This article was originally written for Broken Beautiful Bold Ministries here.
“What is God’s calling on my life?”
Oh, the question every Christian seems to have been asking since the day they were converted. And to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of it.
We tend to view a “calling” as a passion God has placed in our heart. And while this is something God certainly does sometimes, he also calls us to hard things. Things we never wanted to do and possibly still don’t.
Some are called to singleness.
Some are called to infertility.
Some may be called to ongoing health issues.
And somehow, in his sovereignty, God uses both for the growth of his Kingdom. He uses the passion and the trial for his glory and our good. Neither have a bigger impact than the other.
Oftentimes, we think of a calling as something that will exalt us rather than the Kingdom. This is why we tend to view a call to go overseas as better than a call to witness to the lost at the local food pantry. Or a call to be a speaker as more important than a gal who mentors younger women. But God doesn’t cherish one person more than the other. He uses each one of us.
Our callings are not about us. They are about him.
Called To Be Holy
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16 ESV)
Every Christian has one specific call that we can know for certain: Holiness.
When you look at scripture, you won’t find much about God’s secret will. What we do know is he wants us to become more like his Son.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 ESV)
God has called us to no longer follow the paths we once followed and instead to renew our minds with his truth so that we will be changed into the likeness of Christ. This truth is echoed in 1 Thessalonians 4:3 where Paul says, “For this is the will of God; your sanctification.”
Seems pretty clear to me. But within our hearts is a longing to know what’s next in his secret will. What does he have for us in the future?
A Calling is a Season
Our lives consist of a series of “callings” rather than one over-arching call. (Other than the call to be holy and make disciples.)
Each of us are called to something right now. Today, I’m called to be a wife, homemaker and a writer. You may be called to motherhood or college. Look around you, what are your responsibilities? Those are what you’re called to. The desires of your heart may be callings today or in the future but we must focus on the ones found in our current season.
Many people spend years trying to figure out what this specific “calling” is and they cause themselves to worry and wonder so much that they steal their own peace.
A calling is a season. We must be open to change and hopeful for the future knowing that as long as we follow where Jesus leads, (even if that means letting go of what we thought was his calling), we will have joy and peace.
As seasons change, callings shift. And he is there to guide us in each step.
Called To Wait
Before the Lord graciously paved the path for me to stay home and write, he placed me in a season of waiting. Day after day I would sit at my desk restless for a way out. I felt smothered by the stress of a heavy workload and a hostile coworker. And my heart ached to pursue writing. But for that time, I was right where God wanted me–working that job. So I waited for 3 years until a new season approached.
Some of you are waiting now. You’re waiting for a job, a husband, a baby, maybe even healing.
And that’s hard.
But here’s a truth I want you to cling to: God’s goodness is both displayed in the fulfillment and the withholding of our desires.
Stay with me here…We may not feel like waiting is God’s goodness but scripture reveals that only goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our life. (Psalm 23:6). This means that all things are for our good. Even the hard callings of life. (Romans 8:28).
Because of this truth, you can be sure that the thing you’re waiting for is not good for you right now. That could change tomorrow. But for today it is for your good that God has called you to wait. Remember, his ways are higher than ours. (Isaiah 55:8-9).
He Equips The Called
Whether your calling today is marriage, singleness, motherhood, missions, writing, adoption, waiting etc., you can be sure that he has equipped you for it.
He has given you all that you need to thrive in this season of life.
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, (2 Peter 1:3)
We can trust him with all of it, because he knows best.