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Friday, April 18, 2008

Calling

Paul writes to the believers, "As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received." Ephesians 4:1

Did you know you have a calling? Every believer has been given a calling. We are told in Ephesians 2:10 that we were "created for good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

Usually our calling is not hard to find, for it is embedded in our character, our passions, and our dreams. A compassionate person, full of mercy, is called to minister God's healing to the hurting and confused. An insightful, discerning person is often called to keep other believers accountable and walking the narrow walk. An encouraging person, who wants to see others living victoriously is obviously called to encourage believers. There are many purposes and needs in the Kingdom of God, many areas of ministry.

In the different seasons of our lives, we will be called in different ways. In the season of homeschooling, our ministry will be to our children as well as, perhaps, to homeschoolers in our sphere of influence. In the season of an empty-nest, we may be called to minister in the community. When we have a job outside the home, we'll be used by God in the business arena. The truth is, we are all anointed for a special calling and purpose. Often, God has already placed a dream in our hearts that He intends to fulfill in His perfect timing. What is that dream for you?

I have a homeschool friend with the gift of compassion and mercy that is called to minister to people she meets in the grocery store and other places. She knows God has called her this way; it brings her joy and excitement to be used by God in this ministry. She pulls into the parking lot and asks God to show her who she is to pray for and touch with His love. As she shops, she is attentive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Every time, she is drawn to people for whom she is to pray. She strikes up a casual conversation, which eventually leads to talking about God. Within moments, God has this person sharing their struggles with her, and, right there in the store, she lays her hands upon this person and prays for them. They usually exchange numbers and she gets to hear how God used their special appointment to change that person's life. One time, a young lady in tears called her mom right after the prayer. The mom wanted to speak to my friend and shared that she had been praying for her daughter and that my friend was the answer to that prayer. I could not even recount all the things God has done through my sweet, obedient friend's grocery store ministry. She thrives on this calling. It's not work for her; it comes naturally because it's God's call on her life. It makes her life less stressful, not more. It blesses and invigorates her and doesn’t overwhelm her.

God has given you and your children a calling. You will find joy and peace and refreshment in fulfilling the purposes God has planned for you. They will come naturally, and though there may be some work involved, they will be done with His energy and effort, not your own.

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began. 2 Timothy 1:8-9


So many times, we walk in the "should do" and "have to do" world that causes stress and creates burdens, when God would have us experience the excitement of walking in the purpose He has planned for us. If you don't know in what capacity God has called you during this season, seek Him. It's His delight to reveal it to you. It's His glory to see you, His child (whom He has thought of since before He created the world), walking in the works that He prepared for you way back before He even created time.