“Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.” 2 Timothy 1:9
A calling is a summoning or a divine invitation from God in which He invites you to knowingly partake in your heavenly purpose – the thing for which He has made, prepared, and appointed you.
Some people get to choose what they want to do with their life, or so it seems to them (God gives to all people, even those that don’t believe on His name, the gifts and abilities that lead to what we choose in life) while God, openly and knowingly chooses for others of us. ( See Jeremiah 1)
Apostle Paul said, “Preaching the Gospel is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. Woe unto me if I do not preach the Gospel,” 1 Corinthians 9:16.
I heard a very popular television pastor, Charles Stanley, once say he wanted to be a photographer but God called him to be a pastor. He had to give up fully what he wanted to do in order to do what God called him to do. It was a struggle for him at first because he truly loved and enjoyed photography and he was gifted at it but there was a “calling” on his life and he submitted to that call. Many years later God allowed him to take up photography again. In fact, his photographs appear in all of his monthly newsletters.
Sometimes I wish that I could be like one of those people who seemingly choose what they want to do with their life.
I wanted to be an author and a speaker; in fact, I am both of these. But these are not my first and primary callings. Though I’m gifted in these areas they are not directly related to my heavenly calling. The are gift extensions of my primary calling.
Like Pastor Stanley, God communicated to me early on that the things I desired to do were not directly connected to my heavenly calling. I’ve had to give up pursuing things that were dear to me in submitting to the call of God. Even before God told me exactly what He called me to, He clearly communicated with me what not to do at times when I wanted to go in a direction not related to my calling. I know by experience there is no peace in pursuing my own dreams if those dreams don’t line up with God’s dreams, even if they are good dreams.
The narrow way has been lonely at times causing me to want to take a broader path.
Not all are called to suffer great loss but every believer is called to the narrow path, though only few are willing to go this way. I’ve cried in my giving things up but I still let go and even though I’m not walking in the fullness of my calling I know that I’m on the right path. I’ve stopped along the way, taken detours and wanted to turn back at times but the joy of the Lord has been my strength thus far and believe His joy will help me to continue on.
Paul said, “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:7-14.
Beloved, to know Christ in this way is what I pursue above all else.
If are struggling with knowing or submitting to the call of God on your life my prayer for you is this: That the eyes of your understanding would be enlightened; that you may know (by experience) what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in YOU, (Ephesians 1:18).