From the September/October 2019 issue of Discern Magazine

Owning Your Calling

Your calling is of inestimable value. Do you know what it is—and what to do with it? When we don’t make the effort to own our calling, we miss out on what really matters.

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The Bible is the most published book in the world. Billions upon billions of copies, translated into hundreds of languages. Reams of commentary, exposition and analysis by gifted scholars who dedicated their lives to understanding the linguistic and cultural nuances of the earliest available manuscripts. Two millennia of studying, memorizing, reciting and debating its 31,102 verses.

And for all that, most people don’t get it.

Not because they don’t care enough. Not because they aren’t qualified enough. Not because they aren’t dedicated enough. Many of the people who interact with the Bible approach it with more passion, education and dedication than the rest of us can ever hope to muster.

No—it has nothing to do with any of that. Here’s the real reason so many people have opened the pages of the Bible and failed to see its most precious truths—truths about the nature of God, His ongoing plan for humankind, and the very reason you draw breath:

They aren’t called. Not yet.

That’s it. That’s the reason. That’s the big dividing line between people who “get it” and people who don’t. And it’s a line that has very little to do with us—and everything to do with God.

God’s plan is still in progress

“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29, English Standard Version).

God is doing something big. Something enormous. He’s growing His family, and He’s doing it on a scale so colossal that it’s not always easy to grasp the full magnitude of what’s happening.

He created the entire human race to be His children—to become spiritual, immortal beings like Him and live forever in His Kingdom, in a world where “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

But we’re not there yet. We’re physical, mortal beings made from dirt, and our world is very much filled with death, sorrow, crying and pain. What will one day be considered “the former things” are very much the current, inescapable things for us today.

God doesn’t call us based on merit

For a long time, the human race has insisted on trying to find its own path to happiness and peace. And although God is allowing that doomed experiment to continue a little while longer, He isn’t sitting around and doing nothing.

He’s calling people—opening their minds to His truths, helping them to understand who He is and why we’re all here. And He’s starting by calling the foolish things, the weak things, the low and despised things—the “things that are not.”

You and me.

Not because we deserve it. Not because we’re entitled to it. Not because we’re indispensable or the most qualified, but simply because God chose to call us.

We’re Phase One of this big, enormous, mind-boggling plan. God is starting with us in order to show the world what He can accomplish through the people it wouldn’t normally consider significant in any way. Phase Two starts when the world has had enough of trying to do things its own way and begins to look to God for guidance. And in Phase Three, God opens the floodgates—offering a place in His family to everyone who has ever lived.

And here we are, at the start of it all.

Our calling requires a response

But “being called” is passive. It happens to us without our own input or action.

Our job is to take the next step and own that calling—to “be even more diligent to make your call and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10).Our job is to take the next step and own that calling—to “be even more diligent to make your call and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10).

Your calling.

Your blessing, your privilege—your responsibility.

You’re the one who has to own it—to accept it as your own, to make it part of your identity, to nurture it and develop it. Because, if it’s necessary to “make your call and election sure,” then it’s possible for those things to be unsure. We can neglect our calling, and if we do that long enough, it’ll be as if we never had it in the first place.

And there are going to be things that will make you want to neglect your calling. You’re going to be hurt by people—friends, leaders, fellow Christians who should know better. You’re going to discover plenty of attention-sucking distractions. And sometimes, when the life and death of a loved one is on the line, you’re going to pray fervently to God for a miracle, and He’s going to say no.

What will you do with your calling?

Those are all opportunities for us to say, “This isn’t what I thought it was. These people aren’t who I thought they were. I don’t want to do this anymore.” And some people do just that.

But if God has called you—if you’re digging deeper and deeper into His Word and discovering more and more of His precious truths—then you have the opportunity to own your calling. To decide that the behavior of imperfect people cannot shake your faith in a perfect God. To keep God first in your life no matter how many things are crying out for your attention. To accept that your own understanding is incomplete and allow God to refine it, no matter how uncomfortable that process is. To trust that God knows all, sees all and understands all—and to trust that when He says, “No” or “Not yet,” He has reasons we can’t see yet.

It’s not easy, but being a Christian in progress isn’t supposed to be. You’re part of Phase One in God’s incredible plan to bring us all into a world where “the former things have passed away.”

He called you.

You’ll find a lot of compelling reasons to neglect that calling, but none of those reasons are good enough to give up on what’s ahead of you.

Own your calling.

You can do this.

We have four seven-day Journeys designed to guide you through what the Bible has to say about who God is, what He’s doing, and where you fit in all of it. Visit our Learning Center to start on Journey 1: Knowing God.

About the Author

Jeremy Lallier

Jeremy Lallier

Jeremy Lallier is a full-time writer working at the Life, Hope & Truth offices in McKinney, Texas. He has a degree in information technology, three years’ experience in the electrical field and even spent a few months upfitting police vehicles—but his passion has always been writing (a hobby he has had as long as he can remember). Now he gets to do it full-time for Life, Hope & Truth and loves it. He particularly enjoys writing on Christian living themes—especially exploring what it looks like when God’s Word is applied to day-to-day life. In addition to writing blog posts, he is also the producer of the Life, Hope & Truth Discover video series and regularly writes for Discern magazine.

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