God’s Calling: 5 Unbiblical Statements Christians Believe

God’s calling is a visible tattoo that reminds you of your inadequacy, yet its beauty proclaims his sufficiency.

They are some unforgettable encounters we often have that can prompt us to evaluate our lives. I had such an experience more than a year ago. And the memory is still fresh in my mind.

Following an engaging Bible study, I heard a slight tap on my shoulder. An octogenarian man, I will call him Mr. X, desperately wanted prayer.

I was only 29 and Mr. X had served as pastor for more than forty years. “Please, pray for me. I want to know God’s calling on my life,” Mr. X whispered in his frail voice. I prayed for Mr. X.

And I also prayed for myself. God, help me to know my calling that I can be effective and fruitful in my knowledge of Jesus Christ. Like most believers, I also wanted to know God’s calling in my life.

Honestly, I believed that God’s calling was a cornerstone that could hold all the complex facets of my life. At the same time, God’s calling is a beautiful steeple that proclaims the riches of God’s grace. Above all, it is signet ring engraved with a conspicuous reminder of my inadequacy.

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Sadly, within six months, Mr. X went to be with the Lord. When a friend broke the news to me, instead of being happy for him I was worried. Before he departed, did he finally understood and lived out God’s calling upon his life? Or was it too late?

You’re probably reading this because you have a question:

  1. What is the meaning of God’s call?
  2. Do I have to do something before God calls me?
  3. How do I know God’s calling for my life?
  4. How do I answer the call of God?
  5. Does God only call people for full-time ministry?

In this article, I will try to answer these 5 questions as I address 5 misconceptions most Christians have concerning the call of God.

5 Lies About God’s Most Christians Believe

They are five important questions every Christian often ask about God’s calling on their lives. Unfortunately, attempts to answer these questions resulted in some dangerous misconceptions.

Misconception 1: God’s call is only for full-time ministry

You have probably heard people say that God called them to ministry when they were young. They quit school or work and began traveling around the country preaching. This might be a great testimony but reducing it to be the standard is dangerous.

What is a God’s calling?

It is very unfortunate that people limit God’s calling for leading churches and becoming missionaries. God called Luke to be a physician and a biographer. Through this vocational call, he was thoroughly useful in the furtherance of the gospel throughout Asia and the rest of the world.

You are probably worried because you created a false concept about God’s calling. A concept that robs you of experiencing the pleasure of God in your workplace. God called me to be a writer and a scientist for the meantime.

Misconception 2: God only calls people supernaturally

You remember that powerful testimony you heard at a church conference? “I was fasting for three weeks, then a man came to me and told me God had called me to be an evangelist.”

How does God call people?

God calls people differently. Jeremiah was called using questions and a stick. God called Moses from a burning bush. But Abraham was just called by God. And so was Peter, John, James, Timothy and many others. God is infinite and he is not limited by our misguided preferences.

If you are waiting for a voice from heaven to reveal God’s calling, then you are missing out on experiencing the glory of God. Do you think Abraham heard an audible voice? What if he didn’t. You need to have faith in God if you really want to know your calling.

Misconception 3: God only calls the qualified and exceptional

You know that book, where the author figured their qualifications and expertise equated to divine calling. “I graduated top of my class at seminary and always had a passion for Africa. So, I figured God wanted me to be a missionary.”

Who does God call?

God created you for good works. Before you surrendered your life to Christ, he chose you and called you. If you are led by the Spirit, then you walk in your calling despite your personal weaknesses and abilities.

God does not only call people through their abilities, he sometimes uses their weakness. Jeremiah was a kid, Gideon was afraid, Moses stammered, and James and John had anger management issues. God calls the weak to shame the strong.

Misconception 4: God has called you when you can perform the task with ease

You have heard this a thousand times, “Ever since I was a child, I knew God called me to be a musician. My mother always says my first words were a song.”

When does God call?

Every believer once wondered about their calling. When you received the life of Christ, a genuine desire to be God’s vessel of honor birthed in your heart. You had a mysterious feeling that you were created for something bigger than you.

That nudging feeling was not caused by hormonal imbalances or overexcitement. The love of the Father, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and the grace of Jesus Christ equipped you for something more. God called and chose you, for a purpose.

Misconception 5: God calls people when there is a need only

“God saw my faithfulness and passion for the lost and called me to lead this church.”

Why does God call people?

There is no better answer to this question and counterargument to the misconception than the calling of Gideon. The Hebrew people were being oppressed and God wanted a judge to lead the people. So, God called Gideon, by declaring to him, he was a mighty man of valor.

Gideon thought otherwise, so he asked for a sign. God showed him the sign, but also showed him the war is not won by numbers. This shows God is not overly concerned with the need or the call, but with us.

Conclusion

As I think about X. I realize he did not have to worry about his calling. After retiring from the pastoral ministry, he did not retire from his call. God continued to use him even if he didn’t notice.

Is knowing God’s calling on your life critical for spiritual growth? If you know your calling, will it help you serve God faithfully and fruitfully?

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29 Comments

  1. I believe you are right in all that you say. Knowing what we are ‘called’ to do is nothing more than trying to discern God’s will, yes? Of course, many of us struggle with that. Sometimes we think that because we have surrendered to Christ and waved our own ‘white flag’, we should then be called – or led – to a life of doing great and remarkable things for God. Most likely, from HIS perspective, there is absolutely NOTHING we can do that can be called ‘great’, nor does He look at it that way. Once we have examined our lives, surrendered to Christ, and allowed ourselves to be LED by God, will we understand that “finding our calling’ is merely being obedient to our Creator. In that obedience lies the answer we all seek. Being obedient gives us the ability to ‘hear’ what we are being ‘called’ to do.

    Always a pleasure to read what you so lovingly offer the world in service to God and in answer to YOUR ‘calling.’

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    1. Thanks Tony. I used to reduce God’s calling to some mysterious mystic and failed to see it is simply a life of obedience. I am already called from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of his Son. As believers we are already corporately called. Above all, God gave us gifts that are pathfinders for our calling be it spiritual or vocational.

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        1. It’s been one of those excruciating searches, only to figure out exactly what you’ve written! The search has been and will continue to be so very blessed. You are a wise and humble soul, Edward.

          Liked by 1 person

      1. Amen, Elaine. It reminds me of Samuel’s reminder to Saul, “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice and and to listen than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22).

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  2. I used to wonder about my calling, until I realized I was called unto Him…and everything flows out of that relationship. I don’t wonder where I am going or if I am in His will…If my heart is turned towards Him and I walk with Him, then things are clear. I use what he has given me to serve HIm in any way I can, I love the people He puts in my life, even the hard to love, and I enjoy spending time with Him! I am led by His peace. Thanks for a great post!

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  3. The fact is we are all called, that’s what the word ekklesia means. We have been called to love the Lord with all our hearts, minds and strength and our neighbours as ourselves. We have been called to be and make disciples. We have been called to be the light of the world and salt of the earth. I could go on but I think you get the message.
    Sometimes – and I speak personally here – we sit around waiting for God to tell us what to do with our lives and He already has. Yes sometimes there’s a supernatural or more personal call but we already have our marching orders.

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  4. sometimes for me, the calling keeps me alive. it is like a strange plant that wether i tend to its care or neglect it, it never fails to grow in my life. like the cat that always comes back the next day – there i see it in action in my day to day activities. I think we all have a call, the question is will we answer it? Because when it becomes more than just us, it realize why it’s existence is in the form for a voice to fill a void. it changes us and it charges us. it gives us insight and authority over things we usually do not understand let alone conceive. But never the less we own it…and so it grows.

    Altar & Well

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    1. 🙂 I get what you are saying. There is this calling in my life that has always been the reason why I get result get disgruntled. The more I look at the call the more I feel inadequate, inferior and duplicitous. Many times, I grumble before God why he placed such a call on me and not some other worthy person. The next morning, all the insecurity vanish and I continue on e mission. Like that ‘cat’. I guess all the ups and downs are just a reminder that God uses the weak to shame the strong, but above all that he wants me more than the calling.

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  5. I like. Oddly, Esther 4:14 has been in my mind for last week or so. Where Esther was called ‘for such a time as this’. Whatever one’s call is, if they ‘answer’ it they stand as a 21st Century Esther. As one of your points notes, God doesn’t always call the ‘qualified’; as a Gospel song states it ‘God doesn’t call the qualifies, he qualifies those he calls’. Lastly, often the call is gonna put the person out of their comfort zone . . . but that discomfort will need to be ignored to be obedient. Grace, mercy, and peace to you.

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    1. Amen, God is the one who qualifies us. Most of the time we spend time trying to be qualified enough for the call when he just wants the way we are. Gideon actually thought the bigger the army the more worthy he is in the calling. God striped down his army.

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  6. This is a great post. I’ve had several “false alarms” regarding God’s call on my life. Most of them happened after periods of terrible rebellion and disobedience. Guess I thought becoming a pastor or a missionary would “make up for” all the bad deeds. I struggled with addiction for most of my life, finally putting the drink down in 2008. After a 3-week stay in a rehab, I was also able to give up opiates. It took getting sober and turning my will over to God in order to determine what I was being called to do. I will be returning to college to finish my B.S in psychology next year. I will also be taking a state examination for Certified Recovery Specialist. I will then be entering the field of addictions counseling.

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    1. Wow, your journey is so inspiring. After writing publishing this post today I had to go through a serious trial that led me to the sick bed. In the end, I understood better what my calling was. My boss threatened to fail me in my studies.

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  7. And yes once again your are spot on. We often think for one to be called you have to see the light in your room or speak with Jesus like Paul. But often a call can simply be in the form of dreams, or in the form of your job where you are to speak about Jesus at your workplace, or just writing a blog. God calls us differently and puts us where he wants us to be.

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  8. Great post, really interesting and helpful. For a while I have had a deep desire to create better and more fulfilling films for men than what hollywood churns out. I have often put stumbling blocks in my way, like “I havent got the time” or |”God wants me to be a vicar, not a film maker” when in fact God put that original desire on my heart in the first place.

    Thanks for sharing the truth and hope to read and interact with your posts more. See if anything interests you on my blog. Cheers

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  9. So true, one can be saved today, and die tomorrow. The salvation of the soul is the most important. We are not all pastors, but we are to spread the gospel as disciples. I truly believe Jesus can use us where we are at; salesperson, barista, neighbor, etc, through our gifts (faith, healing), talents (musicians, writers), God can use a person through their big smile, honesty, and kindness, but importantly to be use in love.

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