The concept of “calling,” pursuing your “call,” or being “called” by God can be an intimidating one to try and grasp. You know you have sensed the unmistakable draw of God on your life to something “more,” something “special,” but what does that mean?
If you are like many who have surrendered publicly to God’s call, you were immediately met with questions you didn’t quite know how to answer, questions such as:
“What area of ministry are you going into? What will your first move be? Do you want to be a missionary? Are you going to preach right away or are you going to try youth ministry first? Are you going to marry a minister or be a children’s minister? What about your schooling? Are you going to change your school/direction/major? Are you going to attend seminary?”
Such questions, even from people who love and support you, can be confusing and make you feel as if you should have all the answers. Watching others go through this type of questioning may even intimidate those who would like to surrender publicly to God’s call, causing them to keep their commitment quiet, robbing them of the support and accountability that comes with public surrender.
The problem with most questions that well-meaning people ask is they seem to point to a what. What area of ministry…What first move…What position…What title…What education, etc.
The initial question, instead, for those who are just beginning to explore God’s call, is Who? And the answer is Jesus Christ! We are not called to a position, a place, a livelihood, a category or a title. We are called to Jesus! And guess what? We don’t have to have all the answers because He does!
Read the following scripture and see if you recognize any of the names mentioned:
Matthew 4:18-20 As He was walking along the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the sea, since they were fishermen. “Follow Me,” He told them, “and I will make you fish for people!” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.
John 1:43 The next day He decided to leave for Galilee. Jesus found Philip and told him, “Follow Me!”
Mark 2:14 Then, moving on, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office, and He said to him, “Follow Me!” So he got up and followed Him.
These are excerpts from the “calling” stories of several disciples. Notice any similarities in these stories? What is it that Jesus says to all of these men? Does He sit down with each of them and discuss the perks and drawbacks to joining His team or give them an itinerary of what it is that they will be doing over the next few years? Does He give any information at all? No. It is not necessary because Jesus is not calling them to a task or position, but to Himself!
Jesus calls people the same way today, and it is okay not to have all the answers or even to be able to explain what it is that God is doing in your heart. As you walk with Christ, He will reveal His plans for you; and, when He does, you can keep others informed so they can rejoice with you and be a support system to you. For now, simply tell them, “My call is to follow Christ.”
Take a few moments and write your thoughts, concerns, and questions in your journal. Allow the following thought suggestions to guide you.
Describe the moment you told God that your future was His. How did you feel? What were your thoughts?
Who was the first person you told about your decision? What was their response?
What thoughts did you have in response to today’s Bible study?
What did God teach you about calling?