Have I missed my calling?
Today is a day of ‘revelation’ for me! This is not a revelation which will be new to everyone; at some point in their journey with God others have come to this revelation as well. But at this given time, it is a revelation for me and one which I wish to pass on in hope that it helps you in your relationship and journey with God.
Over the past few years several significant changes have occurred in my life and I have been on a journey of following Jesus through uncharted territory. I have always known with confidence that God is surrounding me with His guidance and that His ways are best but at times I have felt as though I have been searching for Him, for what is next, for my life purpose, for my ‘calling’ like I would search for ‘a needle in a hay stack’. Yet I know that this is not what God intends or how He wants it to be.
‘This is what the Lord says – your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.’ (Isaiah 48:17)
Our Father God has the desire that we find Him and the way we should go. He wants to help us. He does not want to make it difficult or impossible. He wants for us to be on the right path and He wants to show us this as Psalm 25 verse 4 says: “Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow.”
So, how do we know when we are on the right path, that we are following Him, that we are fulfilling His plans and purposes, that we haven’t missed an instruction or a change of direction,
that we haven’t missed our calling?
“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee,
he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said… ‘ (Matthew 4:18-19)
Peter was doing life, he was being a fisherman, when unexpectedly Jesus turns up and extends an invitation to Peter. At this stage Peter recognised Jesus as a Rabbi, a teacher worth following. He left the security of his trade and his family. He became a pupil of the teacher, taking the opportunity extended to him to be with the Rabbi and to learn from him.
Peter didn’t fully understand who Jesus was; he didn’t know where they were going or what the future held. There must have been something about Peter’s life and something about Jesus and the invitation he extended to cause Peter to take this courageous step.
As Peter continued to follow Jesus, learning from Him, being His disciple, he came to recognise who he was following
‘But what about you?’ he (Jesus) asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’
Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ (Matthew 16:15-16)
In response to this Jesus hints at the calling Peter would later receive:
‘Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.’ (Matthew 16:17-18)
Along this journey Peter, just like us, has much to learn. Through questions, conversations, opportunities, experiences and being in relationship with Jesus, little by little Peter grows in knowledge, understanding and character. He has times of putting into practice what he is being taught such as miraculously healing people or casting out demons. He also has some wonderfully exciting times such as the invitation to walk on water; he also learns how much he needs to depend upon Jesus!
Peter’s commitment was also put to the test; Peter denied being a follower of Jesus (Matthew 26:69-75). This is the point at which Peter becomes a broken man, realising perhaps for the first time whom he is really following and recognising his own weaknesses and shame.
Peter is later invited by Jesus and given the opportunity to declare his love for his Lord. During this conversation Peter receives his specific calling to feed and take care of Jesus’ lambs and sheep (John 21); the Lord’s flock which comes together in community in the church.
There were two occasions when Peter was called by Jesus: once to leave his nets and follow thus entering into a relationship of discipleship, secondly when Jesus speaks Peter’s specific calling.
Between these two invitations an incredible relationship and journey has taken place, one where Peter has learnt how to walk with Jesus Christ in surrender, sacrifice, love, faith, trust, obedience, and commitment.
As Christ-followers the invitation to ‘leave our nets’ has been extended to us; we leave behind our independent, self-centred life and entered into a relationship with Jesus where He is our Sovereign Lord and Saviour. We have the opportunity to learn His ways and walk with Him.
At some point He may choose to extend an invitation of a specific calling, this is at his request and within His authority. It is not for us to seek after and there is nothing we can do to receive one.
If He wants us He will speak.
If a specific calling is not extended to us then we are
still to journey with Him in loving and faithful obedience.
We are to walk the path of surrender, sacrifice and commitment.
We ask Him to teach us what is best and to direct us in the way we should go in our day to day lives,
wherever and whatever those look like - church, family, ministry commitments, employment,
being involved in our community, volunteering...
When we realise that we are to get on with life, that He will guide us and helps us,
it brings a freedom to stop searching or worrying, we can release ourselves from this pressure and
enjoy being with Jesus on this journey of discipleship.
(Writiten by Alison Green. Posted April 2016.)