Consider Your Calling

Brothers and sisters, consider your calling: not many were wise from a human perspective, not many powerful, not many of noble birth...

God has chosen what is insignificant and despised in the world--what it viewed as nothing--to bring to nothing what is viewed as something.

1 Corinthians 1:26, 28 (CSB)

At first glance, this doesn't seem to be the most encouraging of Paul's writings. In fact, it can be downright discouraging!

Think about all that God has called you to be. Maybe He's even given you specific tasks that He has for you. You may be called to be a pastor, or a teacher, or a missionary, or a business owner, or a doctor...but at the end of the day, we're all called to follow Jesus. And while this seems simple, it can be overwhelming to think about following Him daily.

In Luke, Jesus actually gives us some instruction on following Him:

If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Luke 9:23 (CSB)

Sounds easy, right? Deny yourself everyday, and follow Jesus on the difficult road of carrying your cross.

These instructions might be simple, but they are anything but easy! In fact, denying yourself daily can be one of the most challenging things in life. Choosing everyday to follow Jesus, rather than following your own desires, is no easy task. And this is the great calling we all share.

But as we look back to the passage from 1 Corinthians, we realize this is quite encouraging, after all! Paul reminds his readers that it is not about ability or talent. In fact, many times, God chooses those who are insignificant and unwise, from the world's perspective.

We often make the mistake of assuming that God's call is reserved for the elite, the educated, and the "righteous." But the truth is, "We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who you are" (Romans 3:22, NLT, emphasis added).

Hear this today, friends: It's not about you! It's not about your ability. It's not about your charisma, or your competency. It's not even about your calling...

It's all about the One who calls.

What a relief! If you're like me, you need reminded of this daily. Because what God has called me to is way beyond my ability or my talent. I could never do it on my own! And when I continue to put my faith in my ability, I will always fall short.

Take a deep breath and relax, because it has nothing to do with talent or ability. But it's all about Jesus.

In light of this, we read the passage in 1 Corinthians with great delight. It is encouraging! You may feel as if God has chosen the wrong person for the task He has given to you. You may feel inadequate and insignificant.

But take courage, because Jesus is more than adequate...and the most significant person to ever walk this planet!

Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us...

Ephesians 3:20 (CSB)

Shift your focus today, from the magnitude of your the magnificence of your God

From Rachel's blog: Abide&Seek

Your Life: A Masterpiece Created on Purpose

Calling. We talk about it frequently. It seems so vague and unattainable that it often comes with a burden...

What am I called to do? What's my calling?

We hear these questions often, and we strive to "figure it out." We struggle to discern just exactly what God is calling us to do with our lives. It can be discouraging and confusing.

However, recently the Holy Spirit encouraged me:

I'm not just called. I'm created.

One morning, enjoying some coffee in a small shop on a busy street, I caught myself believing some lies about myself. The enemy of my soul was telling me that I wasn't cut out to do what I'm doing. I wasn't designed for it. I just thought God called me to do it, but really...I heard wrong.

Have you ever heard these lies before?

As I was quickly becoming overwhelmed with the lies, I heard the familiar voice of the Holy Spirit encourage me...Not only are you called to do this, you were created to do this.

See the difference?

We focus on being called, often forgetting that first, we were created. When God was forming us in our mother's womb, He had these purposes in mind. We weren't haphazardly designed. Cells didn't randomly come together, develop, and form a human life.

My bones were not hidden from you when I was made in the secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began.

Psalm 139:15-16

With His own breath, God perfectly crafted us. And while creating us, He had eternity in mind.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10

We are His workmanship. Other Bible translations say that we are His masterpiece.

And did you catch the second part of that verse? God prepared our future for us ahead of time. He knew what was ahead from day one.

And here's where it makes a difference...

There seems to be this pressure with being "called," this unspoken, subconscious idea that we have to prove ourselves in order to be called by God. Well, if I'm a good enough Christian, reading my Bible everyday, and praying every second of everyday...then maybe, just maybe, God will call me to do something with my life.

This couldn't be further from the truth! And even though we don't always realize this underlying belief, it's there. And it affects how we see ourselves, and ultimately how we see God.

But, like Ephesians says, God created us with our calling in mind. We didn't need to prove anything. We didn't have to earn our way to a calling; it was crafted into us. The purposes and plans God has for us, unique to each and every person, were there from day one. Our purpose is intentional.

There's freedom and empowerment in knowing and believing that we weren't simply called to a purpose; we were created on purpose, for a purpose. We bear the image of the One, True God. And in that image, and through the power of Holy Spirit, we have everything we need to walk in the purposes God has created for us, everyday becoming more and more like Jesus.

Be encouraged today, reader. Yes, you are called by God. But even more are created by God. You are His masterpiece, wonderfully crafted to live a purposeful and powerful life.

What are you created to do?

From Rachel's blog: Abide&Seek