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How can I know what my spiritual calling is?

It is easy for us to feel pressured to find our spiritual calling. Due to the public recognition of people with more visible callings, we can fall into the temptation of believing that we need to find something equally visible. While being an evangelist or a pastor may be a more obvious "calling," being a Sunday School teacher, a businessman, a social worker, a stay-at-home parent, a caregiver, or any number of other things, are all vocations that can also be spiritual callings. Also, one's spiritual calling may not manifest in a singular way throughout his or her lifetime. God calls many people to multiple things and roles throughout the course of their lives. We serve His purposes, and the paths by which we accomplish those purposes may be extremely varied.

It's important to recognize that what many people refer to as a "calling" is in actuality a job that happens to be for the explicit purpose of serving the Lord. When the New Testament speaks of a "calling," it is most often referring to our calling as believers, not to any one specific ministry (Romans 11:29; Ephesians 1:18, 4:1, 4; 2 Thessalonians 1:11; 2 Timothy 1:9; Hebrews 3:1; 2 Peter 1:10). So perhaps a better perspective is to recognize that no matter what job (whether technically considered a "job," and whether paid or unpaid) you have or how spiritual (or unspiritual) it is in nature, you have an opportunity to accomplish the purposes of God—and this is your ultimate calling: "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness" (Matthew 6:33).

The Bible lists some things that we are all spiritually called to do, and they can be done under any circumstances. Wherever God places us, we can do good for others and serve the needs of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:7). We can be confident in our spiritual calling to do these things:

  • Fear God and keep His commandments: "The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man" (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
  • Care for others and remain holy before God: "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world" (James 1:27).
  • Go and make disciples: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19–20).

  • Another factor to consider in discovering our spiritual calling is our faithfulness to God and our growth in Him. Sometimes God does have a more singular vision or a specific ministry that He is calling us to, but we need to grow into being ready for it. We are to develop our practical skills (Luke 2:52) and spiritual understanding (2 Peter 3:18). When we do this, we will face trials that will test our faith, but will ultimately bring maturity: "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (James 1:2–4; see also James 2:22). As we seek to accomplish the Lord's callings for every believer, as listed above, we will naturally progress into accomplishing the specific plans and purposes He has for us.


    Related Truth:

    How can I gain spiritual discernment?

    What is the key to knowing the will of God?

    Christian ministry - What is it?

    How can I come to really know God?

    What does it mean to submit to God?


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