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Calling or ‘What Should We Do With Our Life’ (Part 1 of 2)

October 2, 2007

There is much confusion among Christians regarding ‘calling’. Calling basically meaning “what should I do with my life.” For me, my call is to a city, specifically to the people of the city. Your call might be to a career, or to a specific cause. I believe that much of the confusion regarding calling comes down to two things: (there are other factors of course but these are two big ones for me)

  • Reductionism: That is reducing the discerning of a calling to one or two factors only.
  • Disobedience: As in, I don’t really want to obey that call so I will wait for something else.

Factors in Discerning a Call
Some of the major influencing factors (although not an exhaustive list) in discerning a calling can be 1) Prayer and receptivity to the Spirit’s prompting, 2) clear biblical principles for how we order our lives and conduct, 3) gifts, abilities, talents, 4) wise counsel from others and 5) opportunities.

Reductionism & Disobedience
Reductionism occurs when we only latch on to one of these factors. All ability to draw a crowd and no biblical grounding for the scope of life leads you and others into a mess. All bible and no prayer might get you a pulpit, but with none of the power of the gospel. In short, you will get frustrated and so will others.

Disobedience can come at any one of these points. What has scripture revealed to us, but we have not yet done? What has the Spirit been prompting us toward that we have ignored? What gifts, abilities and talents are we not using? Are we considering wise counsel? And what opportunities have we bypassed?

Before we go kicking our own butts, we can recall that God grants grace, His unmerited favor, to us in this process. Our wrestling and His grace are major components that come together to show His glory.

Design
The concept that I pull into this discussion is “How are we designed?” We need to ask how we were originally designed, both as mankind, and as unique individuals. And how does God’s restoration of mankind and my life speak into this? What gifts and resources has God given us and what has He called us to do with them?

Closing
We need to be ever vigilant in guarding against reductionism, while seeking to be obedient to what God has already revealed. All the while asking the design questions above. Oh, and keep going through this discernment process because your calling, what you should do in your life, is often a seasonal thing. It will have a broad theme of glorifying God with your life, but the specifics are often seasonal.

In an effort to keep things short and encourage you to consider your calling, part 2 will be posted tomorrow.

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