We must recognize that God calls people to work and that He calls people to work according to the ability He has given them. God’s first command to man in Genesis 1:28 is “Be fruitful and increase in number;…” The work God leads us to may be unpaid work, such as raising children or tutoring students after school. Even if we are called to paid work, God probably doesn’t call many of us to jobs that would prevent us from also serving others through unpaid work.
His command to Adam to till and keep the garden was also a call. God has been working since the creation of the earth. Like the image of God that we are, we must work according to where He has called us and with the ability He has given us. It is wrong to think that it’s only Church work that’s God’s calling. In whatever profession or job you find yourself, whether paid or unpaid, is a call. But one has to be sensitive enough to identify where he’s called.
There are several types of call by God
1. Call to raise a home: Genesis 1:28a God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. KJV
2. There’s call for repentance: Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. KJV
1 Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. KJV
3. There’s a call for a restored relationship with God: 2 Corinthians 5:17-20. 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. KJV
4. There’s call for other specific tasks: Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. KJV
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. KJV
1 Corinthians 3:5 What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Just servants through whom you believed [in Christ], even as the Lord appointed to each his task. AMP
WHAT is your calling?
It’s one thing to be called. It’s another thing to know “WHAT” you are called to do. So many people are busy with other people’s area of calling simply because they think they’ve discovered the area where they’re called to serve. Most times, it leads to starting new things that you do not last in or continue with.
Let us not underrate the role of parents in helping their children identify their purpose. In fact, it is their major duty to their children. Purpose early spotted is easily developed.
For the purpose of our discussion, we shall say that calling is same as purpose. But if we must distinguish between the two, we can say that our purpose, in a broader perspective, is to glorify God while the means to achieve that purpose is our calling.
Isaiah 43:6-7. 6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; 7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. KJV
Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. KJV
And one may ask how he can identify his calling. You can find the answer below.
HOW Do I Identify My Calling?
Calling is easier detected earlier. There’s something you discover you’re good at. There’s something you enjoy doing, something you can be happy doing and in which you get fulfilled even without getting paid. That’s your calling. When you take a broader look at it, it is rendering service to humanity one way or the other. What some of us don’t know is that that thing is glorifying God, which is the main purpose we were created.
But there’s another way of discovering your calling which is very unique and rare. Those in this category are not just special, but different from others. Ironically, they’re also accountable for other people they may not have known from the onset. These are Priests – Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers.
The people in this category can have their supposedly found “purpose” interrupted by God. It could either be for full time or part time. These people have a peculiar encounter with God, where God Himself calls their attention and gives instructions to them on their calling and new assignment. Some get it straight, to others, it may take some time to get the message clearer.
One thing is common with the people in the Priest category; they loss their peace until they answer to that call. It’s important to note that their task is specifically communicated to them. It could be clear the first time, it may also take some time to get it clearer. But your mission is given at the encounter. You can’t be confused on what you’re called to do.
Another thing is paying attention in order for God to get your attention. He gives you the message when you give Him your attention. In the case of Moses in Exodus 3:1-4, God did not give Moses his mission until He got his attention. Same with the case of Samuel in 1 Samuel 3:1-11. God never gave Samuel a message until He got his attention. So, your attention is highly required when you’re being called into the office of a Priest. Your specific task will be given to you when you pay attention to God’s signals and directions. Like I earlier mentioned, it may not be clear at first, but it will with time.
WHERE are you called?
It’s not enough to have the knowledge that everyone is called. You must also know “WHERE” you’re called to serve. You must not be tilling someone’s soil while your own soil lies fallow. You will actually be underproductive when you’re not where God wants you to be. It is your duty to identify the exact place where God has called you to serve Him. It may be in the business circle, in engineering, as a barber, a medical doctor, a plumber, a pilot, an academician, a transporter, a musicians, an usher, a prayer warrior, etc. It shouldn’t come as a shock to hear that some profession you may term as menial are all responding to God’s call. God gives you the grace needed when you are in your area of calling.
Are you confused and not very sure of where you are called? Ask God. He will direct you. James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. KJV
HOW do you go about your calling?
This is where the mixture of God’s direction, your knowledge and experience come to play. God may give you the direction on “HOW” you can go about your calling so you can get the desired result. But how efficient you are in that your area of calling is determined by your knowledge and experience.
It’s only on rare occasions that someone without adequate formal education can perform better than another person with adequate formal education. Your experience in the academic field, corporate organization, business organization, social circle, is an advantage to your calling. Basic education is basic. Even Jesus attended basic education in the Synagogue. (That’s why He was allowed to read the Torah in their Synagogues).
There are also occasions where God gives specific directions that must be followed. Moses, after exhausting his excuses, was finally directed by God on specifically how to go about leading the children of Israel out of Egypt. Ask God, when you don’t know how to go about it.
What you don’t know, you cannot exhibit. What distinguishes you is what you know. Seek knowledge. Get experience. A man of experience is a man that has learned many ways of how to do it and how not to do it.
WHEN are you to resume your duty?
The “WHEN” of your calling talks about the timing. We’re taking a clue from Jesus, our Role Model. Jesus was called even before His birth like every one of us, but He fully started His ministry around the age of 30. Let’s look at this scripture: Luke 2: 42-52. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. 43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. 44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. 45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. 46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. 47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. 48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. 49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? 50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. 51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. KJV
Mark 6:3a Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? KJV
From the above read passages, Jesus never folded His hands waiting for the time for His calling. He engaged Himself while waiting for the time. At the age of 12, He was already identifying with His area of calling. It’s very important to identify our calling early enough. Parents have a very big role to play in this regard. You know your kids and the areas they’re good at. You can help develop them towards that area. Jesus, having studied in the Jewish Laws in the Synagogue, must have been encouraged by His parents, bearing in mind the message given to them before His conception. In addition, He also helped out in His father’s carpentry shop. Jesus was occupied till His appointed time.
Everyone has a calling, but God never activates an idle person. For the fact that you know that God has a place for you does not mean you shouldn’t engage yourself till you find out where God called you to serve. Get busy. God identifies and activates people that are busy. Check throughout the Bible. He had always called people that were busy doing something, and at the right time.
To WHO and with WHOM are you called?
God cannot give you a message without telling you “WHO” it is for. He is not an author of confusion. When you’re called, you’re called to a specific people. It is difficult to succeed when you’re not attending to the people you’re called to serve. Take the Scripture below for instance.
Acts 22:21 And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles. KJV
Acts 15:15-16. 15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, 16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. KJV
Galatians 2:8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) KJV
God called Apostle Paul to the Gentiles while He called Apostle Peter to the Jews. The job becomes easier when you locate the people you’re called to serve and engage in the service to them. Whoever God sends you to, He gives you the grace for. Every message, every calling, is for a specific people. It could be for the poor, for God’s ministers, for the Church, for the community, for the rich yet unreached, for the unsaved, for the brokenhearted, for the physically challenge, for the mentally challenged, for your family, etc. One indicator that will tell you you’re with the right people is inner peace.
Sometimes our calling may be cumbersome for us alone to do. There’s somebody or some people somewhere with “WHOM” God has called you to service. Be sensitive enough to discern when you need someone to assist you. The following Scripture will explain this better:
Exodus 18:14-24. 14 And when Moses’ father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even? 15 And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God: 16 When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws. 17 And Moses’ father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. 18 Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone. 19 Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: 20 And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. 21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: 22 And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. 23 If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace. 24 So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said. KJV
Exodus 4:14 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. Exodus 7:1 And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. KJV
1 Kings 19:19 So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. KJV
Acts 15:40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God. KJV
Luke 6:12-16. 12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. 13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; 14 Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, 15 Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, 16 And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor. KJV
The fact remains that no one succeeds alone. No man is an island. Moses got Aaron. Elijah chose Elisha. Even Jesus Himself got 12 people.
But let us look at how Jesus made His choice of the people He wanted to serve with Him. Looking at that Luke6:12, Jesus, the Son of God didn’t just carelessly choose them. He went into prayers. He consulted God the Father before making His choice.
Prayerfully choose whomever you want to work with you so you don’t choose a person that should be serving at a different place of calling.