(Re-posted from 10/16/12)
Some may still believe that the “call of God” is for those select few who have a ‘higher’ purpose than others: to be ‘in ministry,’ or to be ‘a pastor,’ or to serve in ‘fulltime Christian service’ as though there is any other way to live for Jesus.
Fortunately, one of the primary messages of God’s movement in simple/organic churches is the truth, and practical outworking, that all are equally called and gifted for the purposes God shaped each for.
However, just because we leave traditional church structures, it does not automatically follow that people will discover and move more deliberately in their calling or destiny.
First of all, calling and destiny in Christ are for the sake of the kingdom. It’s not enough just to seek personal fulfillment and ‘doing what I’m made to do’ as though that is the end goal. Yes, God has shaped us uniquely, but those special abilities, personalities, and gifts that we have been given are designed to be used in allegiance to Jesus and his kingdom purposes. I don’t mean that we use them separate from the world. No, we are meant to use them in the world and in all places where we live and interact. But ultimately, as we submit our total self to God, we expect to see our uniqueness used in a way that reveals the Kingdom of God in word and/or deed and ultimately leads to disciples being made—people growing in their ability listen to and follow the voice of Jesus.
Secondly, our calling and destiny is often shaped most clearly by pain and difficulties. This is something that is often resisted. While we may follow the vision of another for a season, as we grow into our own uniqueness, a deeper, more personal calling always comes out of the brokenness that we walk through. Oswald Chambers put it this way:
We take our own spiritual consecration and try to make it into a call of God, but when we get right with Him He brushes all this aside. Then He gives us a tremendous, riveting pain to fasten our attention on something that we never even dreamed could be His call for us. And for one radiant, flashing moment we see His purpose, and we say, “Here am I! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8).
Finally, our calling and destiny do not simply appear as we plow helter-skelter through life. Rather, it becomes clearest as we find ourselves present to God Himself. This is one of the benefits of getting our eyes off of ‘the church organization,’ or ‘the church leadership’ and onto Jesus. As Leanne Payne says:
Saints of all ages have made it their business to be present to God, and out of this has sprung their truest vocation. They become, therefore, the ones who blaze spiritual trails for others.
Perhaps my deepest cry is that the church, as fragmented and unfocused as it sometimes is, will somehow come forth and give birth to an entire generation of trailblazers who are so present to God and to their true calling/destiny in Him, that their imprint on the world is the unmistakable imprint of Jesus himself.