Last time I urged you to look ahead trying to anticipate where you would be and what you would have achieved in 5 or 10 years, or by the end of your life. If your responses were in obedience to God they represent His call on your life. So now we need to consider: What is a ‘calling’?
There are 3 categories:
1. Primary calling (common to all believers)
• To live the way of Jesus, to be like him.
• To use your God-given talents and gifts.
How do you know what these God-given talents and gifts are? You can consider them under 3 headings:
a) Natural talents – From birth or acquired through training
b) Spiritual Gifts – anointed by the Holy Spirit eg.
- ‘Spiritual’: Prophecy, Tongues etc. (1 Cor 12:1-11)
- ‘Practical’: Craftsmanship (Ex 31:3), Administration (1 Cor 12:28), Mercy (Rom 12:8), Leadership (Rom 12:8), Encouragement (Rom 12:8), Hospitality (Rom 12:13) etc
c) Passion/Heart’s desire (Ex 35 – various verses in relation to building the tabernacle: ‘everyone whose heart stirred him…everyone whose heart moved him…’ etc). What is it that, when you think or talk about it, you become very animated and your eyes ‘light up’?
List what you feel applies to you under each of the above headings a), b), c).
2. Normal calling (common to all believers)
• Great Commission (Matt 28:19).
Kingdom mandate (Is 61:1-3)
General call to the church e.g. we at CCK in Brighton UK are very involved in serving the community with the purpose of affecting the culture.
• To be a testimony of God in you – reason for the hope within you (1 Pet 3:15)
3. Special calling, such as:
• A specific geographical region e.g. I have friends who felt called to Bhutan and Albania
• People Group e.g. I have friends who have been called to work with Swahili speakers in Oman and Street Children in Mexico
• Issues e.g. Slavery (Wilberforce)
• Context e.g. ‘full-time’
Nb ‘Full-time’ is not a ‘promotion’ but a function of time. We are all ‘full time’ once we are in His Kingdom wherever we are and whatever we are doing e.g. Businessmen, Teachers etc are all called to be witnesses and Kingdom-advancers in their contexts. We become ‘full time’ in the church when that is the only way we can fulfil our calling to serve the membership of the church (local and wider) in a ‘hands on’ way and do not have sufficient time while in a secular job.
How do you know if you have such a calling? Some ways may be:
1. Through Scripture
2. God speaking into your heart
4. Passion – constant interest in an issue
5. What friends say to or about you which indicates something they see in you which you may not have recognised
6. What is fruitful?
Not everyone has a ‘special’ calling but give the Holy Spirit the opportunity to speak to you about any possibility.
Next time we will look at the experience of a post-graduate student who was in the church in Brighton over 20 years ago. His life was changed in a major way thorough being a member of CCK (then called Clarendon Church) and he is now planting churches in many nations in West Africa.