Finding Your Calling

      What is God’s dream or vision for your life? Most people settle for a job rather than embrace a calling.  In the Scriptures, we read about Nehemiah who held an important position as cup bearer to the King of Persia.  He had a significant job, but as he listened to a report from Jerusalem describing the broken-down walls of the city, he began to discover his calling, his special assignment from God; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.  There are general callings for every Christian, love God, love others, make disciples of all nations, but there is a unique, special way that those general purposes converge in each of our lives to give us a specific calling.  The Apostle Paul says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).  How did Nehemiah determine his call?  How do we?
      In Nehemiah chapters 1 & 2, we are given some guidance about discerning a calling.  Nehemiah 1:4 says, “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.”   When we read these chapters, we see some important principles.  First, Listen and Look. Nehemiah listened to his brother describe an urgent need for the Jewish people.  Nehemiah began to ponder whether he could help.  After listening, Nehemiah looked at his reaction.  He literally wept over a city that he had never personally lived in.  Nehemiah found within himself a passion for this problem.  Realistically we cannot care about everything.  Our passion and emotional energy is limited, some will invest themselves in helping the homeless, others fostering children, and others feeding the hungry, but you cannot do it all.  When discerning your calling, ask what is your passion? Nehemiah also stopped to look at his gifting.  Nehemiah’s dominant gift (spiritual enablement) was leadership.  The Jews needed a strong leader to motivate and move them to success.  What are your God given gifts?  A person with the gifts of helps and mercy might have a profound impact as a caregiver in a nursing home. In contrast, a person gifted in administration would find that important job exhausting.  Find the vocation that allows you to spend a great deal of time in the sweet spot of your giftedness. 
      Second,  Nehemiah spent time in prayer.  When you study the first two chapters of Nehemiah, it appears that he spent months in prayer before he finally approached the king with his request.  It is in our times of prayer that the Holy Spirit gives us specific direction. The Holy Spirit can help us determine our best vocational outlet.   When I was about to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration at Taylor University and visiting law schools, it was in the quiet of the prayer chapel on campus that I grudgingly responded to God’s call to enter the ministry.  Jesus wrecked my plans but gave me a life and career that I adore.   Determine how Jesus would live your life if he had your passion, gifts, and resources, and do that!  Once you determine your calling for this season of life go confidently and start that business, or adopt that child or begin to volunteer at your church.  Live life on purpose.

Pastor Derek Dickinson
Journey Christian Church