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Posts Tagged ‘calling’

Do you have a specific calling from the Lord?  All followers of Jesus have the great commission which applies to the Church universal and we each have a gift or gifts that God has given us for the proclamation of the Gospel and the edification of the Church.  However, I suspect that many of us are uncertain whether we have a specific calling from the Lord.  You see, this morning it just became very clear to me what my calling is even though I have been a follower of Jesus since 1983.  The fact that I just received this crystal clarity doesn’t mean I have not walked in my calling.  As I think of the times in my life that I have felt the most joyful, the most fulfilled, they have been when I was walking in my calling.  Before I go further I will tell you that my calling is to be an Encourager.

Looking back on one of my formative God stories I realize that God spoke the call to me, but I concentrated on the wrong part of the word He gave.  In May or June of 1989 I awoke in the middle of the night knowing God was present.  I slipped out of bed and onto my knees ready to pray for whatever burden the Lord put on my heart.  But no desperate need arose for me to pray about.  I remember thinking / praying, “What is it Lord?”  Then I heard Him speak to my heart.  “I am going to have you say special things to special people.  And to prove it, I’m going to take care of your house today.”

For years I have paid more attention to the miraculous provision God made in providing a home for us out of the blue the next day.  But I am struck this morning by the truth of the calling captured in that first sentence.  “I am  going to have you say special things to special people.”

A few years later I experienced another profound revelation from the Lord.  I was feeling led to undertake a three day fast for the first time.  As I pondered this, a friend who attended a Pentecostal church approached me at work one day and said, “Dan, during worship in our service last night, the pastor had a word for you.  He said if you will fast for three days on water only, then the Lord will show you what you are to do.”  I was blown away.  Until that time, I had not mentioned to anyone what I was considering.  So during Holy Week that year I undertook a three day fast.  I will never forget it.  Most importantly I did receive a clear message from the Lord.  Funny thing, it was while I was mowing the lawn on Saturday toward the end of the fast.  The Lord said, “I have not called you to be a preacher and I have not called you to be a teacher, I have called you to be a man of prayer.  You will preach and you will teach, but first and foremost I have called you to be a man of prayer.”

You see I had the notion I was waiting for God to call me into the ordained ministry.  I loved Him.  I thrilled at reading and sharing the Word.  And I desperately wanted people to experience the new life in Christ, the abundant life in Christ that I had found.  My vision of calling and ministry was fairly narrow and was confined to becoming a minister in a church.  Even as my understanding grew, I did not grasp the fact that I had a calling and, with some degree of consistency, I was walking it out.

So the point of today is simple.  God has a general calling on your life which is to honor and glorify Him, but He also has a specific call on your life.  The following steps will help you find your specific calling.

1) Begin by asking Him to guide you and use you.  As you lean on and trust in Him, He will lead you to your calling.

2) What are you passionate about?  What brings you the greatest joy?  For myself and for many others, we are most alive and impassioned when we are doing what God has created us to do.

3) What are you good at?  The talents we possess are gifts from God.  They are given to us, first and foremost, to glorify Him.  They generally also help to provide for us, although that is not always true.  An example comes to mind.  Early in my faith walk, I told God I would gladly go into the mission field.  I pictured using my engineering skills during the day to help people in a third world country build wells and construct homes by day followed by bible studies and preaching at night.  But the call for me to actually go into foreign missions has not yet come.  It seems likely to me that one of the reasons is my struggle with languages.  For some, like our youngest children and my cousin Richard, languages come very easy, but not for me.  In lieu of actually going overseas on foreign missions, we have been able to support and encourage others who have that calling.

4) What do other people compliment you on?  Sorry, while this can include your mother, it has to be more than just her.  When we walk in our giftedness, it will bless others and some of those people will let you know.  I am not talking about stroking our vanity, but words of affirmation that we are doing what we are supposed to be doing.

Our calling will in some way support the Great commission – the growth and building up of Christ’s body in the earth.  Don’t limit this to just the preaching and teaching of the Word though.  I know God is the great physician who ultimately heals us, however He most often uses doctors and health professionals to be His agents of that healing.  The difference between a person who is walking in their calling as a medical professional and a person who does not recognize what they do as a ministry is the motivation.  One seeks to minister to people and meet their needs through God’s strength and provision.  The other does not have this foundational truth driving them.  I have heard of doctors who pray with their patients through the healing process.  To me that is a great indicator that they are walking in their calling.

Just because you have a specific calling does not mean that these are the only ways God will use you.  He is the omnipotent Creator of the universe.  If you are available and obedient He is more than able to give you the grace in any and every situation you find yourself.  However, recognizing your calling and seeking to put yourself into positions to grow and use the talents you have is a sure path to fulfillment in God’s amazing economy.

Have a blessed day today and may you flourish in the place where God puts you.

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