God’s Calling and Your Vocation

Justin Johnson

Have you ever met someone who claims to have God’s calling on their life? They seem assured that God has communicated to them a unique purpose to travel to a foreign country somewhere.

To be fair, not all of them have the same unique purpose to travel the world. Others say God has called them to be doctors, scientists, nurses, or other noble professions like singing. God must begin to “call” people while they are really young, because those are the same things the elementary kids say they want to do when they grow up.

One would think that if God were giving out jobs he would at least choose a few people to be garbage men, sewer cleaners, and politicians, but those callings must be more rare.

Even ministers and pastors like to talk about how God has called them into the “priesthood”, which is not a bad job given the work hours, benefits, and the fact that you get money for what everyone should be doing anyway: studying the Bible, being a godly example, and visiting your grandma.

Meanwhile, if you are one of those people who have not received a God approved calling card in your mailbox, then you are not alone. There are many honest people out there who want to do God’s will, but cannot find where in the Bible their calling is found.

God’s Calling in the Bible

Despite what people think is the calling of God for their life, the Bible clearly describes God’s “high calling” for everyone.

“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” – Phil 3:14

A high calling explains the absence of God’s call to be lowly garbage men, but it also rules out the earthly career wish lists of so many. God has not called you to a lowly vocation on earth. He has called you to a heavenly vocation.

“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” – Ephesians 2:6

It is true that we need godly people in every earthly industry, but God’s calling is larger than that. It is an eternal calling, a holy calling.

“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” – 2 Tim 1:9

Also, the calling of God is not something that remains a secret. It is something that has been revealed. The Corinthians could clearly see it, and so can we.

“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:” – 1 Corinthians 1:26

Notice that many wise, mighty, and noble men miss God’s calling. Perhaps, it is because they think that God’s calling is not as significant as their own ambitions.

Called in Christ

The calling of God is clearly identified in the Bible, but I warn you, you may think it is foolish. The calling of God is the preaching of Christ, the gospel of salvation, which is given to every man (Titus 2:11).

“But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” – 1 Cor 1:23

Every member of the church in Corinth was called to be saints of God:

“Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints…” – 1 Corinthians 1:2

They were called unto the fellowship of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 1:9

Elsewhere Paul calls this the “fellowship of the mystery”, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Eph 3:9, Col 1:27). This one hope of our calling makes us partakers together of his promise in Christ (Eph 3:6, Eph 4:4).

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” – Col 3:15

Now What?

Now we can understand that God is calling all men to be saved, and our vocation is to learn to walk in the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim 2:4). Our official position is in Christ and our job title is Ambassador (2 Cor 5:20).

It may be a disappointment for some to learn that God is not calling them to be his gift to the world. For others it is a relief to learn that God’s calling is greater than their work-a-day job.

Either way it is important for us to know what we should be doing while we are waiting for Christ to return, the hope of our calling. So, what do we do now?

Paul gives us some advice while he was in prison:

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,” – Ephesians 4:1

It is our high calling to walk worthy of the vocation God has given us in Christ. We must by faith understand that our first priority and service is to God and his ministry in all that we do (Col 3:23). We must hold up our Lord and Head (Col 1:18). How to walk worthy is described throughout Ephesians 4, where you walk worthy is up to you.

How you make money and help the world is your choice not God’s. Yet, who you are in Christ and your heavenly hope was something in the mind of God before the foundation of the world (2 Tim 1:9).

“Wherefore I also … making mention of you in my prayers … that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” – Ephesians 1:15-18

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Published: March 23, 2011
Last Modified: November 19, 2016
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