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Are You Actually Being Called?
- May 09, 2017
- Houston Clark
We should be more concerned with loving the people in our lives this very instant than trying to discern where and towards what God is calling us.
When one of your Christian friends say that “God told me to…” or “I feel that God’s leading me to…” the question that we’re all wondering, but afraid to ask is: how do you know God told you to, or how can you be sure that God’s leading you here or there? Some logical responses include: “I just feel it,” which to the listener seems lame and a cover up for sure, but to the messenger seems enough and an easy way to assure yourself beyond a reasonable doubt that God is in fact causing the “quickening” in your heart. Is God’s “call” even something that we, mere humans, can detect? If so, how do we interpret God’s “calling?”
Maybe it’s just my little world, but it seems a lot of “call” rhetoric is a cop out for something. I’m not entirely sure what it’s a cop out for, but I’m fairly certain it’s a cover up. I 100% believe God calls his people, but it’s how he goes about doing that calling that I think’s misunderstood. For example, God’s calling of Moses’ in Genesis 12 was as clear as ice; “…So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egpyt” (Genesis 3:10). I’m not sure if God still audibly speaks to His people. I think He certainly could. Moses’ wants, dreams, desires, gifts, and talents are not considered. In fact, as you probably know, Moses tells God in Genesis 4:10, “I am slow of speech and tongue.” So, God sends his brother, Aaron. In this case, God acts more as a commander rallying soldiers than he does life coach walking you through your strengths finder results.
Not being called to a specific profession does not mean God doesn’t care about what you do. Here’s what I’m clear about: we’re called to love God and love our neighbor. Mark 12:30-31 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” It’s fair to say this love Jesus tells us to have for God should be our highest love. Despite marriage/romantic love being held in such high regard today, it’s a stretch to even flirt with pledging this kind of love to your spouse. It’s just out of touch. I think we should be more concerned with loving the people in our lives this very instant than trying to discern where and towards what God is calling us. He’s calling you to right now love your coworker, your spouse, your waitress, etc. As Rod Dreher writes in The Benedict Option, “Whether [you are] called to the monastery or to the world, to family or to the single life, to manual labor or to a desk job, to stay at home or to travel the world, she must strive to her utmost to be like Jesus” (75).
I’ll close with this quote from C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity:
“I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc. is up to standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.”
If bowling a strike is our telos, or our ultimate goal/end, then perhaps that quote is best used as a bumper of sorts guiding our giving in its various forms towards Christlikeness. I fear that encouraging “more giving, more etc.” ignores the truth that Christ calls us as we are and that there’s nothing we can do to increase or decrease God’s love for us; however, I do think the way of life for the Christian is not as glamorous as we expect it to be.