If you’ve been following along with Realizing Home, you may remember that instead of a New Year’s Resolution, I have a spiritual theme for my year. In 2022 I’m focusing on my personal calling, what I’m created and designed for. But of course, as a Christ-follower, I also have a shared calling with fellow believers and a shared calling with all of humanity. These last two are also important concepts to discover on my pathway through life and my journey to becoming fully me. The key to finding purpose can be found in discovering God’s callings.
The common struggle for identity
It breaks my heart that discovering true identity has become such a challenge. Becoming who we are, finding calling in the midst of the voice of culture, has always been a struggle, but it has been a struggle that had value in the process as well as in the discovery. Now, I’m afraid, the age of endless possibility has made us more easily lose sight of who we are. The guideposts have been taken away. Instead of leading to self-discovery, the chilling expanse of possibilities decreases our probability of success.
But I don’t want to preach. Instead I’d like to encourage you on the journey.
I believe we have a Creator. If you’re looking for your calling or purpose, then you believe in a Creator too. For without a Creator, life is chance, accidental, and there is no purpose to life. Only if we were created, is there a design and purpose for our existence.
And therefore, if there is a Creator, I submit that maybe he is the God of the Bible.
Consider it with me anyway, even if you’re convinced of alien creators or other deities. Did you know that the Bible actually talks about what your calling might look like? Wouldn’t you like to know what it says about our calling and if there are any clues to finding purpose?
I don’t want to interpret these verses so I’ll keep my commentary short. For me, these words help to ground me in my perspective of God, the world, and my place here. They are the launchpad for my personal identity. They are key to becoming truly myself.
Called to light
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9.
I’m called. I’m called out of the darkness of chaos and evil into the light of God who illuminates all the hidden places of my understanding and of my heart. I’m not called just to hang out there, but I’m called as part of a priesthood or holy nation. This is a special assignment. In this calling I’m chosen to serve and bless in a community.
Have you answered that call? Do you prefer light or darkness? What if you have a purpose that makes everything clear and you don’t have to wander around confused?
Called to life
“‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ ” Acts 17:28.
I’m a child of my Heavenly Father. And more than an earthly Father, this Creator Father empowers me and grants me ability, strength and purpose. Remaining “in him” is how I am able to truly “be“.
Are you a child of God? If we are dependent upon God for living, moving and being, then surely he can help us find our calling. Consequently he may hold the answers we’re looking for about who we are, where we’re headed, and how to live our best life.
Called to relationship with Jesus
“God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:9
God is not going to abandon me or scrap me as a failed endeavor. He is faithfully committed to the idea of bringing me into close relationship with Jesus. That’s what he’s calling me to. That is step one of realizing who I am.
Called to the family of God
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7.
God is calling me to others as well as himself. Remember we are called to be “a royal priesthood, a holy nation?” Living in community with others means that I can’t cover and hide my flaws and faults. Being really known can be a scary-risky, yet wonderful thing. To be honest, I don’t know that any of us are good at this yet, but I do know that we need others. Together we see truth and light more plainly.
And yet, so many have been hurt by those who call themselves the church. We Christians, get mixed up about how to be salt and light in the world. We are all broken people who are trying to work this out. The Bible says we will know a tree by its fruit (Luke 6:43-45) meaning people treasuring God will begin to look like Him. They will have fruit that looks like love, kindness, humility, gentleness, holiness, and goodness. The more I draw near to God myself, the more I will be able to recognize the kindred godly spirit.
Called to Reconcilliation
“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:16-20.
So although we haven’t demonstrated this well in North American Christianity, God’s purposes and blessings for us exist beyond receiving the gift of salvation and being welcomed into heaven. Rather than adding Christianity to our lives like we would a hashtag on social media, living the born-again Christian life changes our lives entirely.
The Three Conversions of a Christian
I’m not sure the source because it came up in a conversation (maybe Martin Luther?), but I was recently introduced to a concept I’d never heard of before called the Three Conversions. They make a lot of sense to me. The idea is that a Christian is converted “first to Christ, then to the church, and then back to the world.”
How many people do you know who are living fully in these callings to God, to the community of Christ’s people and also to the world? I’m afraid I don’t see much of this. Not even in me. Check out my reflections on serving the Kingdom of God in one of my recent posts.
But as we can see in the previous verses, my calling really is to these three – Christ, his people, and the world. Finding myself means finding myself in this calling.
Which verse speaks to you today? Where are you in your conversion experience?