Saturday, September 24, 2011

Why Your Calling From God Matters

Photo Credit: reegmo
From Ruth Haley Barton on "calling":
"In our day it may seem almost archaic to talk about the idea of calling. Tilden Edwards wisely observes, "Calling is a much abused word today. In the church it can be little more than a pious euphemism for doing what we feel like doing. Such abuse is brought to celebration in the secular culture, when doing what we feel like doing, attained by any way we feel like doing it, seems often to be what lies behind 'career development.'

However, the biblical idea of calling is not easily dismissed. Its meaning is richly layered. In its simplest and most straightforward meaning, the verb to call refers to the capacity living creatures have to call out to one another, to stay connected, to communicate something of importance. Even at this most basic level the dynamic of calling is profound, because it reminds us that calling is first of all highly relational: it has to do with one being (God) reaching out and establishing connection with another (us). It is an interpersonal connection and communication that is initiated by God and thus demands our attention and our response even as a basic courtesy.

In the Old Testament, the idea of calling goes beyond this most basic meaning to include the idea of naming something into being. In his book The Call, Os Guinness writes, "Such decisive, creative naming is a form of making...Calling is not only a matter of being and doing what we are but also of becoming what we are not yet but are called by God to be."

In the New Testament, the idea of calling is almost synonymous with salvation and the life of faith itself. We are saved from being who we are not and called to be who we are. God calls us first and foremost to belong to him, but our secondary calling is to answer God's personal address to us. It is to say yes to his summons to serve him in a particular way to a particular point in history. To say yes to our calling is one more step in the journey of faith which involves a glad, joyful self-surrender. It is living in the awareness that the most wonderful thing in the world is to be completely given over to a loving God."
Have you said "yes" to God's call on your life?

(Quote taken from Ruth Haley Barton's book, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry)

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