Calling All Christians

Christians are really good at thinking about who we could be, and we’re really bad at being who we already are called to be--the handiwork and the masterpieces and the image of God himself.

The best conversation-ender in challenging, vision-centered dialogue is this: "That's just not my calling."

Immediately, a wall goes up. No one wants to rebuke a calling or lack thereof, but we so often fall back on that excuse to avoid exploring what the Lord is truly asking of us.

Now, read this: we can absolutely be called to some things and absolutely not be called to other things. The danger lies when we refuse to question the clear-cut calls and instead rely on instinct. Because the Bible is our only fully-reliable guide to life in Christ, that questioning should come from deep study of God's word and a prayer that, in faith, says, "Your kingdom come, Your will be done."

As part of His divine creation, God asked us to do something seemingly simple: love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.

But we take that simple commandment, and we make it as complex as humanly possible. In attempting to make sense of what God wants us to do with our lives, we sit perplexed in a mess of confusion because we forget that He has already told us.

We are called to love Him and love the people around us. That’s it. While we wait for a personalized note to float down from the heavens, we avoid the letter He wrote to us thousands of years ago that tells us His story of redemption, His purpose for His glory, and His deep, restorative love for His people.

As we struggle to make sense of our purposes, we need only look to His purposes. If the Lord loves something, we should love that something. If Jesus spent time doing something, we should spend time doing that something.

Those "somethings" are found in red ink scattered throughout Scripture. Loving the least of these (Matthew 25:40). Obeying His commands (John 14:15). Preaching the gospel to all of creation (Mark 16:15). Giving to those in need (Matthew 5:42).

There are so many more, and they all encompass loving God and those around us.

Christians want to be able to define, in one precise phrase, what our lives are supposed to be about, and the difficulty lies in deciphering how to be who God has already called us to be. And following His example of love doesn’t mean that we should recklessly throw ourselves into all situations in which the lost are involved or the hurt are in need. 

Calling is where your talents and burdens collide.
— Rebekah Lyons

While we’re all called to be like Christ, the ways in which we use our gifts to express that calling make us unique.

If your heart is burdened for middle school students who don't know Jesus, and your talents give you the ability to love and serve them in their awkward-preteen years, youth ministry may be your calling. If you feel a deep aching in your soul for the orphans in Africa and you've got the resources and desire to uproot life to care for them, maybe that's what you should devote yourself to.

Or, if you want more than anything for your children to know Christ and you’ve got the blessing of those children, your calling could be motherhood or fatherhood—and that calling is just as beautiful and glorifying as the rest.

Our burdens should reflect a need, and our talents should be for God's glory.

Don't drag your feet, though. 

But put aside the passivity and the quest for complete fulfillment and the perfectionism and the preoccupation with the future, and for God’s sake start making some decisions in your life. Don’t wait for the liver-shiver. If you are seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, you will be in God’s will, so just go out and do something.
— Kevin DeYoung