Three decades ago as I watched Pat Robertson on the 700 club The Lord touched my heart. I joined brother Robertson in prayer and something broke in my heart. The yoke of rebellion that had held me bound was broken and I was set free. In spite of the issues I brought with me from the world, there was something very clear in my heart: I knew I was called to preach the gospel. It was as clear to me as daylight. Deep within me there was something which pulled me in the direction of ministry. At that time I was in the university but all I wanted to do was take the gospel to the world. Nothing else mattered to me. What I experienced was the stirring of a calling. While I didn’t fully comprehend the ramifications of the stirring in my heart, I prayed and asked The Lord to guide me to do His will.
A calling is what you have been assigned to do and accomplish for Christ in the kingdom. Every believer has a calling. When you accepted Jesus into your heart, you were not only delivered from darkness and translated into the kingdom of light, you were also brought into alignment with your calling. This assignment or calling is what you should focus on and pursue for the rest of your life. Your assignment can be in any area of life. It may be in business, politics, government, writing, arts, science, church, etc. Although it may involve making money but your assignment is not primarily about making money. You may be called to innovate, to invent, to birth new ideas, to create unique services and products in business. This will attract riches into your life. You must understand that everything in your life serves a purpose to please The Lord. The riches you attract in business are not just for you to live like royalty but to further the cause of Christ; for you to use to deepen and extend the reach, power and influence of the kingdom.
For many years I was deceived by preachers who laid so much emphasis on the acquisition and accumulation of money and material things. I thought my Christian journey was about getting as much money as I could, just like the heathen who do not know God. Motivational preachers told me that the purpose of my life was ‘to make it’ and that meant to become rich. These preachers turned my focus and energy to earthly things, things which had no eternal value. These preachers are still around; boasting about having the ‘largest auditoriums in Africa’, talking about how many thousands of people attend their meetings and how rich and powerful they are in society. These men and women are deceivers who clothe themselves in religious garb. Thankfully The Lord delivered me from this doctrine of demons.
Your calling has nothing to do with ‘getting rich.’ Money is a reward for the value we bring to the market place. Anybody can make money. In fact the richest people on the planet are sinners because they are ready to do absolutely anything to acquire money, including killing and destroying the lives of the people who stand in the way of their ambition. These men and women may look nice on the outside but they are cold blooded and totally ruthless when it comes to making money. A believer should not be like these people. Our focus should be to follow Jesus wherever He leads and to do His will. Money should not be the motivating factor or force in our lives.
I have come to understand that no matter how much money I make, no matter how much real estate I acquire, no matter how famous I become, if I don’t discover, pursue and fulfil God’s calling on my life, it would all have been a complete waste of my life.
God called you before you were born to accomplish a particular purpose on the earth. He told Jeremiah that He knew him before the young prophet was conceived in his mother’s womb.
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
Paul said he was separated in his mother’s womb to preach the gospel.
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
It is interesting that both Jeremiah and Paul had to discover their calling even though they were already separated to their calling before they were born.
In the book of Acts, Saul was going to Damascus to persecute Christians. The Lord Jesus himself appeared to him and gave him his assignment.
But rise, and stand upon thy feet:for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:
Saul had a supernatural and dramatic experience which changed his life. The Lord told him exactly what he was supposed to do with his life. From that moment onwards, Paul’s life was about obeying that heavenly vision. Before then Paul was busy persecuting and killing Christians. His life was a big waste. God didn’t send him to do what he was doing. He was driven by blind zeal and many times zeal without knowledge will lead us astray. Very few people would have such a dramatic experience with The Lord where He reveals their calling in life. The rest of us will have to take our time to discover it by the help of the Holy Spirit.
How do you discover what you have been called to do with your life?
The only person who knows what you have been called to do with your life is The Lord Jesus Christ. It is to Him we should go and ask what he wants us to pursue and accomplish in the kingdom. Many of us are too lazy to pray and ask The Lord questions. We want to go with the flow and so whatever comes to us naturally as long as we can make money from it. However making money in a particular venture is not a sign that The Lord has called us to invest our life in that particular enterprise. It is the voice of the Holy Spirit that should direct us, not money.
Many people have relocated from their country to foreign countries to seek greener pasture. It is okay as long as The Lord wants you in that country. It is okay as long as that is part of His plan for your life. I told a friend of mine who relocated to a foreign country that being a citizen of that country is not a calling, neither is it an assignment. I told him to press in to God and seek The Lord’s will for his life. There are millions of people living in that same country who are completely lost and live without a sense of meaning and divine purpose.
Pursuing money, making lots of money is not a calling. If the money you make has no kingdom purpose and has no kingdom direction, it is useless to the Master. In fact such riches will become a tool in the devil’s hand to cause mayhem on the earth. Such money can destroy you. Proverbs 1:32.
A job is not a calling.
Doing business and working for a charity or a church is not a calling. For something to qualify as a calling, you have to give up everything you are, everything you have to pursue it. Your calling has to be something that proceeds from the very heart of God. It has nothing to do with what you like, what you want or what you desire.
Jesus said deny yourself and follow me.
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
A calling is not an ambition. It is not something you’ve always wanted to do or desired to do. It is not a fantasy in your mind you want to turn into reality. A calling is not something outstanding you want to do with your life to impress your friends and shame your enemies. A calling is not the self-centred use of our talent and abilities to pursue a dream or vision we made up in our carnal minds.
A calling has absolutely nothing to do with our feelings: whether you are excited about doing it or love doing it or find pleasure in doing something.
A calling is an assignment you receive from The Lord Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. It is a cause you are willing to pursue for the rest of your life even if you are not paid to do it.
A calling is a cause you are willing to give up all you own to see accomplished. It is something you are willing not only to live for, but if necessary, to die for.
When it comes to dying for something, many are so afraid. We think that if The Lord wants us to do something to further the cause of the kingdom it shouldn’t involve hurt, pain, death or dying. Well, we are wrong about that. When Jesus told us to ‘carry our cross and follow him’, He is making it clear that this journey would involve laying down your life for His cause and the kingdom. That is the reason why he said in Luke 14:26-33 to ‘count the cost’ before you follow Him because your calling may very well cost you your very life.
The real value of your life is not in what you used it to accumulate for yourself. The real value is what The Lord used you to accomplish in and for His kingdom.