#958 – Called



I really love the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movies are great but I also appreciate the journeys each of the heroes has to take.

Iron Man has to see there’s more to life than himself.

Thor has to learn what it means to be humble.

Captain America has to learn how to lead.

The Guardians of the Galaxy have to learn to work together as a team.

Each hero learns something along their journey, ultimately fulfilling their purpose of saving the day. I don’t know if they all felt called to be super heroes, but they definitely had a larger purpose to fill.

Like our favorite super heroes, we all definitely have a purpose in life. More than a purpose, though, we have a calling. There is something to which God is calling us, a role he wants us to fill for his kingdom purposes.

Samuel was called.

Isaiah was called.

Jeremiah was called.

We’re called.

Ephesians 2 tells us that we are God’s workmanship and he created us for specific works and tasks. Our callings are all different. Some are called to the mission field, some are called to Madison Avenue, some are called to the classroom and some are called to the family room.

If we know that God has called us then we have no choice but to listen and respond. Anything less than responding to God’s call on our lives would be disobedience.

I feel this all the time as a pastor. I know that God has called me to be a pastor. I knew it when I first felt called at 15-years-old and I know it now, seven years into my first full-time pastoral position. And on days when I’m tempted to leave pastoral ministry and do something else, I know I can’t, at least not right now. God has called me to be a pastor and, if I left right now, I would be sinning.

Being called by God is great but it can also be frustrating. At times a calling can feel like a straightjacket; we want to do something else but God has other plans. We can try to run away from our calling, but we saw how that worked out for Jonah. Instead we should accept our calling and allow God to use us as he sees fit.

He might not use us to defeat the Chitauri, but he’ll still use us to do his amazing work in this world.

What call has God placed on your life? How have you responded to your calling?


7 comments on “#958 – Called”

  1. Ha! I was reading too quickly and initially thought you’d written, “Captain America has to learn how to read”!

    I’m a little worried to hear you say, “If I left right now, I’d be sinning.” That may or may not be true, I can’t presume to know; but it suggests a very tight equation between vocation and occupation. They are not entirely separable, and we shouldn’t do work that contradicts our calling to love and serve God and neighbor; but they don’t and can’t always correspond 1:1, either. I think this is maybe what Luther was trying to get at when he said a cobbler could cobble shoes to the glory of God, and that work was no less holy than a priest’s.

    There is freedom, I think, in believing that God’s calling can embrace but is also bigger than whatever we happen to be doing to earn money. Hope I am making sense. Thanks for a thought-provoking post!

    1. I totally agree. Calling definitely isn’t about vocation; it can be but it doesn’t have to be. For me at this point my calling does happen to involve my vocation. I would never presume to tell another person that he or she is sinning by denying his or her calling. I am very comfortable saying that about myself because the call to be a pastor is so evident in my life.

      Thanks for helping make my point more clearly.

      1. I was honestly just worried you were perhaps experiencing a crisis of conscience. Having been there myself, I didn’t want to keep quiet! From all the evidence available to me, it does indeed seem like you are where God wants you to be right now, doing what God wants you to do. Continued blessings in it!

      2. Awesome. Thanks for your concern. The more I try to surrender my life to God I find myself in fewer crises. Right now I’m called to be a youth pastor in Rancho Cucamonga but I know God might call us someplace else. And if he does, Alycia and I know we have no choice but to go; there’s comfort in that kind of surrender. Maybe he’ll even call us to Pennsylvania.

    1. Thanks for following! I love your dog. And yes, humanity is what really drives most of our favorite nerdclinations. If there weren’t a human element in science fiction and fantasy we wouldn’t like it nearly as much.

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