“Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches.” – 1 Corinthians 7:17.
“I’ve been called to…” It is easy to envy somebody who starts a sentence with that statement because it has a kind of divine aura around it and besides, it is nice to have your calling figured out; It is not that easy for most people. Many well-meaning Christians have spent much of their time and energy trying to figure out what God has for their future. They wait for God to give them a feeling, to reveal some sort of sign, or to ordain a “we can’t-miss this sign” circumstance. The desire to walk in line with God’s will is certainly admirable, but how do we know our calling for our lives?
Sometimes it helps to know what your calling is not: your calling is not for you. You are called and gifted individually, but it is not for your benefit or gratification. Your calling is for the benefit of others. “Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.” (Romans 12:4–5) We should be asking “How, with my existing abilities and opportunities, can I be of greatest service to others.”
Our calling is not our choice. We are called by God: we don’t call ourselves. This might sound pretty obvious, but how many people believe they have to grab hold of their calling lest it slip away because they were not decisive enough. Yes, there is a human element in everything we do, but fortunately, we’re under God’s guidance and grace. Proverbs 16:9 reminds us that “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” So, practically, one simple way to discover your calling is to figure out how you can best serve others with the gifts and abilities the Lord has given you.
Many people view calling as a future event. In reality, your calling is whatever your life consists of right now. God has placed you in Panama City, or Panama City Beach, or Lynn Haven or Callaway for a reason. Rather than worry about tomorrow, God wants us to bloom where we’re planted, to work toward the Kingdom today. There’s nothing wrong with planning and working for the future, but the overriding goal should be to serve the Lord where He’s placed you until He calls you to something else.
It’s a possibility that God may open doors or give you a feeling of peace to help you make decisions. But it’s an absolute certainty that God’s word provides everything you need to know to be equipped to live the life God has called you to live.
- Do you trust God with your future? Why or why not?
- Have you taken the time to think about what vocation God may be calling you to? How can you continue to discern where God is calling you?