God created us for a purpose, and we all have a specific, unique vocational or life calling upon our lives (Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 139:16). Only those who receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord can fully step into the calling that God has for their life. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines a calling as a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action or vocation, especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence. The call upon our lives is not a career choice but a call from the Holy Spirit. Your call may be to the ministry, the marketplace (business or work arena), education, politics, raising your children, etc. We must find out how to walk in it to live a satisfied and fulfilled life as God intended.
We are the body of Christ. There are many members in the body but one body of Christ and members individually (1 Corinthians 12:12, 27). God has appointed and anointed each of us to fulfill the purpose that He created us for and advance His kingdom.
Why did God give us a specific calling? It is to diversify and cover all areas needed to build His kingdom and bring order and kingdom rule wherever we go. It is just like building a house in the natural. First, there is an architect or designer, then a contractor over the project who brings in the specialized workers or subcontractors needed at the proper time. God is the architect and designer, and Jesus is the contractor. We are subcontractors or specialized workers. We are co-laborers with Him in building His house called Zion (Psalm 132:13-14; Isaiah 28:16; Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:5).
For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field; you are God’s building. 1 Corinthians 3:9
How do I find out what I’m called to do? First, it is essential to spend time with the Lord by worshiping, praying, meditating on His written Word and any prophetic Words spoken over your life (Psalm 119:105). Our purpose comes from His presence. It is our foundation. When we lean into His presence and the Word of God to know Him personally, our ministry becomes an overflow from the time we spend with Him. It doesn’t matter what education or degree we have. People will take notice that we have spent time with Jesus just like the disciples. We also need to know who we are or our identity in Christ.
Then, ask Him what He wants you to do with your life. For example, when God called Moses, he first needed to turn aside to look at the burning bush before hearing God speak to him (Exodus 3:2 – 4). So also, Jesus told us to ask, seek, and knock, and we will find what we are looking for (Matthew 7:7 – 8).
There are things that we can do to create space to seek Him. First, we must diligently seek Him in faith as everything we do must be done in faith (Hebrews 11:6; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Proverbs 3:5 – 6)! Second, we can also seek God with prayer and fasting, ministering to the Lord (Acts 13:1 – 4; 1 John 5:14 – 15).
The global church builds God’s house, and each of us uses our specific gifts to build it. We must be following the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is important to get planted in a local church. We are to be planted in the house of God (Psalm 92:13). That is where we will flourish and come into our destiny and calling, whether in vocational ministry, the business world, the medical field, at home, etc. (Acts 6:1-5; 21:8).
There is a particular soil for the seed to grow, so we need to inquire where we are to be planted and when to leave where we are planted (1 Corinthians 12:18). We go in joy and peace when it is time to leave despite the circumstances (Isaiah 55:12). We are often planted in a place of adversity, which is why we need to know God has planted us there. Adversity builds resilience and develops character (Mark 4:16 – 17).
We not only get planted in the house of God but in the area, we are called to. It is essential to know our purpose and the place and people we are to minister to. The place and people must come together to see our purpose fulfilled. We may need a greater sense of purpose about the location we are currently living in. The specific place God has us is where we will be most effective and conducive for growth for our purpose. Is it about the actual city or region? Different cities have different assignments on them. Are you there because of family, church community or kingdom assignment, etc.?
I previously shared my testimony about when I had been away from the Lord and responded to His call to return to Him. He told me to leave the person I was living with and move to Southern California. I was so in love with Jesus, and I wanted to do what He wanted me to do and go where He wanted me to go. I had two or three choices of where to move, but I knew He wanted me to go to Southern California. So as I went, He directed me to Santa Ana and planted me at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, where I grew in the Lord through the expository teaching of the Word and in the things of the Holy Spirit.
I hated it when I first got to Southern California because of the smog, the traffic, and materialism, but I knew God had sent me there. So my prayer to Him was asking Him to help me to like it, which He did. I wouldn’t have been able to stay if I didn’t know that He planted me there. So I was there for nine years.
I also knew when to leave as I was distressed in my spirit, and I became so uncomfortable that I knew it was time to go. I was willing to leave, but I didn’t know where to go. As I sought the Lord about it, He had me take a traveling nurse assignment where I could go to different parts of the country as an intensive care nurse working for 3 to 6 months at a time. That allowed me to learn how to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit through these temporary vocational and ministry assignments. I did this for four years and cried out to the Lord for a place to settle down. He drew me to the place I am currently living, where I met my husband, retired from nursing, and am now in ministry.
Sometimes who or where God sends you to doesn’t make sense. It isn’t logical, rational, or reasonable, and we may be uncomfortable with the people we are called to run with. The Lord can show us who we are called to when He gives us favor with them and who He connects us to that doesn’t make sense! God will attract your people to you, such as mentors, spiritual fathers and mothers, and those to minister to. Sometimes God puts us together because of our difference, not our sameness, and then He trains us to appreciate the difference. Ministry is all about people!
It’s important to finish the assignment each season God gives us; otherwise, we will be starting over. Our decision to move to another location must be based on recognizing His timing and season. We must not move but be sent! Remember, God can redeem all things even though we make mistakes, such as marrying the wrong person or moving to the wrong location.
Take time to identify your passions and gifts, i.e., the things you love doing and are good at doing. The Holy Spirit gives natural and spiritual gifts (Genesis 1:26; Job 33:4; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11). The Spirit can take the natural gifts and talents we were created with (i.e., for music, art, leadership, building, speaking, etc.), reveal them, direct them for His Glory and cause them to reach their full potential, e.g., Exodus 31:3-6. We are created in God’s image and have different gifts and abilities that we are accountable for using to reflect His glory (Matthew 25:14-30; 2 Timothy 1:6).
Ministry gifts are those people given to the body of Christ who Jesus called to stand in the fivefold ministry, i.e., apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers (Ephesians 4:8; 11-12) and are specially equipped with gifts of the Spirit to fulfill their office or function in the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27-30). Their job is to equip the saints for the work of ministry and the edifying of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12).
When you have the Holy Spirit, you have God’s divine nature in you through your re-born spirit. The spiritual gifts given by the Holy Spirit are grace gifts and are received by grace through faith, just like all the other gifts from God (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Hebrews 2:4). He gives us these gifts as believers for the profit of all (1 Corinthians 12:7), and we are to use these gifts in love (1 Corinthians 13:1-2).
He gives gifts so we can be a blessing to others, but they do not represent the maturity of a believer. We are to use these gifts in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Therefore, we must allow the Lord to develop our character to use these gifts appropriately. They are available to every believer through the Holy Spirit; however, we must wait upon the unction and direction of the Holy Spirit for the manifestation of these spiritual gifts.
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10 – 11
But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches. 1 Corinthians 7:17
The gifts and calling of the Lord are irrevocable, but not everyone is willing to walk in the calling and destiny God has ordained for them (Romans 11:29). We must count the cost and consider what impact God’s call will have on our daily lives. There may be persecution, and we may need to give up things to go where the Spirit leads us (1 Peter 2:21). We may need to change how we spend our time, money, friends, family and even give up some relationships hindering God’s plans for us. We may need to change our mindsets to embrace the truth (Philippians 3:7 – 11). We should live a lifestyle of prayer, fasting, and Bible study.
Are you willing to accept His call and pay the price? It will require a daily surrender to Him. We may look at other people and wish we had their anointing or calling because we see the results, but they spent time with Him and have surrendered to Him. It is vital to be authentic and be who God called and designed you to be!
We can either yield to Him or resist. We need to submit to the process and not rush the moment but trust God in the process. It is never too late to get started! Give strength to what He has called you to do and stay focused. Don’t get distracted. He is developing our faith to move forward for the future (Jeremiah 29:11). Finally, we need to find joy in whatever His will is for us.
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” John 15:16
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with long-suffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Ephesians 4:1 – 6
Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:10 – 11
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.