Has God called you to do something? Has He nudged your heart to move your feet and use your hands for Kingdom work? If you are a Christian – saved by incredible grace, the answer is yes. You may not know yet where He is calling you or for what, but He will. Friend, we are saved with a purpose; to live the calling God has placed on our life. Whether you feel called to work with children, women’s ministry, with the homeless, grieving, or become a missionary on the other side of the world…the list could go on…wherever He has called you, it is for a purpose.
When God began to stir my heart to see women in the Word, I could not get away from it. Every sermon I heard pointed to God’s calling, every person I spoke to affirmed the stirring God placed within my heart. I still questioned why God would call me? A woman with no Bible degree, who has a bad track record with spelling and grammar and one who ran away from God for so long. I had no qualifications…I came to learn, after a few months of wrestling with God, that the only qualifications I needed was to be His and be willing to serve whole heartedly.
As I began to write, teach and speak to women, the calling became clearer, not always easier but clearer. He opened doors and made possible things that I could have never planned on my own. Walking your calling takes prayer, work, effort and investment; it isn’t going to be easy but we serve a faithful Father who loves us and gave His Son for us…not just for our eternal security but to serve Him fully here on earth.
One morning after speaking to a group of women at our church about following God’s calling, a question was raised by a young woman…”How do I practically follow God’s call?” A question I knew most of us have, most who are looking to follow hard after God in our lives need a practical application. So, what does it look like? What is needed?
In my studies God lead me straight to 2 Timothy 1:3-14. Timothy was a faithful servant of the Lord and he walked his calling well from what Scripture tells us. Thankfully Paul pens instructions for us as to how we can also walk our calling well, just like Timothy.
- Sincere faith: We must be a born again Christian having a true heart-changing relationship with Christ. The word sincere in this verse comes from the Greek anupokritos which means “without hypocrisy, pure, true, genuine, real faith.”
- Fan the flames of your spiritual gift: God has provided each of us with at least one precious gift because of His grace…gifts to use for His Kingdom. He doesn’t offer these gifts to us to neglect but rather to use with skill.
- Being afraid and timid aren’t from God: Often when God places a call on our lives for His glory our first instinct is fear and doubt. I know it was for me…I questioned how it could be possible that God would call me. We have to remember that those feelings of inadequacy are not from Christ, because He has equipped us fully.
- Be ready to suffer for the Good News: It may not be our favorite thought, but there will be many sacrifices to serve God fully. We must be ready to serve God no matter the possible outcome. Remember that walking our calling will not be easy.
- Called with a purpose: In verse 9, the word purpose is drawn from the Greek prothesis which means “God’s intentions beforehand.” It should give us comfort to know that God has a plan for us, a purpose for us, a calling for us. One that He has been orchestrating from the beginning.
- Our commitment to God: Know where your faith, hope and trust lies friend. Without our full commitment to who God is and what He can do we cannot fully walk our calling. Our commitment to God keeps us going despite heartache and struggle, despite pain and oppression. Paul revealed in 2 Timothy 1:12 that despite all he had been through he knew who he believed and trusted in.
- Guard what has been entrusted to us: As His children we are entrusted with the Gospel. We are entrusted with the job of taking the Gospel to all people. 1 Thessalonians 2:4 tells us that God entrusts us with the message of Hope…not for our own gain or to please men but to please Him. Friend, guard what has been entrusted to you.
- Mentor: The beauty of 2 Timothy is that Paul is writing to his son in the faith, it is a charge forward for Timothy has he begins to take over the ministry God gave to Paul. Paul poured into Timothy’s life and his faith. He encouraged Timothy to walk his calling and to live fully without fear. Paul was a mentor. The older we get we must find our Timothy, the one we can mentor, invest in, and encourage in their calling.
Whatever your resolution is for the new year, seek Christ first. Make your calling a priority trusting God to show you where He wants you to be and then move forward in faith. Sweet friend, you may be surprised where He takes you. Lean in to Him in 2017 and walk your calling.