CALLING IS THE TRUTH THAT GOD CALLS US TO HIMSELF- EVERYTHING WE ARE, EVERYTHING WE DO IS LIVED OUT IN LIGHT OF THIS. THIS IS MY IDENTITY AND THE ONLY SATISFYING THING IN THE UNIVERSE.
The following blog post is a note summary of the amazing book by Os Guinness: The Call- Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life
Other than my Bible reading, this has been one of the most important books I have ever read. Again, part of this is the fact that I was sent reeling after losing my job on Dec. 9. But to be honest, these last 9 weeks have been amazing and refreshing. I have never been more ready for a new assignment in my life. Of course I will mess up and make mistakes- but I have a deep confidence in what God wants me to do.
The problem these last few days is finally picking the PLACE OF SERVICE. I am so grateful to have options ( 3 of them)- and my family finished 7 days of prayer last night and I expect to 'answer a call' in just a few days. I have a high expectation that this will be a clear call.
The notes below are partially paraphrased- but it is the best of the best. What is missing are the dramatic stories and illustrations that Guinness uses- I HAVE BECOME A BIG FAN!
JAY'S NOTES FROM 'THE CALL':
Our life purpose comes from 2 streams: who we are created to be and who we are called to be- this is NO TIME FOR SLOGANS
Calling is something that extends beyond ourselves and encompasses being pursued by the Creator- NEVER FORGET THAT IT IS A DESTINATION AND A JOURNEY AND A RELATIONSHIP.
As a man, part of who I am is tied into what I do- what are my deep longings? To have a name- to long for home- to be loved and secure- calling is attached to those deep needs- a longing for what only the Father can provide.
Our primary calling is TO BE- this does not change- THE CALL
Our secondary calling is TO DO: the details and roads can and do change- A CALL
My call will be in alignment with my S.H.A.P.E.- my unique composite and fit (this is my input)
God NORMALLY calls us along the line of our giftedness, but the purpose of giftedness is stewardship and service- not selfishness
William Temple: “To make the choice of career or profession on selfish grounds, without a sense of calling is probably the greatest single sin any young person can commit, for it is the deliberate withdrawal from allegiance to God of the greatest part of time and strength.”
Cotton Mather: Choosing a job
1) A warrantable calling- not only aiming at our good, but the public good as well
2) Aligns with our gifts
3)A sense of God’s guiding us toward it
Callings are sometimes born out of crisis- a call to stand- instead of lying on the ground beaten and bruised, you need to see the crisis as an opportunity- this has always been true with people of faith
There are competing voices coming at you- the devil is a master at the subtle slide and rationalization, his words tickle the ear and temporarily soothe-
WORDS are the deepest, fullest expression in which God has disclosed Himself- so listening to HIM , trusting HIM, and obeying HIM means that we ‘let God be God’ and have His way with us. His calling has many dimensions- often taut and balanced: summons and invitation, law and grace, demand and offer. But don’t forget- I AM A SON
LET DAVID BE DAVID- LET MOSES BE MOSES- LET GOD BE GOD
Luther: “My conscience is captive to the WORD OF GOD. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to GO AGAINST CONSCIENCE is neither RIGHT nor SAFE. God help me. AMEN.”
A life lived listening to the decisive call of God is a life lived before the AUDIENCE OF ONE.
God’s call is the key to igniting a passion for the deepest growth and highest heroism in life.
God’s call is personal- but not purely individual- it is a call to labor within the body.
Understanding calling is the realization that we are always on a road- it is a journey that will not have a destination in this life.
THE SHADOW SIDE OF CALLING- LANDMINES AND DANGER.
PRIDE: We can get so wrapped up in self importance- a sense of legacy or self-flattering ambition- a warped sense of destiny- that pride destroys the whole thing- this is a surgery and process that only God can accomplish. HELP
ENVY: Calling involves giftedness and desires and these always teeter on the edge of the cliff of envy.- we evaluate by comparison and competition and rejoice at the failings of others. Full blown envy is dejection plus disparagement plus destruction.. HELP
CONSUMPTION AND MATERIALISM: calling can lead to prosperity which can seduce us into living for things and pleasure. Eating the fruit of our labor and getting lost in the process.
Cotton Mather: “Religion brought forth prosperity and the daughter destroyed the mother.”
LAZINESS: Calling combats sloth- the noonday demon.
Dorothy Sayers: ‘the sin which believes in nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and only remains alive because there is nothing it would die for.”
FEW THINGS ARE MORE IGNOMINIOUS THAN FAILING AT SOMETHING THAT WAS NOT WORTH DOING IN THE FIRST PLACE.
“Success” may flatter us on the outside as ‘significance’ eludes us from the inside.
Calling prevents us from settling for the comfortable, the mediocre, the banal, and the boring. God jerks us wide awake.
Calling combats secularization- the trend of religious ideas being marginalized
Calling combats privatization- Jesus is Lord of All- but world says keep it at home
Calling combats pluralism- we live a focused life- the world offers too many choices
CALLING IS A BREAKTHROUGH- IT HAS A BIG PICTURE VIEW OF THE PAST AND PRESENT- AND BECOMES A PRIME SOURCE FOR VISION AND DREAMS.
IN A CALLING- NOTHING IS TRIVIAL, ORDINARY, OR MUNDANE
CALLING IS A LIFE OF GRATITUDE- NOTHING IS TAKEN FOR GRANTED
CALLING HAS A COST: DISCIPLESHIP- often requiring suffering or rejection
CALLING HAS A 'TIMING'- Calling happens in God’s good time- our sense of timing is off pace- waiting for the time:
Then recognizing THE HOUR HAS COME AND YOU WERE MADE FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS
CALLING HAS A CHALLENGE: TO FINISH WELL- put the end mark on the ‘other side’ of the finish line- live past the point of life.