Tag Archives: fulfilling my Calling

Finding Your Calling

Earlier this year I was speaking at a chapel service for a Christian school. Afterwards, a girl came up and asked, “How do I know if I’m called to do something for God?” It’s a great question that so many of us want to know, but it’s not the right question. My response was simple, “I believe everyone is called to do something. The question is, ‘What are you called to?’” I then told her that each of us are created on purpose with a purpose from Heaven. I began to ask her what she loves to do and when is her heart broken for things that break God’s heart. God has wired each of us differently and positioned us perfectly to serve purposes that only we can fulfill. He also gives us His burden for brokenness in the world. Our calling lies in it.

Take Nehemiah for example. He was the king’s cup bearer. God had uniquely positioned him with someone who could fund his calling when it came. The story tells us that some Jews had returned from Jerusalem and he asked how the Jews who remained were doing. When they told him that things were in bad condition, his heart broke and he wept for days. God birthed a burden in him. The king sent him to Jerusalem to rebuild it. When he got there, he went to inspect things. Nehemiah 2:12-13 says, “I did not tell anyone what God had inspired me to do for Jerusalem. Then in the middle of the night I got up and went out, taking a few of my companions with me… As I went, I inspected the broken walls of the city and the gates that had been destroyed by fire” (GNT). He then communicated the burden to others and got them on board to rebuild the city.

If you’re not sure what God has called you to, you may have to walk in the broken places of this world to see what God gives you a burden for. Begin to look at the scars of your past and ask Him how He can use those to help others find healing. Look at your life for themes throughout it for clues. God prepares us and positions us to heal the broken in this world. We carry His healing, His hope and His love inside of us and we need to give it away like we’re made of it. Even if you don’t know the specifics of your calling yet, you can start by doing that. Don’t let your lack of knowing what your specific calling is to prevent you from our overarching calling to show God’s love to this world. Look at where God has positioned you today and start there. You’ll find that everywhere you go is someone who needs hope, healing and love.

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Waiting For God’s Promise

Waiting on God to fulfill His promise can be like waiting to open a present at Christmas. We see it there with our name on it. It is ours, but we have to wait. Every day you see it there. You’re ready to open it and use it, but the time has not come. There is always a waiting period from the time you are promised something and the time that you get it. How you spend that time matters.

There are 3 lessons we can learn from Abraham and Joseph while waiting on God to fulfill His promise to you.

1. Don’t preempt God

When God spoke to Abraham and promised him a son, he was about 85 years old.He could not see how God would do what he said he would do. He decided to intervene on God’s behalf and make the promise come true. He ruined a relationship and started a feud that goes on to this day.

When God makes a promise, our desire is to see it come to pass immediately. Often we are the ones who are unprepared or ready at the time a promise is given. We think we are, so when it delays, we try to step in. God does not need your help to bring about what He has promised. He needs you to prepare to receive it.

2. Bad things may still happen to you

Joseph received a dream that everyone, including his brothers and parents, would bow down to him. Being young and foolish, he had no problem telling others what God had intended to be just for him at the time. While he waited on God’s promise, he was beaten by his brothers, sold as a slave, taken to a foreign land against his will, worked as a slave, was wrongly accused, thrown in jail and forgotten about.

I’m sure it was difficult to trust God to fulfill His promise in any of those situations. You never read of Joseph complaining or crying out “why me, God”. The bible simply says that in each instance, he worked. In working, he found favor with those around him. God used those situations to prepare him and to get him in place for the promise. You may not like or understand what is happening to you in the waiting, but if you trust God and work for Him, He will fulfill it in His time.

3. Have patience

This is easier said than done. Abraham waited 15 years before God fulfilled his promise of having a son. He just thought he was too old at 85! For Joseph, it was 13 years before he interpreted pharaoh’s dream. It was at least more than 7 years after that before his brothers came and bowed down before him. I’m not saying you will have to wait 15 or 20 years for God to fulfill his promise to you, but it could.

We want God to act in our time. We want Him to fulfill His promise when we think we are ready, not when He thinks we’re ready. Patience is tough. Waiting is hard. God may show you the end result now, but wants you to take one step at a time. He may not show you the step after that until you take this one.

What step has God called you to take right now to move towards the fulfillment of His promise? Are you willing to trust Him and His timing? Take each step one at a time. Don’t preempt God. Understand that things may happen between now and the time of fulfillment. They are there to prepare you and to place you. Above all, have patience as He works to bring it about. He keeps His promises.

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Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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Revitalizing Your Passion

A while back, I lived in Cairo, Egypt. My mode of transportation was a bike and I lived about a mile from where I worked. I took the same route every day at about the same time. There were constant messages from the embassy to those of us living there that we should vary our routines and routes. I never really understood why, so I didn’t do it. Then one day, I was in the police station getting my permit to extend my visa, and the officer set a folder down on his desk. When he walked away, I opened it and saw photos of me on my bike on my way to work and on other routes I took. That woke me up and I started changing routes.

I tell you that story because most of us have a rhythm to our lives. We get up at the same time, go through the same processes each morning, take the same route to work, do the same thing every day at work, take the same path home, watch the same shows and go to bed at the same time. To me, that’s a recipe for burnout. You can lose your way, your purpose and your passion. When that happens, we can easily start to question God’s purpose for us and wonder if there’s something more. We can even grow tired in living how God commanded us to live.

Philippians 2:13 says, “God will continually revitalize you, implanting within you the passion to do what pleases him” (TPT). God knows that we need revitalization every now and then. We need a wake up call to remind us of our purpose and the reignite our passion. If you’re in that routine today and starting to get burned out, pray that God would revitalize you and restore your passion. Ask Him to plant in your heart the excitement you once had. I believe He’ll break you out of your routine so that you’re no longer just going through the motions. He’ll set you back on the path to accomplishing what you were made to do here on this earth.

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Just Get Started

My son loves the LEGO Architecture series. We’ve built several of them as a family. Normally they take a night or two for us to complete because we’ve purchased small ones. However, recently he wanted one that was about 1,700 pieces. When I opened the box and saw all those pieces, I wondered, “What were we thinking?” Then I saw the book. It was seriously a book of how to put it together. Do you know what the first step was? Putting two pieces together. When we put them together, I jokingly said, “Hey! Only 1,698 pieces to go.”

In Zechariah, God used the prophet to speak to Zerubbabel to begin rebuilding the Temple. It was about 90 feet long and 20 stories high. As he set the first stone in place, people walking by started making fun of him. He began to get discouraged because other people couldn’t see what God has called him to, and they didn’t believe it could be done. Then the Lord spoke to him in Zechariah 4:10, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand” (NLT).

It’s easy to look at large projects like that and get overwhelmed. It’s even easier to look at what God has called us to and want to never start. But just like the LEGO’s, it starts with a small step, and that is followed by another one. God enjoys seeing us begin to do the work He called us to because He loves obedience. He knows that if He can trust us to be faithful in the small steps of obedience, He can stretch us to take the larger ones. It just takes us to be willing to get past the size of the thing God has asked us to do, and to simply begin.

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The Wrong Boat

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

In one of the classes I teach, I have people introduce themselves and tell me a hobby they have outside of work. It provides opportunities for connection early in the class as well as information I can tie back to throughout the day. Yesterday, while training this class, a guy answered that he liked to play music. I followed up with, “What kind?” He responded with, “Worship. I’ve felt called to lead worship since I was young, but I’ve been too scared to step out and do it.” He admitted in front of our group what so many of us Christians are afraid to say.

God’s call on our life can be scary. I think it’s supposed to be. If it were anything less than scary, we’d do it without hesitation. The problem with that is we would think it was done in our own ability. We need to understand that we are simply vessels to be used by Him. It is He who performs the work, we simply provide the channel. Our inability to do whatever He called us to is His greatest opportunity to do something amazing.

God sees in us what we cannot see. Peter was just another uneducated fisherman when Jesus called Him. He didn’t posses the ability to start the Church. He didn’t have the business acumen to take twelve men, start a worldwide movement and grow it. He didn’t have the boldness to stand in front of thousands to preach. He knew what fear was and it got the better of him from time to time. He denied Jesus and his calling in the same night.

The fear that he failed in his calling caused him to go back to fishing when he should have been preaching after the resurrection. He went back to what he knew instead of stepping out in faith to be the rock he was called to be. Jesus didn’t leave him in that boat though. He went to the waters edge in John 21, but they didn’t recognize Him. He called out to them, “Have you caught any fish?” They replied, “No.” Jesus called out, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you’ll catch some.” As soon as they did, the net teemed with fish. Peter recognized the man as Jesus and swam to shore.

Jesus reaffirmed to Peter that day what his role was. He didn’t worry about his failures or inabilities. He worried about his love for Him. Jesus knew that if he truly loved Him, he would obey his calling. He didn’t leave Peter in the wrong boat catching the wrong kind of fish. He reiterated that he was to be a fisher of men from now on. I think that call goes out to you in whatever boat you’re sitting in today. Maybe you’re reading this in the place where you can accomplish things in your own strength. It’s the boat of what is familiar and easy to you. But God has more for you.

I encourage you today to recognize the fear that is paralyzing you and keeping you from your calling. If God called you to do something, it’s His strength and ability that will accomplish it, not yours. Release the fear that sent you back into the boat of the familiar and do what God has called you to do. Faith is about trusting God to do what He said He would do. It’s not about you doing things and giving Him credit. Don’t let fear hold you back another minute. Get out of the wrong boat, and step into the life you were called to lead.

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