I quit my job a year ago. I was in a desperate place. I knew I was doing the wrong thing about three years ago but I still couldn’t stop.
Achievement had always been a drug for me. Maybe it’s because I was a middle child and would do anything for recognition.
I always wanted to achieve something.
I graduated on time. I was so proud of myself. I never accepted any help from anyone. I went into banking and I threw myself into work. Every time I reached a goal, it was like a drug. There was a sense of euphoria every time I completed a project.
I wanted to prove that I could succeed.
I think I felt entitled to success because I’m smart and I’m good at stuff and I work hard.
Maybe ‘entitled’ isn’t the right word, but I just thought things would happen for me.
And they did.
But my version of success wasn’t in line with God’s version of success.
After going over and over it in my head, sometimes I genuinely believe the only reason I ‘got’ my career was because I pleaded and prayed so hard for God to give it to me. So he did. He wanted to make me happy. But the only thing is that he knew he had better things in store for me.
This revelation has encouraged me to write about the difference between a career and a calling, to help those who are struggling on this path.
Discovering your calling involves listening very carefully. If you close your ears and pursue something you’re neither called nor equipped to do, you’ll end up living with anxiety that whispers, ‘You’re trying to do something God didn’t tell you to do.’
The courage to acknowledge what you are not brings great freedom; the lack of it imprisons you.
A career is something you choose; a calling is something you receive.
A career is something you do for yourself; a calling is something you do for God.
A career promises status, money, and power; a calling generally promises difficulty, suffering, and the opportunity to be used by God.
A career may end with retirement; a calling doesn’t end until you die.
A career can be disrupted by any number of events, but God enables you to fulfil your calling even in the most difficult circumstances.
For some people in the Scripture obeying the call of God meant living in slavery, being captured and sent into exile, or being put to death. Their career trajectories didn’t look promising, yet they fulfilled their calling in extraordinary ways.
You cannot choose your calling; you must let your life speak. Perhaps you were created to learn, and in so doing to benefit others. If you are, you’ll find yourself drawn to reading, reflecting, writing, and teaching. However, if you’re convinced (or allow others to convince you) that you must be a corporate success in order for your life to count, you’ll always be going against the grain of your life. Instead, learn to ride the horse in the direction it’s going.
You didn’t arrive on this planet with your calling pre-clarified and your gifts pre-developed. Discerning God’s calling usually involves attempts and failures.
He called Samuel four times before he recognised the divine voice. Before Peter walked on the water he said, ‘“Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And [Jesus] said, “Come”’ (Matthew 14:28-29).
Here’s a lesson we can learn from this: We are not in charge of water-walking, Jesus is!
Sometimes we view the call of God on our lives through rose-coloured glasses. But hearing His call isn’t the same thing as falling into your dream career.
When God called Jeremiah to preach to a people who refused to listen, he cried so much he became known as ‘the weeping prophet’. Our first response to a God-sized assignment is generally – fear.
Some people say, “God will never ask me to do something I can’t do.” I’ve come to the place in my life that if the assignment I sense God giving me is something I know I can’t handle, I know it’s probably not from God.
The kind of assignments God gives in the Bible are always God-sized. They’re beyond what people can do, because He wants to demonstrate His nature, His strength and His kindness to a watching world.
Saying yes to God’s call often means putting in hours of effort when you’d rather not.
And it doesn’t always reward you with the kind of recognition you’d hoped for.
People may disapprove of what you’re doing and try to block you. Yes, it’ll involve trial and error and some false starts. And natural talent alone isn’t enough to honour your calling; you’ll need ideas, strength, and creativity beyond your own resources to do what God requires of you.
Paul says, ‘We are labourers together with God’ (1 Corinthians 3:9 KJV), because in order to succeed it has to be God and you doing it together. He doesn’t just call you to work for Him; He calls you to work with Him!
So whatever God has called you to do, the Bible says, ‘Give yourselves fully to the work because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.
May this message touch someone 🙂
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