Have you ever wondered about the call God has placed on your life? To be honest, I’ve spent far too much time trying to figure it out. Just me?
There’ve been seasons when I thought I knew exactly what my calling was and how to proceed. But lately, not so much. In fact, my word for 2023 is clarity. What I wanted most was clarity on my calling in this season.
Sojourning in Florida this winter, attending Bayside Community Church, we’ve been drawn in by a vision-casting series, “CALLED.” Yes, indeed, I’ve received the hoped for clarity, with delightful results. :=) Each week of “CALLED” at Bayside has been like an arrow hitting the bullseye on my heart.
Turns out, my concept of my calling was quite wonky! The first clue was found in a foundational Scripture, Paul’s admonition to the Ephesians. As Pastor Randy explains, in the original Greek, calling is a divine invitation from God.
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3
With this teaching, a puzzle piece clicked into place. I know that as one made in God’s image, called by His name, my primary purpose on this earth is to bring Him glory. In accepting my calling, and walking in a manner worthy, I bring glory to my Creator, as originally designed (Isaiah 43:7). Calling and purpose work together in perfect synergy.
I’ve been walking with Jesus for nearly fifty years, albeit not always in a manner worthy. But the fact remains, I accepted His a divine invitation as a young girl, and began following Jesus. But somewhere along the way, I’d become confused. I’d conflated my calling with my vocation, talents or giftings.
Consider the first 20 or 30 years of life, focused on becoming. Initially, it’s about independence. Any two-year old will tell you, “I do it myself!” Eventually, it’s about becoming our best selves. Maybe we get busy raising a family, building a career, or devoting ourselves to lives of service. Another couple of decades fly by as we chase those rainbows.
Until that day we watch the last kid drive away, U-Haul full and house empty. Or lose the position we spent decades building up to achieve. Perhaps suffer injury, illness, or effects of aging, and we’re unable to serve. For one sober moment, time comes to a screeching halt.
“What about my calling? Is that gone, too?”
Existential crisis, much? That’s how I came to be striving and driving, on an endless and exhausting quest to fulfill my “calling.” And how, when I lost my job in 2018, I suffered severe anxiety and an identity crisis, too. And how, as losses piled on, I came to be one hot mess in desperate need of hope and healing, rest and renewal.
Oh, the freedom in this simple truth: God calls (invites) us to walk with Him. It makes my heart sing! I need only to put one foot in front of the other and walk on, following Jesus, in a manner worthy. Today, that’s enough.
To walk in a manner worthy is to acknowledge the great price Jesus paid to redeem me. My thoughts, words, and deeds will bear witness to His presence as we walk on. My abilities, talents, and giftings will become tools in His hands, available for His plan. Trusting in Jesus, I needn’t strive or drive; I rest in His accomplishments.
The Good News is that a divine invitation is generously extended to each and all. He is not willing that any should perish. All who accept the invitation, who choose to walk with Jesus, are adopted into His family (John 3:16-17; 2 Peter 3:9; 2 Timothy 1:9; Ephesians 1:3-14).
There’s much more to living called, and how it works real-time to carry the name of Jesus into every corner of our lives; to walk in the light of His Word; live as a faithful witness; to dedicate time, talents, and gifting to His service. I don’t want to shortchange the depth of great teaching Bayside has served up on being “CALLED.” You’ll want to soak in every ounce of this goodness for yourself.
- Called to Carry (Founding Pastor Randy Bezet)
- Called to Follow God’s Word (Founding Pastor Randy Bezet)
- Called to Live the Lifestyle (North River Campus Pastor David Murphy)
- Called to Share Responsibility (Lakewood Ranch Campus Pastor Burnard Scott)
I hope you’re as encouraged and challenged as I’ve been. I’d love to hear what you glean.