Getting back to a series we started some time ago, I want to revisit the topic of “calling” in the Christian life.
So many seem confused on this point. They are looking for some specific purpose in life which centers around their gifts, abilities and tastes, rather than asking what that might mean from God’s perspective rather than their own. They want some sense of person meaning. I am meant to be an actor, housewife, politician, artist, businessman, lawyer, dancer, poet – or even – a pastor, youth worker, Biblical counselor, preacher, seminary professor, Bible teacher, etc.
There is nothing wrong in asking that question per se. The problem is in considering self first. Secondly, there is a problem in assuming that one must find something like one of the things listed above (and the countless others) or either their life will have no meaning, or that they will somehow miss the Lord’s purpose for them, or that they will live in perpetual frustration – things like that.
What I am arguing for here, is that “calling” is not some elusive thing to be divined – else you have missed your mark in life. But rather, that Scripture unpacks the various aspects of the Christian’s calling from God’s point of view. And if that is in place, if we are pursuing the calling He has spelled out for us in the Scriptures – that that calling can be lived out in virtually any avenue of life or pursuit. It is THIS calling we must concern ourselves with first and foremost. And the rest most often, providentially, falls into place. No aspect of God’s calling is dependent upon certain gifts, or any legitimate outward occupation.
So far we’ve seen the Christian’s calling in 6 passages of Scripture. ALL Believers are called to: Belong to Jesus Christ as His personal possession; To be Saints; To fulfill His eternal purposes as given in His Word; To walk in living fellowship with God and Christ; To be men and women of Peace; and To believe and live in the grace of Christ in the Gospel (Gal. 1:6).
The 7th aspect of our calling is found in
Gal. 5:13 “For you were called to freedom, bothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
And please note, this calling, in context, is specifically to live in the light of the Gospel with it’s message of freedom from the condemnation of The Law, and, in the power of the Spirit. Freedom from the condemnation and yoke of The Mosaic Law. And, in freedom from sin so as to not gratify the desires of the flesh. A calling which will demand giving ourselves to knowing Christ and His finished work, and dependence upon the indwelling Spirit so as to prosecute an ongoing war against anything which would seek to master our lives more than Christ Himself as our Lord.
It is freedom from having to serve sin. Freedom from having to live in condemnation. Freedom to live as truly justified by His grace through the imputed righteousness of Christ. Freedom to access the Throne of Grace in prayer – boldly. Freedom to trust the character of God in His sovereign appointments even when mystified by current events – personal, national and global. Freedom to live depending upon the Spirit to walk in love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, uprightness, faithfulness, kindness and self-control. Freedom to make any decision I think wisest as long as it does not lead to anything God’s Word forbids, or prevents me from carrying out anything God’s Word demands. Freedom from having to be mystically “led” at every turn because already divinely led by His Word and how the Spirit impresses His Word on the heart and mind. Freedom to love enemies, the unlovely, persecutors and political opponents. Freedom to serve His cause and His people wherever providence may find me, and in whatever capacity is open at that place and time. Freedom to cast all cares and concerns upon Him, knowing that He cares for me far more than I could ever care for myself. Freedom to seek His face anytime, anywhere. Freedom to walk in the perpetual warmth of His smile. Freedom to obtain ongoing forgiveness and cleansing from every failure. Freedom from the fear of where this world is going, because of the promises of His Word. Freedom from the fear of death, for while it is the “last enemy”, for the Believer – it is also the portal into His unveiled presence. Freedom to reject sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies and other things that those who indulge in cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Freedom to walk in peace with God because justified by faith through our Lord Jesus Christ.
No wonder Jesus can say that if He sets us free, we are free indeed!
And beloved, this is not just some Christian option – we are called to live in this freedom as a constant reality of life.
What a calling!