Called By God: Knowing More About Our Roles In This Life

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Published by Kenneth Garcia


Co-Founder of Biblekeeper, Author & Theologian

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Being called by God is a profound and transformative experience that holds deep spiritual significance for many individuals. Throughout history, countless people have claimed to have received God’s calling, often leading to significant changes in their lives and the lives of those around them.

God called the entire nation of Israel to be “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6). God’s calling is believed to be unique to each person, tailor-made for their skills, talents, and circumstances.

As God’s people, we are called to be part of the salvation of humanity. Those who respond to the call to follow Christ Jesus and participate in His plan to save the world often experience a profound transformation in their lives.

Key Takeaways

  • Being called by God historically transforms lives and communities, shaping individual purpose within His plan for salvation.
  • Divine calling, from Old to New Testament, signifies a personalized naming and creation by God, equating to salvation and invitation to follow Christ.
  • Manifesting as inner conviction, God’s call brings joy and fulfillment, emphasizing identity alignment and service in His name.

What Does It Mean To Be Called By God?

In the Old Testament, divine calling has a significant connotation. To call is to name, and to name is to bring about or create. According to the first chapter of Genesis, “God called the light, day; the darkness, night.”

Furthermore, God called, constituted, and created Israel to be his people in the Old Testament. In Exodus 4:22, he called Israel his own “firstborn son.” Being called by God means developing into the person God has called us to be.

The New Testament gives calling a new, distinct significance. It serves as a synonym for salvation. In this sense, God’s calling signifies drawing people, as followers of his son, Christ Jesus, to himself. Jesus, as the High Priest, called his disciples the same way God called Israel to be his people.

Hence, we can assume that when Jesus called his Apostles, he was doing so within the context of God’s established relationship with his people. Today, we are called to follow Jesus in the same way.

The Greek word ecclesia, which means “gathering of those summoned,” is the collective body of Jesus’ disciples in the New Testament. It is also the Greek word for “church.” To be called by God is therefore to be part of his plan for the redemption of humanity. Salvation is the result of God’s calling. God calls us, his people, to be justified and exalted.

The most visible and approachable of these four divine endeavors is our calling. It should be no surprise that it refers to redemption itself, and followers of Christ Jesus have been referred to as “followers of the Way” [1] after his resurrection, as written in the New Testament.

On a windswept cliff overlooking the turbulent sea, a solitary figure stands, gazing out into the horizon with a sense of purpose and determination.

What Is A Calling From God?

A calling from God often starts with an inner conviction or a deep-rooted passion for a particular cause or activity. It is a persistent feeling that tugs at one’s heart, urging them to pursue a specific purpose. This inner conviction, fueled by God’s summons, is marked by a sense of joy, fulfillment, and alignment with one’s values and beliefs.

Furthermore, there are two types of calling according to the doctrine of vocation: primary calling and secondary calling. There is a critical distinction between our primary calling and our secondary calling.

Our primary calling is a calling from God and defines who we are at our core. It encompasses our passions, values, and innate talents. On the other hand, our secondary calling revolves around the various roles we play in life, such as being a parent, a professional, a friend, or a community member.

While our secondary callings are important, our primary calling matters the most. Both primary and secondary callings are interconnected. In other words, our secondary calling is what we do to fulfill our primary calling. This is our personal answer to God’s address. Hence, the right job will give us the opportunity to make a positive difference in the world.

God invites people to follow Him, and this invitation should not be taken for granted. There is only one suitable reaction to His awe-inspiring presence and His summons, which are as comprehensive and all-encompassing as the caller’s authority, and that is to follow God and honor his teachings.

On the other hand, identifying our secondary calling involves recognizing the roles we play and the contributions we make outside of our primary calling. We are thus called to assess our commitments, relationships, and activities to understand how they align with our core values and purpose.

What Are The 2 Types Of God’s Calling?

No matter who we are, God’s calling will always promote love, compassion, and empathy, encouraging us to make a positive impact on the lives of others. A divine calling will thus have a broader impact beyond personal gains, creating a ripple effect of goodness. There are two important types of God’s calling: being called to sanctification and being called to service.

Called To Sanctification

As we learn in the Old Testament, God first reaches out to build a connection with us by providing salvation through Christ, as sin has put a barrier between Him and us. Then, after the Lord has made us right with Him, He calls us to sanctification so that we may live forever with him. This means that God has distinguished us for His purposes.

Even though this is a divine deed that starts at the time of salvation and lasts until our bodily death, it also necessitates our cooperation. Our development into something more like Christ will be hampered if we decide not to work together with the Lord in this process.

Called To Service

He uses us, his people, to further advance His kingdom in the world. Each of us has been endowed with responsibilities that He wants us to complete; we have a responsibility to find the work God has designed us to do in his name. In doing so, we can take part in a Christian organization or outreaches, so we are not alone.

In a remote village nestled among lush mountains, a humble shepherd tends to his flock under the vast expanse of the starry night sky.

How Do You Know If You’ve Been Called By God?

We may ask, “What is God calling me to do?” Everyone has their own faith and journey because God deals with each of us individually. As a result, how you experience being called to the ministry may be distinct from that of others. But there is always a plan created specifically for the people God speaks to.

Being Blessed With Gifts From The Holy Spirit

You will experience the manifestation of heavenly gifts when you are called to the ministry. The blessings will flow to you naturally and effortlessly. You might not always be aware that you are moving with grace because it comes naturally to you, but others will.

Being More Zealous For God And His Work

If you have a hunger for the things of God—a hunger that ordinary Christians do not have—you will know that you are called. In essence, it involves more for you than just going to church. You are prepared to give up everything to know the Lord God better and serve Him.

Through God’s Word

God calls His people in various ways. Some people discover their calling through prophecy or confirmation. You might obtain information orally or in other ways. But occasionally, God will use the Bible to convict you and show you His plans. A passage can catch your eye, and you might sense it is an indication.

You will carry the imprint of God’s calling for the rest of your life. Up until the point when you answer the call, you will always be guilty of it. You cannot be at ease if you ignore it. Conversely, everything will fall into place if you accept it. Fulfilling it will always bring you delight, contentment, and tranquility.

Persistent In One’s Thoughts

Similar to a song or object that keeps playing in your head. Now and then, God’s stubborn voice will rise and get louder. The thought will just come to you, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Most likely, you continue to ignore the call. However, God is so patient that He will keep providing you with call-in options until you genuinely sense your desire.

Built For The Ministry

You were meant for the ministry before you were even born. Therefore, if you heard the call, this is your destiny. You will be given the qualities needed to answer that call right away. If you are called to be a pastor, for example, you will naturally be able to lead and care for those around you.

You might also have a gift for using God’s word to uplift people. However, if you are called to be a missionary, you will always be considering how you can win souls for our Lord Jesus Christ. Or, if God prepared you to teach Sunday school, you probably possess the charm that endears you to children.

Called To Serve Others

You must spend your life as His servant if God calls you. You are intended to serve Him ultimately with all that you have, including your time, money, and abilities. Since you cannot physically serve God, you must instead serve His church and the people in your immediate vicinity. This is what we refer to as ministry. As Paul wrote to the followers of Christ in the little town of Colosse, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”

When you receive God’s gifts and answer God’s call, you develop into a servant leader. Your priorities were the needs of the congregation and the individuals. Furthermore, where you will be placed or with whom you will work makes no difference. As you serve the Lord, you must do so with excellence, joy, and passion. You are maintaining calm despite difficulties.

You should be prepared for practical concerns, persecution, and other challenges from following God’s call. Even yet, while you carry on with your ministry job, there is joy and tranquility. One indication that God is with you is peace.

One sign that God is calling you is when you continue to trust Him in the face of hardships and feel that indescribable calm. You will not be moved as long as you continue to do as God commands and put your faith in His protection and provision.

Receiving Support From Others

The affirmation of your calling by those around you indicates that you are on God’s agenda. You might receive encouragement from someone who knows you well, such as a good friend, parent, or spiritual guide, to follow what you sense to be God’s call. They probably think you are the right person for that mission since they can tell you are qualified. Just as you were chosen to be one hope when you were called, there is one body and one Spirit.

For instance, you might have mentioned to a close friend that you believe God is calling you to serve him. They can answer by saying that they have always known you to be a capable servant of God. They would undoubtedly promise you their support as you move on as well. An affirmation can be God’s method of boosting your confidence.

Deep in the heart of the rainforest, a missionary stands amidst towering trees, his hands outstretched in a gesture of peace and compassion.

4 Ways To Know If You’ve Been Called By God

1. Motivation

Psalm 37:4 states, “Take great delight in the Lord, and He will grant you the wants of your heart.” Often, we interpret this verse to suggest that God will grant our requests. While this is true to some extent, it truly means that God will provide you with your heart’s true wishes.

Therefore, God instilled in us the desire to share the gospel, encourage others, and lend a hand to those in need. Paul wrote, “I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:16). Often, a simple desire to do more for His Kingdom is the inspiration for entering the ministry.

It may have begun as a passing notion, but it keeps expanding. You know you have the proper motivation when nothing can compare to your exhilaration. You have a reasonable basis for exalting and glorifying Him rather than furthering your interests.

2. Communication

Following the initial spark of desire, God starts to talk to you. While some people will hear God’s voice directly, most will experience His presence in more subdued ways. This can take the form of a dream, a prophecy, an impact on your heart, or growing knowledge. Being called by God entails being selected by God for particular purposes. People begin to fulfill God’s purpose for them when they recognize that call and submit to it.

This expanding understanding serves as motivation for us to continue looking for new information. When you feel God speaking to you, press in and pay attention because, as Proverbs 25:2 tells us, “It is the honor of God to conceal a matter; to seek out a topic is the glory of kings.”

3. Confirmation

You will not be lost if God calls you to something. He’ll confirm it for you. Others will notice and validate your calling if God has called you. Your parents, family, and pastor—people who follow God and observe you in action—will notice the gifts and confirm that God might be calling you.

4. Isolation

If God is calling you, He is likely purging, pruning, and preparing you. When God purges, He often removes key relationships from your life. God cleanses old mindsets and refines strengths and weaknesses. In the pruning, He cuts away anything that could be detrimental to the mission and prepares you to be a living testimony of His goodness.

This is a moment to celebrate being with your Heavenly Father, and it is the best place to be. You become God’s servant when you agree to His will. If you notice any of these indicators in your life, you will move on to the next stage, preparation. In other words, act after learning.

Preparation is prudent. It still took the Apostle Paul several years before his mission started, even after he was stopped in his tracks by Jesus Christ. Therefore, continue to pray fervently and take the necessary precautions to set yourself up for a fruitful task that will exalt our Heavenly Father.

God created us because he loves us. Hence, we should not lose confidence in preparing ourselves to fulfill his purpose and live a life worthy of his blessings, just as Jesus called ordinary people to advance God’s kingdom.

A devout man kneels in the dimly lit chapel, his hands clasped in prayer, his eyes closed in reverence.

Closing Thoughts

Long story short, a calling from God is a profound invitation to lead a purposeful life, guided by spiritual values and the desire to make a positive impact on the world. There is a reasonable probability that your current difficulties are God’s method of preparing you for your calling and for even more amazing things, even though you may not realize it now.

Understanding God’s purpose is the key to living a more meaningful life. You will start to understand why you were made if you surrender your eternal life to God. All the details of your life will begin to make sense as the Lord reveals your destiny. Your life is just getting started, and things will only get better.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does God call us?

God calls us through various means, including intuition, signs, religious teachings, and spiritual guidance. Each person’s experience of this call is unique, reflecting God’s diverse methods of communication tailored to individual journeys.

How do you fulfill God’s calling?

Fulfilling God’s calling involves aligning actions with divine guidance through prayer, reflection, and service. It requires embodying values of integrity and compassion while embracing challenges and opportunities for spiritual growth.

When God calls us by name?

God calls us by name in moments of divine intervention or spiritual awakening, often during prayer, meditation, or profound experiences of synchronicity, signaling a deeper purpose at play in our lives.

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