I recently met an older gentleman. He had a beautiful big house, one of the nicest I have ever seen. He actually designed it because he was a retired architect. We had never met before. I had to pick up something from him for one of my family members.
He saw my car and liked my Christian bumper stickers. I asked him if he was a Christian. He said "Yeah. Once upon a time I thought I wanted to be a missionary." And with a flare of regret, he said, "But you know, sometimes, life happens."
We talked a little. He came from the South and had a Baptist background. I always follow up with people by asking this question, "If you were to die why should God let you into heaven?" This question gets to the heart of the matter and shows if someone understands the gospel.
Ninety-five percent of the time, people respond, "I've tried to live a good life. I'm a pretty good person." These are "good answers," but completely wrong answers. The one and only answer that is correct is that we make it heaven because of the blood of Jesus Christ and the forgiveness that comes through His death on the cross.
The older man answered the question like almost everyone I ask. He said, "Well, I've been a pretty good person." I explained to him that our sins can only be forgiven through the cross. We talked about more things: evil in the world, why goodness is not good enough, the holiness of God and so on. God had a purpose in us meeting. However, it was clear that his faith was not solidly grounded in the reality of who Jesus is and what He did to set us free from sin.
The thing that struck me most about the entire conversation was when he said, "I thought I wanted to be a missionary ... but you know, sometimes, life happens."
How tragic, to be called by God and to have a desire to serve Him, but to then allow the devil, or your own prone-to-wander-heart, to get you to trade your calling. This older man was 72. God can redeem a life that misses it calling, but it's still tragic.
If you have any inkling or desire to serve God with your life, please go for that 100%. If you want to serve Jesus, don't let anything or any "great" opportunity get in the way. The old man I met had regret. I could see it in his eyes.
Think of the story of the Israelites.
They wandered for 40 years because of their stubbornness and unbelief.
Think of that. ... 40 years.
Many of the people who will read this aren't very old. I want you to think about what you feel God has called you to and then imagine 40 years of frustrating that. How much regret is there when you imagine this? How much sadness? The good news is that God can redeem anybody and any life that has missed the mark. All sin is covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. However, it's much better to fulfill your calling throughout your life then to have to have God redeem a wasted life.
I'm going to say that again for impact: It's much better to fulfill your calling throughout your life then to have to have God redeem a wasted life.
How often do we wander in our lives? How often do we trade our callings for contentment and security? How often do we trade God's priceless gifts for the pleasures of this world in a manner akin to Samson, who traded his strength for desires of the flesh? Many people will trade their calling for immediate gratification, but the only thing that can gratify the heart of a Christian is to be in the center of God's will, namely, to fulfill their calling.
Please take assessment of your calling. Ask yourself:
Today, is my life in accordance with God's calling for my life?
Am I trading my calling for security? Am I being complacent?
Do I trust God with my future? Or do I trust myself?
Did I just answer these questions honestly? Or can I even answer them honestly?
Hebrews 3:14-16 says, "For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence firmly to the end, while it is said: "Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion." For who were they who heard and rebelled? Was it not all of those who came out of Egypt, led by Moses?"
What if God had desired you to be a Paul, a Peter, a David, a Jeremiah, an Esther, a Mary or an Isaiah, but you just let your life miss it? I am in no way saying that God's ultimate plan and will can be frustrated, but the Bible is clear and full of examples, that God calls people and they reject the calling: the rich young ruler, Judas, Saul, Samson and more.
Think about that.
The people in the Bible were normal people called to do extraordinary things because they made a choice to be totally willing to obey God, all-in for letting Him be in control of their lives.
Why trade a calling for worldly comfort? Why trade a calling for complacency? Why trade a calling for control of your own life?
It's a bad trade every time. As a child of God, you don't need comfort, complacency, or control, you need conviction. A conviction that says "Through hell and high waters, I will follow Jesus, I will fulfill the calling He has on my life."
Matthew 22:14 says "Many are called, but few are chosen."
You may be called, but will you choose your calling? Will you run after it 100%?
Maybe you are reading this, and the Holy Spirit is showing you that you have missed your calling. The good news is that Christ can redeem your life today. Calling begins with the internal disposition of one's heart towards God, not the external actions of one's efforts. There is no shame if you have missed it up to this point. God simply says, "Today is the day." This is great news, but I would never want someone reading this to not understand the necessity of immediately pursuing your calling in Christ because if they choose not to, God can redeem their choice later on.
It all begins in the heart, not in human effort. Let the Holy Spirit touch your heart if He reveals to you that you have been missing your calling.
Anyone reading this I want to challenge you today, right now even, to pray about this. There is one commodity that is truly priceless—time. It goes and does not come back. Use your time to invest in your calling. Use your time to pray and seek the heart of God. Use your time to let God reveal Himself to you so that you can minister confidently.
We will all have to give account of our lives one day.
Romans 14:12 says, "So then, each of us shall give an account of himself to God."
Don't be afraid of this, but rather, let the love of Christ motivate you to fulfill His calling on your life. It will fulfill you beyond what you think are your greatest hopes and aspirations.
So again, if you feel called to serve God, get to doing it as soon as possible. Don't wait. Don't make excuses. You have to make a conscious choice to carry the burden of your calling. It will mean a lot of sacrifice, it will mean a lot of hardship and at times, (like all the time) it will mean going against the flow of the world. But at the same time, it will result in a lot of joy, a lot of love, a lot of peace and a lot of fulfillment.
You have to make a choice to pursue your calling.
The truth is, if you don't, "life happens."
Don't miss your calling.
David Hoffman is an evangelist and the director of Kingdom Enterprises, an outreach and evangelism ministry in Tucson, Arizona. His passions are to reach the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ, ignite a passion for evangelism within the lives of believers and help equip them to live Spirit-filled and Spirit-empowered lives. For more information or to contact him, please go to HisKingdomEnterprises.
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