when you're trying to figure out your calling
What is my calling?
What is God’s purpose for my life?
What path should I take?
What career do I pursue?
^^story of my life^^
I think that so often we get stuck in this loophole of questions. We spend so much time trying to find the answers, and then we stress out when we have no idea what the crap we’re supposed to be doing with our lives,. And all of a sudden, we’re binge-watching Friends and stuffing our faces with a half gallon of cookie dough ice cream in the hopes that we don’t turn out like Chandler Bing…stuck with a boring, meaningless job that nobody cares about.
Oh, or is that just me?
Friend, you clicked on this post and decided to give it a read, so I bet you’re in the same boat. And if you are, let me start by saying this:
It’s okay. Truly, it is. You are called to amazing things by the grace of God, and you’ll get there when you need to get there.
Those amazing things are often not what we expect.
I want to challenge you to let go of your preconceptions of what a “calling” is and just listen for a hot sec, because it’s really a lot simpler than you know. And a lot harder.
First, I want to direct your attention to wise ‘ol Paul, the author of most of the New Testament. Man, I love Paul. He’s like the saintly equivalent of Bruce Willis, only with hair…probably. I mean, I don’t know, I never met the guy. My point is, he says what he means, and he means what he says. He doesn’t sugarcoat what he knows to be true, and he doesn’t back down from a challenge.
In this verse, he’s writing a letter to young Titus, a young and newly-appointed pastor in the Mediterranean Island of Crete. Believe me, the people there are just as the name suggests — weird and fishy.
“Let our people devote themselves to good works for pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful.” (Titus 3:14 CSB)
So what’s wise ‘ol Paul saying? He’s saying that believers need to focus on what matters NOW, the pressing needs.
Can I make an unprecedented proposal?
What if your calling was not so much about this lofty future goal, career, or path? What if your calling is the pressing needs around you?
What if your calling wasn’t this stagnant pinpoint on the map of life but an act of obedience that could very well be temporary?
What if you stopped focusing on your calling and started focusing on where God is calling you?
Okay, before you start throwing tomatoes at me or sending the townspeople to my door with pitchforks, allow me to explain.
We see it all throughout Scripture. People just obeyed God right where they were, with the needs around them, and God led them to more. To more callings and more challenges and more responsibility.
Joseph started out as a slave. He honored God right where he was and served his master well. Then he went to prison (for something he didn’t do because he was obeying God), and he obeyed God some more, even though it could have meant death. Pretty soon, he climbed up the societal ladder and was second to Pharaoh himself! There, he honored God with what God had given him…just as he had been doing since he was a slave. His calling was first to obey God as a slave. In his next season of life, his calling was to obey God as a prisoner. And then, because of his obedience, God called him to more, and his calling was then to obey God as a freakin’ ruler of an entire nation.
So, that’s all fine and dandy, but what’s my point?
Your calling starts right now with, right where you are, with the people you are with, with the pressing needs around you.
OBEDIENCE IS YOUR CALLING AND YOUR PURPOSE, AND YOU ARE CALLED TO OBEY RIGHT NOW.
Let me repeat that for the granny in the back.
Your calling is to obey.
Got it? Great, let’s move on and read the verse again.
“Let our people devote themselves to good works for pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful.” (Titus 3:14 CSB, emphasis added)
In layman’s terms, Paul is basically saying, “Um, hello. Stop getting distracted and lukewarm. Get your booty up and meet the needs around you so that the kingdom will be built and God will be glorified. Let’s go, people!”
Notice the “so that” in the verse. That means that the reason why they should devote themselves to good works for pressing needs is so that they will be fruitful.
They are fruitful when they meet the needs around them.
They are fruitful when they focus on where God has already placed them instead of obsessing over where they will go.
Reversely, they are unfruitful when they don’t meet the needs around them. They are unfruitful when they are obsessing over the future and not acting in obedience right now.
Your calling is the needs around you. God is calling you to meet the needs of the people around you so that you will be fruitful for the kingdom.
Here’s my advice:
Look around you. What is the need? What do the people around you need? Go meet that need.
So often we get caught up in the whole, “What is my calling?” frenzy that we forget that our calling is to OBEY GOD RIGHT NOW, RIGHT WHERE WE ARE. And the result? We’re so caught up in ourselves and where our lives are going that we completely forget about the truth: God has called you to be in the exact place you are in.
Start right now. Build the kingdom and obey God right where you are with the people around you. Meet the pressing needs around you, and God will lead you to the next place you’re supposed to go, to the next pressing need you need to meet.
Friend, don’t end up in a state of lukewarm-unfruitfulness because you focused on yourself. Be on mission. Be kingdom-minded and Gospel-centered. The people around you need Jesus, and YOU can meet that need.