Because of the nature of my position I frequently have people come to me and tell me they’re called to full-time vocational ministry. I believe some have truly experienced a calling, while others seem to merely have an infatuation. There’s a huge difference between calling and infatuation.
Please understand that every believer has a calling from God. A calling is a God inspired assignment which aligns your unique gifts with His specific purpose. Finding your calling is one of the most fulfilling things you will experience in life. For some this calling will find its expression in full-time vocational ministry, while others will find its expression in the marketplace, home or community. Regardless of where your calling is, it is important that you identify God’s unique assignment for you.
Here are four signs that commonly accompany a calling:
- There is a confirmation I don’t solicit. Our calling is typically confirmed by others around us. For Jehu it came in the form of a young prophet sent from Elisha to inform him that God wanted to anoint him as the next King of Israel (2 Kings 9). It’s not a confirmation from just anyone but typically from a credible individual.
- There is a pull I can’t resist. With each calling I have experienced in my life (three different occasions) I have had a sense of “I cannot not do this”. Abraham felt this way in Genesis 12 when he was compelled by God to leave his homeland and journey to a place God would eventually show him.
- There is a passion I don’t manufacture. If you have to manufacture passion to do what you’re doing then you need to take a long hard look at why you are doing it. Paul is the perfect example of a man who was passionate about his calling. In Colossians 1:28-29 he wrote, “We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. 29To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.”
- There is a sense I can’t do this. It seems when God calls a man, the man never feels ready, prepared or adequate. In Exodus 3-4 Moses debated with God giving him every excuse why he had the wrong guy. Don’t let the sense of inadequacy scare you away, let it draw you to a closer dependence on God.
Are there other signs you would add to this list?