Living Up To The Call On Your Life
Articles - Christian Growth
by Lyn Packer
Finding the call of God on our life and living up to it – that's something that I've heard about my whole Christian walk. We are taught early on in our Christian walk to find out what the 'will of God is for our life', to find what we're 'called to', and over the last forty or fifty years, particularly, there has been an emphasis on moving in the gifts of the Spirit in relation to this. Healing the sick, prophesying, being a worship leader, a pastor, or an itinerant minister are deemed by many to be the call of God on their life. But unfortunately this has brought the Body of Christ under immense pressure to perform. These gifts are not bad, they're great, but I believe we've once again put the cart before the horse.
We've focused on the gifts, and doing the will of God through them, as if they were our life's sole purpose and reason for being alive. Yes scripture does say that we should earnestly desire the gifts. (1 Cor 14:1) Why? Because they have a purpose in our lives - they enable us to release heaven into earth and set people free. But even in that verse we must remember that it follows the chapter before, and that chapter gives it its context. And in this is a clue to the true call on our lives. In my Bible that chapter is called 'The way of love'.
For myself, and many others that I know, the gifts have been both a focus and a pressure for many years. I have pursued them, believing that through them I was fulfilling the call of God on my life, but over the last few years the Lord has shifted my focus slightly and showed me some things that have had huge ramifications in my beliefs and the outworking of those beliefs in my Christian walk. I have come to believe that moving in the gifts, spiritual ones or our natural ones, is not the true call on our lives! By all means we should desire the gifts and develop in their use, but let's put them in their rightful place.
Is your calling to heal the sick, raise the dead, or release the mysteries of heaven into the earth? Is it to be a great songwriter, a singer that moves the hearts of men, or an evangelist that gets many saved? May I suggest that it is none of these; these gifts are just tools you are given to use in the assignments you have been given. The gifts are good, and we need to have them restored to the Body of Christ, but they were never the end point or the main focus for the Lord.
To become, not to do
I've come to believe that the call on our lives is far different from doing something for the Lord, and from just using the gifts we've been given. The calling on our life is to become something, not to do something. And in the becoming, the doing will happen; it will flow out of what we become. It cannot help but do so.
I believe we are called to be loved and to become love. In being loved, to be transformed into the image of Christ, to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, to go from one degree of glory to another, all to one end - that we become love!
We were made in the image of God. God is love. God and Christ are one; therefore Christ is love. We are in Him and He is in us, so what are we becoming? Love!
If the call on our lives is to become love, how is it achieved? I don't believe it's achieved by our trying to have love, or by asking "What would love do in this situation?" or "What does love look like here"? We become love by letting the One who is love, love us, letting love transform us, and learning what love looks like by His example to us, not just by trying to think it through or understanding it as a concept.
God is love! Love is who He is and it's what He's about. Loving people. Yet a lot of the Church live under a fear of not being found good enough because they don't move in the gift of healing enough, evangelise enough, get out on the streets enough, have enough testimonies of the lives they've touched, etc.
Deal to that fear
Let's deal to that fear. Perfect love casts out fear, and it does so when we experience Papa's and Christ's ceaseless, never ending, transforming love for us, when we let their love work in us and through us, and when we are transformed into their image by that love. We need to let their love cast out all fear of not being good enough or doing enough, and in letting love do its work in us we are freed to be who we are, our authentic selves - much-loved sons and daughters of God.
In becoming love we will automatically reach out to those around us, using the gifts as and when they're needed to do a job, but no longer living under the pressure to perform or to use them a certain amount to prove ourselves as worthy or as good Christians living in the perfect will of God.
Take the pressure off; let it slide off right now. You do not have to prove you are a good Christian by doing a certain amount of anything, including using the gifts. You are set free to be loved and by allowing yourself to be loved you'll be transformed, you'll be made more and more into the image of God until love becomes your core nature, and loving, which includes setting people free and releasing heaven, becomes your natural lifestyle.