If I asked you to name someone who had a calling on their life, who would you name?
Martin Luther King, Jr.?
What about yourself?
I believe every one of us has a unique, individualized calling and purpose for our lives. But before we can fulfill it, we have to first recognize it exists.
Probably the number one thing that stops people from fulfilling their purpose is the failure to believe they actually have one. And one of the biggest blocks to believing you have a calling is the misconception that to have a calling you must be world renowned, famous, or well known. In other words, that having a calling is for a special few.
In his book, Capital Gaines, Chip Gaines says: "All I've ever wanted, when you get right down to it, is to change the world. I don’t literally mean the whole wide world. That would be nice, I guess, but what I really care about is changing the world around me."
I love this quote because it embodies what having a calling truly means: changing the world around you in that specific and unique way that only you can. It’s having a positive impact on the lives of those in your home, your church, your grocery store. It’s discovering your design, your gifts, and your talents and stewarding them to the best of your ability. It’s not always dramatic or super visible.
It’s true: few change the course of the entire world. But everyone has the opportunity to change the world around them.
In Ephesians the Apostle Paul wrote, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago" (Ephesians 2:10, NLT).
Before we were born, God was busy planning things for us to do. Those things that He planned = Our calling.
We’re also told to “make careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. ... Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life" (Galatians 6:4-5, MSG).
Our work is our purpose, our calling. Why would God tell us to explore the work (i.e. calling) we have been given if we hadn’t been given work?
And if you’re struggling with the feeling that having a calling is for a special few, look at what Jesus said: “I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit" (John 15:16, NLT, emphasis added). That fruit is the product of our calling! Our fruit is the ways we change the world around us: the art we create, the encouraging texts we send, the meals we share.
Jesus' words apply to each of us today just as much as they applied to his followers 2000 years ago. No one is left out. Jesus calls all of us produce fruit. He calls each of us to change the world.
Thankfully, you don’t have to be well known to be a world changer. You can make a difference right where you’re at. God has designed specific plans for each of us, but they can only be fulfilled with our willing cooperation. The question really isn’t so much, “Do I have a call?” but “Will I have the courage and tenacity to take part in this my-corner-of-the-world transformation God is inviting me into?”
I hope your answer is yes!
Do you believe you have a calling? Has there been anything that has either held you back from believing you do, or set you free to believe you do? What are some ways you can start changing the world around you right now? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
Believing we have a calling is just one act that I think is necessary to discovering and walking in who we are created to be. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing more about what we need to do and believe in order to succeed in our purpose. I’ll see you then!
I wrote this post because I’m on a mission to encourage and equip women to live the life of faith, passion, and purpose that we were made for. You can help make a difference by sharing this post with a friend (or friends!) who you think would be encouraged or inspired by it (use the buttons on the left!). Thanks!
A funny, (mostly) light read from Chip Gaines, with themes of purpose and family. I read it for book club and enjoyed it.
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