Friday, November 21, 2008

PASSION and CALLING

I have been doing a great deal of thinking and wondering and praying (sometimes without the literal bowing my head, but just talking to God) about the issue of PASSION and CALLING.

What are they? Are they the same? Can they go together? Do you need to have one to have the other? Lots of questions I have been asking and digging through to better understand what God wants me to do, what He wants you to do, and how we are going to accomplish the task of being the church He wants us to be.

I have spoken about “passion” a great deal. I’ve made comments like, ‘find out what you are passionate about, then go do it.’ I’ve asked, “do you even know what you are passionate about? If you know, then go into the world and use that passion for the glory of Christ.”

Passion is good, we all need to be passionate, to have a fuel, a burning within our heart which leads us to action. When we engage in our passions, even though it might be difficult work, we end up feeling fulfilled about what we just did. And in those moments when our efforts seem futile, we become more frustrated because our passion level was so high, that our expectations also were higher.

However, I have also been thinking about “calling.” What does it mean to be called? Will you always be called to something you are passionate about? That’s the one we always want, but I have learned that calling and passion do not always go together . . . especially at the start.

When I consider the Biblical story, look at the many saints of old, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Deborah, Rahab, Ruth, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Hosea . . . and the New Testament apostles; all of them. I believe everyone of these men and women were called.

Most calling catch us off guard, “you want me to do what, God? No way!” So we fight the call, because it is not our passion. Consider Moses. How many times did he argue with God about his lack of ability? How many times did he want to hit his head on the rock instead of the stick? Eventually, however, I believe Moses developed a passion for his calling. He did not start with passion, he started with a call.

What does that mean for you!?!?!? There is nothing wrong for your passion and call to be intertwined, that is super. But that is not the case in many and maybe most situations. So, the question for today and the next days in your prayer life is to ask God not only about your passion, but to ask God,

‘Father, what are you calling me to do for you to help build your kingdom? Even if it is not my dream, my plan, my expectation, open my heart, spirit and mind so that Your calling would be like a burning fire within my heart, so that I may serve You to Your glory and honor, not mine.”

1 comment:

  1. I don't too have much of a comment, but do have lots of questions. So, here goes. I understand a passion and calling are not the same, although it would be so much easier if the calling were a passion! Both are hard to define...at least for me. I should feel the passion, but sometimes I find it hard to be passionate about anything! Also, it is very difficult to determine what the true calling is. Does a calling need to have affirmation (like a spiritual gift) from another Christian? Do we just know it internally? Does it keep us awake at night? Do we always enjoy doing the work of a calling? Probably not. Can we resent the calling and still do a good work? Is it OK to continue with what we feel called to do when we continually come up against brick walls? Is that a sign it isn't a calling or is it a sign satan doesn't like that I am obeying the calling? How do I determine the difference? Who holds us accountable in our calling?

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