(This is blog four in a series of eight, taken from Lesson 5, “Discover Your One-of-a-Kind Genius Zone and Set Your Current Top Life Goals” in Happy School, Where Women Learn the Secrets to Overcome Discouragement and Worry. You can access all 8 blogs in Lesson 5 HERE at JulieNGordon.com.)
You only have 90 to 100 years to live (I’m an optimist here) so you can’t accomplish everything in your lifetime. Therefore, you’ve got to be exceedingly intentional and primarily invest your time and energy in the calling that God has given you.
Just know that others will try to persuade you to sign up for their call. Many years ago I got a phone call from a pastor’s secretary and she said, “I want you to know that the pastor has approved you to be on committee X.” I was pretty upset, because I didn’t want to be on committee X. After a lot of hemming and hawing, I finally said, “I don’t think that’s what I’m supposed to do.” The secretary was aghast! “But the pastor has approved you!”
It takes a strong sense of your calling to say no to strong people. I am certainly not advocating laziness. And I detest selfishness! But you do have to get in touch with your calling—your purpose, your narrow lane—so you will know when to say yes and when to say no. Prayer is the only way to hear from God on this. Read His Word, pray, and wait on the Lord. He will reveal His marching orders. His will will become apparent. Your walking buddy won’t know God’s will for you; but the Holy Spirit does.
Another example of when the need was not the call was when our oldest was 11 and I was homeschooling with six kids. An elder in the church called me and said that the elder board wanted me to become the director of the church nursery. I almost fell through the floor when he told me this, as I was barely making it through each day. And in addition, I’m terrible at administration. I somehow sputtered out how busy I was with the kids and the homeschooling and that I didn’t think I could take that on. And then, in a strong, authoritarian voice, he said, “Well, then, what exactly do you intend to do to serve at church?”
At this time, I was using my gifts the best I could, meeting with women, doing a little mentoring and counseling, but it wasn’t anything organized. Being a “Titus 2:4-5 young woman” was my calling at the time. Remember, the need is not the call and likewise, the voice of a strong person in leadership is not the call either.
You don’t owe people an explanation for what God is telling you to do (except, of course, your husband). Learn to say, “That sounds like a good cause and I wish you success, but that is not the call I have from the Lord at this time.” Don’t allow pushy people to influence you.
Your call may be something unique. I’m often surprised when people tell me their callings. Recently, one of my friends, whom I greatly respect, called me and told me that someone wanted her to do a certain ministry. Although I knew she was extremely equipped to do so and it was a need, she didn’t really feel led to do that ministry. Then she shared the area she felt God had called her to, and it was intercessory prayer for the nation. She said she feels like she should get on her face before God twice a day and intercede for our nation’s sins. I was very struck and humbled by what God has asked her to do. What a beautiful calling. Again, I never would have predicted that to be her calling. But like Faye Hardy, my Sunday School teacher of yesteryear said, “I barely know what God is telling me. How would I know what He is telling you?”
My favorite pastor of yesteryear, Adrian Rogers, used to say, “The need is not the call.”
I read the most encouraging footnote this morning in my Life Application Study Bible. It was a note discussing the spiritual gifts that are given to the members of the body of Christ. For example, God gives prophets the ability to be bold and articulate. He gives leaders the gift of good organization and good management. Those who are to show mercy are happy to give their time to care for others. And those who are to encourage others know how to motivate others. This was extremely freeing as I once again realized I don’t have to do everything. I’m just to walk in the calling I’ve been given.
Major Ian Thomas, the author of the classic, The Saving Life of Christ, came to speak at a church service that I attended years ago. The sermon was about how Jesus “was sent.” I still have the old Bible where I circled in red ink the word “sent” from that night. In the book of John, the gospel declares over and over and over that Jesus “was sent.” You have also been sent. God knit you together in your mother’s womb and equipped you with certain gifts so that you might offer them back to the Lord and to others.
The old hymn, Jesus Makes Us Shine, has a perfect line in it: “You in your small corner, and I in mine.” Not many of us are called to be Beth Moore. And I don’t have to feel bad that I’m not more organized or that I’m not so great at taking meals to everyone. God gave me a portion of gifts and I am to develop them and give them back to Him. Remember that charming Christmas hymn, The Little Drummer Boy? “I am a poor boy, pa rum pum pum pum. I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum….I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum, I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum.”
Years ago I heard a sermon discussing the historical event when Jesus fed the 5000. A boy gave Jesus his lunch of five barley loaves and two fish. The sermon was entitled, “I Have a Hunch He Wants Your Lunch.” I have a hunch he wants you to discover your gifts and give them back to Him, as well.
Walk in your gifts. Find your calling and your ordinary days will become fulfilling. I know you have responsibilities (and I plead with you to first always be faithful to your responsibilities and priorities)! But as is possible, start moving toward structuring your life so that you have more time to walk in your calling.
Blog #5 out of 8 is next and is entitled Becoming a Goal Setter as Well as a Goal Achiever. You can access all 8 blogs now HERE at JulieNGordon.com.
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