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.
Photo by Andrew Teoh on Unsplash
I used to think that God’s plan for my life would simply happen. I believed that when He was ready, He would intervene in my life, things would line up and then I would walk in my calling. Then God started dealing with my heart. If He had a mission for my life, why wasn’t I doing anything to prepare? I was challenged to begin being faithful to do the little things so that later He could do big things. As I began to do them, my mission and purpose became more clear. I started to understand more of what His plan for my life is.
I know that God has a plan for each one of us (Jeremiah 29:11), but plans don’t become realities until there’s some action to them. Each one of us have to start small and become faithful at doing the little things before God can entrust greater things to us. We need to start somewhere and that’s usually on our knees. Becoming a person who faithfully prays and spends time with God is a great way to prepare for your mission. As God’s plan for you becomes more clear, add in things that move you in the direction of making it a reality.
The apostle Paul was a person who had a mission from God and worked daily to accomplish it. He didn’t let being threatened, tired or beaten keep him from doing things daily that helped him fulfill that mission. Towards the end of his life, in Acts 20:24, he said, “I only want to complete my mission and finish the work that the Lord Jesus gave me to do, which is to declare the Good News about the grace of God.” His desire was to complete what God gave him to do no matter what came his way.
What mission has God given you? What are you doing daily to accomplish it? Your life has a purpose and God’s desire is that you fulfill what He created you to do. You are uniquely qualified through your past to accomplish the mission God has given you. The time to start doing something is now. If you will be faithful in the little things right now, He will give you the greater things later. His plan for your life won’t simply happen. It requires some effort from you. Don’t despise the small beginnings for in doing them, your mission and purpose will become more clear.
My son thinks somehow age and height are related. When he sees someone tall, he thinks they must be really old. No matter how many times we’ve tried to explain it to him and show him, he still doesn’t want to change his thinking. What he’s doing is comparing his age with kids younger than him and also against adults. It might work some if the time, but what I’ve tried to explain to him is that just because it works some of the time, you can’t apply it to everything. Comparing ourselves to others usually ends up creating these inequalities in our minds.
Since we were kids, we have been comparing ourselves to other people. Parents sometimes ask their kids, “Why can’t you be more like so and so?” It creates a dangerous line of thinking that makes us constantly co pare ourselves against people we have no business comparing ourselves with. What if we compared our singing ability to Frank Sinatra? Or our Christlikeness against Billy Graham? Or our intellectual abilities against Einstein? How would that leave you feeling?
Einstein is often given credit for saying, “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” God gave you unique abilities and talents. You aren’t supposed to compare what He’s given you you do versus what He’s given someone else to do. Nothing good comes from that. Yet, as Christians, we do it all the time. We can’t pray as well as that person, or live as holy as the other, or do work for God’s kingdom like them. We’ll never be able to fulfill what God made us for if we do that.
James 6:4-5 says, “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life” (MSG). It’s time each of us reflects on the skills, talent, and work God has called us to, then put our efforts there. Comparisons keep us from our calling, and cause us to fall short of our potential creating insecurity. Live the life God called YOU to, not the one He called someone else to.