God’s calling is a visible tattoo that reminds you of your inadequacy, yet its beauty proclaims his sufficiency.
They are some unforgettable encounters we often have that can prompt us to evaluate our lives. I had such an experience more than a year ago. And the memory is still fresh in my mind.
Following an engaging Bible study, I heard a slight tap on my shoulder. An octogenarian man, I will call him Mr. X, desperately wanted prayer.
I was only 29 and Mr. X had served as pastor for more than forty years. “Please, pray for me. I want to know God’s calling on my life,” Mr. X whispered in his frail voice. I prayed for Mr. X.
And I also prayed for myself. God, help me to know my calling that I can be effective and fruitful in my knowledge of Jesus Christ. Like most believers, I also wanted to know God’s calling in my life.
Honestly, I believed that God’s calling was a cornerstone that could hold all the complex facets of my life. At the same time, God’s calling is a beautiful steeple that proclaims the riches of God’s grace. Above all, it is signet ring engraved with a conspicuous reminder of my inadequacy.
Sadly, within six months, Mr. X went to be with the Lord. When a friend broke the news to me, instead of being happy for him I was worried. Before he departed, did he finally understood and lived out God’s calling upon his life? Or was it too late?
You’re probably reading this because you have a question:
- What is the meaning of God’s call?
- Do I have to do something before God calls me?
- How do I know God’s calling for my life?
- How do I answer the call of God?
- Does God only call people for full-time ministry?
In this article, I will try to answer these 5 questions as I address 5 misconceptions most Christians have concerning the call of God.
5 Lies About God’s Most Christians Believe
They are five important questions every Christian often ask about God’s calling on their lives. Unfortunately, attempts to answer these questions resulted in some dangerous misconceptions.
Misconception 1: God’s call is only for full-time ministry
You have probably heard people say that God called them to ministry when they were young. They quit school or work and began traveling around the country preaching. This might be a great testimony but reducing it to be the standard is dangerous.
What is a God’s calling?
It is very unfortunate that people limit God’s calling for leading churches and becoming missionaries. God called Luke to be a physician and a biographer. Through this vocational call, he was thoroughly useful in the furtherance of the gospel throughout Asia and the rest of the world.
You are probably worried because you created a false concept about God’s calling. A concept that robs you of experiencing the pleasure of God in your workplace. God called me to be a writer and a scientist for the meantime.
Misconception 2: God only calls people supernaturally
You remember that powerful testimony you heard at a church conference? “I was fasting for three weeks, then a man came to me and told me God had called me to be an evangelist.”
How does God call people?
God calls people differently. Jeremiah was called using questions and a stick. God called Moses from a burning bush. But Abraham was just called by God. And so was Peter, John, James, Timothy and many others. God is infinite and he is not limited by our misguided preferences.
If you are waiting for a voice from heaven to reveal God’s calling, then you are missing out on experiencing the glory of God. Do you think Abraham heard an audible voice? What if he didn’t. You need to have faith in God if you really want to know your calling.
Misconception 3: God only calls the qualified and exceptional
You know that book, where the author figured their qualifications and expertise equated to divine calling. “I graduated top of my class at seminary and always had a passion for Africa. So, I figured God wanted me to be a missionary.”
Who does God call?
God created you for good works. Before you surrendered your life to Christ, he chose you and called you. If you are led by the Spirit, then you walk in your calling despite your personal weaknesses and abilities.
God does not only call people through their abilities, he sometimes uses their weakness. Jeremiah was a kid, Gideon was afraid, Moses stammered, and James and John had anger management issues. God calls the weak to shame the strong.
Misconception 4: God has called you when you can perform the task with ease
You have heard this a thousand times, “Ever since I was a child, I knew God called me to be a musician. My mother always says my first words were a song.”
When does God call?
Every believer once wondered about their calling. When you received the life of Christ, a genuine desire to be God’s vessel of honor birthed in your heart. You had a mysterious feeling that you were created for something bigger than you.
That nudging feeling was not caused by hormonal imbalances or overexcitement. The love of the Father, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and the grace of Jesus Christ equipped you for something more. God called and chose you, for a purpose.
Misconception 5: God calls people when there is a need only
“God saw my faithfulness and passion for the lost and called me to lead this church.”
Why does God call people?
There is no better answer to this question and counterargument to the misconception than the calling of Gideon. The Hebrew people were being oppressed and God wanted a judge to lead the people. So, God called Gideon, by declaring to him, he was a mighty man of valor.
Gideon thought otherwise, so he asked for a sign. God showed him the sign, but also showed him the war is not won by numbers. This shows God is not overly concerned with the need or the call, but with us.
As I think about X. I realize he did not have to worry about his calling. After retiring from the pastoral ministry, he did not retire from his call. God continued to use him even if he didn’t notice.
Is knowing God’s calling on your life critical for spiritual growth? If you know your calling, will it help you serve God faithfully and fruitfully?