We are two weeks into Beth Moore’s study of 2 Timothy, and some lights are coming on! Paul tells Timothy, and by extension each of us, to “fulfill your ministry,” or as Beth says, our calling.
We are put on this earth to fulfill our calling, but we can have a great job, be successful by today’s standards, and still not fulfill our calling. We can dream of what we want in our life, but it may have nothing to do with fulfilling our calling. God created each of us with certain unique characteristics to fulfill His plan for our lives. When our choices align with His plans for us, we find true joy and fulfillment.
But, how do we know what that calling is?
First of all it is important to know that whether you are twenty or seventy, God’s plan is always unfolding in our lives. Some parts of God’s plan are crystal clear. For instance, if you can’t carry a tune, chances are God did not plan for you to be an opera singer. Or if you are 5’4” tall, most likely you are not headed to the NBA. On the other hand, if you are a fantastic baker, like my friend, neighbor, and Sister in Faith, Sonia, you might just have a “Birthday Cake Ministry.” The first week of each month at our study, Sonia spoils us with her exquisite confections to celebrate the birthdays of that month!
But when God’s call is barely audible in our life, there’s probably some fine-tuning that’s necessary. For instance, we all know a lot about Abraham Lincoln, but do any of us know him personally? Similarly, we can know a lot about God – what I call head knowledge – but do we have heart knowledge, that close personal relationship with Him that we cultivate on a daily basis? How can we find out what God is calling us to do if we don’t communicate with Him? Simply stated, we can’t. But we have a God who craves a relationship with us and who has given us the tools necessary to fall in love with Him. Our first tool is the Bible, God’s love letter to us, which is full of wisdom on how to live according to His principles.
The next tool God has provided for us is prayer, our 24-7 direct line of communication with Him. Having a set time for prayer is wonderful, but expand on that and make it a living, breathing relationship where you pray throughout the day. Ask for God’s opinion on everything you do and on what you are about to say. When something happens and you need to make a decision, shoot God a prayer text and ask Him what He thinks. And then just as importantly, quiet your heart and your mind and be still. Listen with your heart to what He might have to say about the situation.
Our special blessing is the Holy Spirit. When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are filled with the Spirit to guide and advise us. Start each day by asking the Spirit to fill you to overflowing with His grace and wisdom. He knows all the details of how we were made and the path that God has planned for us and wants nothing more than to keep us on track. So often what we think to do or say is the whisper in our heart of the Spirit guiding us to hear God’s call.
When we are blessed by God with the gift of faith, and accept that gift, we enter into a fellowship or ‘unity of the Spirit’ with others who also accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. God uses people around us to lead us to what He is calling us to do, and it is important to have a community of believers around us so we can spot one another’s giftedness and encourage each other in those areas.
Beth Moore, in her study, entrusted, tells us that God has given us the Gospel, the good news of our salvation through Christ, and the gifts we need to share that good news. We are far from perfect, but we can be sure the gifts God has given us to share our faith with are perfect. So take an inventory. God has given each one of us the unique gifts we need to preserve and spread the Gospel. What are your special gifts?
We are servants of God here on a mission, and there is no higher calling for us than to be who God has called us to be. And the beauty of our calling is in its simplicity. Each day presents a new opportunity to fulfill that calling. It can happen by simply being an example in faith to our children or grandchildren, or, in a conversation with a stranger. It can be in bringing a pot of soup to a sick neighbor, or in calling to check up on a friend going through a divorce or one searching desperately for a job. If you’re gift is gardening you might stop by like my friend, Sonia, (in today’s picture with me) to help me organize my orchids and joyfully share with me, and our group how God is working in her life.
I pray from 1 Cor 7:17 that, ‘each of us leads the life that the Lord has assigned to us, and to which God has called us.’
He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. (Phil 1:6)