fulfilling the ministry he had received. . . . Never consider whether you are of use; but ever consider that you are not your own but His.”
From: the March 4th selection from the devotional entitled . . .
My Utmost for His Highest Journal by Oswald Chambers. Benbour & Co.
Ubrichsville, OH 44683: 1935, 1963
Some suggested definitions:
- I (Byron Spradlin) like the term ‘calling’ ASSIGNMENT [i.e. What is your assignment from God? Once you’re falling in love with Him, what are you hearing Him assign you?]; that is, coming to know the person and purposes God has created you to live out.
- Os Guinness says this: [THE CALL, page 31], “. . . calling in the Bible is a central and dynamic theme that becomes a metaphor for the life of faith itself. To limit the word, as some insist, to a few texts and to a particular stage in salvation is to miss the forest for the trees. To be a disciple of Jesus is to be a “called one” and so to become “ a follower of the Way.… Our primary calling as followers of Christ is by him, to him, and for him. First and foremost we are called to Someone (God), not to something (such as motherhood, politics, or teaching) or to somewhere (such as the inner city of Outer Mongolia).
- … Our secondary calling, considering who God is as sovereign, is that everyone, everywhere, and in everything should think, speak, live, and act entirely for him. We can therefore properly say as a matter of secondary calling that we are called to homemaking or to the practice of law or to art history.
- … (Remember) . . . Secondary callings matter, but only because the primary calling matters most.”
- · Dick Keyes & Charlie Peacock together say [At The Crossroads by Peacock, page 151] “To borrow from author/teacher Dick Keyes, ‘The goal in life isn’t to just accomplish many things.’ Nor is it to just accomplish many things for the Lord. ‘Life,’ says Keyes, ‘is first to be a certain kind of person before God.’”
Whatever words you decide to call it, remember:
CALLING has to do with your assignment to come to know the person and purposes God has created you to live out.
Calling: a Two-Edged issue
-You are His CREATION, created according to His ways as a masterpiece. Ephesians 2: 10
-You are to be His COMPANION, created for Himself as a friend. John. 15:15
1. What kind of person is God looking for?
Answer: In John. 4:23 It’s clear God is looking for Worshipers
2. What was David consumed with?
Answer: In Psalm 27: 4 It’s clear David was consumed with a love relationship with God.
His Purposes For Us Have To Do With:
Representing Him and His Righteousness
Gen 1: 26; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 2 Cor. 5:17-20
Impacting people for His sake
John 17:15-23;1 Peter 2:9-10
Initiating change—in people, in our community, in our culture—in line with His perspective & purpose
Calling Provides Your Compass For Living
Calling is central to your life—because in knowing it [or at least, in clarifying it], it gives your life direction and meaning in spite of the craziness of whatever circumstances surround you at any given time in your life.
Eph 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Note: Never SERVE simply because there is a NEED. Only because you’ve sensed God’s assignment. Otherwise, you will never have the stamina, or be able to last. If God has not Called you to it, there’s no other adequate base of motivation or power.
Know this: YOU ARE CALLED
No believer is NOT called. So get on with it !
–You are called TO HIM
–You are called TO LIVE OUT THE WAYS
HE’s DESIGNED YOU
Rather, HEARING GOD’s VOICE in line with WAYS HE’s MADE YOU; constitutes your calling. Listen carefully to the prompting of God—whether through concerns you can’t shake, awareness you have that others don’t, or the voice of God you can’t get away from; and any of these promptings all in line with the principles and truths of the Bible. Then pursue HIM relentlessly. And you can not help but step into your calling.