Flourishing leaders are aware of God’s call on their lives.
The foundational call of every believer is to follow Jesus. When the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins and draws us to faith in Christ, we look to him and follow where he leads. That never changes. The personal call to Jesus changes our purpose to lead and influence others for the sake of God’s kingdom.
But each of us has an general arena of service for which God created and gifted us (1 Cor. 12; Rom. 12:1-9), so that we fulfill the works he has planned for us to do (Eph. 2:8-9). His specific call extends throughout our lives, so it’s not a job, a position, a role, or a place. As we recognize that call, we find ourselves in the middle of God’s will.
Of course, we never quit asking and seeking God’s plan for each day, but there’s a link between following God in a daily walk and in a calling. I’ve heard it suggested and taught that they are exclusive of one another, but God has told us to do both. We know where he has gifted and burdened us and we listen and follow him each day.
Following God means that we understand who we are and what area of service to God’s kingdom we are created to fill. The place we serve may change over our lives. The nature of our service may change. But most of our ministry should line up with God’s gifting because that is where the Spirit reveals himself through each of us, empowering us for God’s purposes (1 Cor. 12:7).
God made me a Bible teacher and leader, not because I was the most qualified or the best at it, but simply because it was his choice. When I’m asked to serve beyond a now and then sort of thing, I filter the opportunity through that call. At the same time I live that out each day as I listen for God’s voice through the Word, the interruptions he brings to my life, and the opportunities I have to minister to others.
Finding your calling frees you to focus primarily on it rather than say yes to any and every person who asks for help.
Let’s face it. The nursery is always short of workers, and I did my allotted time there when my kids were little, but I don’t say yes to an ongoing role there because that’s not my calling. How do I know? One, because I have no heart for it. Two, I don’t sense God at work through me there. I’m simply a warm body to do what has to be done. And three, because I’ve experienced doing ministry that I loved and desired to do above all else—teach the truths of God in a clear and applicable way so that others grow as disciples. So I know the difference.
An awareness of your calling allows you to follow God day by day, centered on Christ, in the power of the Spirit to fulfill his call for his purposes.
How has God shown you his call on your life?
If you have questions about your calling, I would love to hear from you. Or read my book From Ordinary Woman to Spiritual Leader: Grow your Influence.