Ep. 21 – Humbly Examine Your Calling
A discussion about God’s “calling” can provide beneficial guidance for us as we seek to follow Christ. Many look to pillars of the faith, such as the Apostle Paul, and wonder when their own special calling from God is going to come. Is Paul’s calling experience the standard? Greg Handley composed an article for IMB, titled, “Let’s Rethink Our Language of ‘Calling’,” where he provides wise counsel about God’s calling.
Quotes From Greg Handley
“Paul refers to a unique sense of call as an apostle of the Lord Jesus (Rom. 1:1; 1 Cor. 1:1). The error in application I’m referring to happens when we make his experience the necessary requirement for anyone serving as a pastor or missionary. Paul’s language points in the other direction. He refrains from applying his ‘calling’ vocabulary to other co-laborers in the New Testament (Col.1:1; 1 Cor.1:1; 2 Cor.1:1).”
“Here are four ways to think about calling that can help us pave a more helpful way forward…
- Commanded before Called
…Obedience to him doesn’t wait for some additional revelation of his will. It gets to work. All Christians have been drafted. We either go or we send…
- Objective before Subjective
…In Romans 1:15–17, Paul outlined what generated his eagerness to preach the gospel in Rome. What compelled him wasn’t the memory of his Damascus Road experience. His eagerness stemmed from the power of the gospel to save sinners…
- Desire before Destiny
…Desire opens up a discussion and calling pulls the divine trump card, functionally closing the conversation. For the quality of our labor, we need to open ourselves to others’ feedback before we’re sent out…
- Corporately Affirmed before Privately Called
…The good desire to serve as an elder must be coupled with an identifiable blamelessness in the differing spheres of life in order for one to serve. These qualifications must be met by the individual and affirmed by the congregation…”
Read Greg’s full article for IMB here.
We read through Galatians 1:11-24, where the Apostle Paul tells of his calling from God to preach the Good News, and we noted a few things.
No one should disregard the general call to follow Christ, according to the Word of God, as they wait, expecting to receive a special calling from God.
One characteristic lacking today is humility. Many buy into the message that they’ve been called to be an individual world changer. Therefore, they perceive a special calling from God, and begin to seek out ways to be empowered as they follow their special, perceived calling. However, we are not that special. It’s not about us; it’s about Jesus and his glory.
“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Share Your Thoughts
How do you properly inspect or examine a calling? Have you wrestled with this before? What stood out to you in Greg Handley’s article for IMB? Did anything resonate with you? If so, share about it on social media.