Faithlife Sermons

You Have a Calling

Called  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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God has a specific call and every persons life.


This morning we are going to start a new series entitled, “Called”.
This series is what you will be discussing in your small groups during the week.
If you miss a Sunday you will be able to watch the video on our website, app, Facebook or YouTube channel.
This series is based on a course that John Bevere wrote a few years ago.
And my goal is to challenge you to really seek God and find your true calling in life.
I know when some people hear this topic they might think that this is a good series for High School or College students.
Young people who are trying to figure out what to do in life.
But I believe that this is a topic that is just as applicable to a college student as it is to a 50 year old.
Because I don’t care how old you are, God has a calling on your life.
And that calling could change from season to season.
Today I’m going to be introducing this series with talking about two different callings that we have.
The title of this message is simply, “You Have a Calling”.
We’re going to start by reading from Paul’s letter to Timothy.
2 Timothy 1:9 NKJV “who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,”
First thing I notice is that our calling is holy!
You have a holy call on your life.
And this calling is not based on your works.
Meaning you can’t DO anything to change the call of God on your life.
Your calling is not based on how much you go to church or pray or read your bible.
Your calling comes from GOD’S purpose for your life.
God has a call on every person's life and nothing you do is going to change that.
Whether you fulfill that calling or not is up to you.
The first thing we need to understand though is that there are two types of callings.
The first calling is a “general calling.”
This is a calling for ALL believers.
There are certain things that the bible talks about that EVERY believer is called to do.
Here are some examples of our general calls.
To Live Holy Lives
1 Thessalonians 4:7 “God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives.”
To Know God Intimately
John 17:3 NLT “And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.”
To Forgive
1 Peter 3:9 NLT “ Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing.”
I love that.
It’s so easy for us to repay evil for evil.
When someone insults you, you insult them back.
But God says we are CALLED to pay them back with a blessing and if we do that, He in turn will bless us.
To Live in Freedom and Serve One Another
Galatians 5:13 NLT “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.”
We’re called to live in freedom, but we shouldn’t use that freedom to satisfy our sin nature but we should use our freedom to serve and to help others IN LOVE.
To Love One Another
We talked about this a couple months ago about how the bible says how people will know we are Jesus’ disciples by how we love one another.
Every believer is called to love one another.
These are examples of general callings in the life of a believer.
This series is not going to focus on this type of calling.
We are going to focus on the second calling in our lives.
The second calling is a “specific” or “unique” calling.
This is something that God specifically wants YOU to do in your life.
The easiest example of this is your vocation.
What God wants you to do for a job.
It’s important to understand that you have a SPECIFIC calling for your life.
First let’s define “calling”.
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines “calling” as “a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action or vocation especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence.”
How does someone who hated speaking in front of people and was terrified to do so, who didn’t go to college or seminary become a Youth Pastor for 16 years and is now the Preaching Pastor at the best church in the world?
Because of the specific call of God on my life.
John Bevere used the example of his wife Lisa.
He said, “how does a woman who lost her eye to cancer at age 5 and was told that she had 6 months to live, then go onto High School where she opted out of the required classes of speech and typing, go on to preach the gospel to millions of people throughout the world and become a New York Times Best Selling Author?”
The call of God on her life.
This is the type of call we are going to be talking about.
Galatians 1:15 NLT “But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace…”
Paul is talking here about his SPECIFIC calling, not general.
Because in the next verse he talks about preaching the gospel to the Gentiles.
One of the first things we need to address is a major misconception out there.
There is a misconception that only pastors, preachers, missionaries, worship leaders are the only people who have a call of God on their life.
It’s easy to think that since God didn’t call you into ministry that He doesn’t have a specific call for your life.
That couldn’t be further from the truth!
You were created ON purpose, FOR a purpose!
Some of you need to just wrap your head around that statement right there.
Some of you think you were an accident or that God messed up when he made you.
How do I know that?
Jeremiah 1:5 NLT “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb...”
Before you were even beginning to form in your mothers womb, God knew you.
God was thinking about you.
You were created on purpose.
Now how do I know you were created FOR a purpose?
Ephesians 2:10 NKJV “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
This verse starts by confirming again that you were created ON purpose.
You are his “workmanship” or “masterpiece”
“Created in Christ Jesus FOR good works”
You were created FOR good works.
“Which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
So God had a plan for your life before you were even created.
But there’s one word that really stands out to me in this verse.
It says, “God prepared beforehand that we SHOULD walk in them.”
That’s an important word.
Because it shows that we can choose to NOT walk in His plan.
Paul is pleading with the church saying you SHOULD walk in His plan for your life.
If you want what’s best for you, walk in HIS plan.
But you can choose not to.
John Bevere tells a story about a man he went to dinner with one night.
This man told him that he was raised in the church and loved God passionately.
So he felt to really serve God and be used by God he had to go into ministry.
So he went to 2 years of Bible school
Then his third year he started to intern at a large church in their youth.
All of a sudden he was accused by a girl of sleeping with her.
He looked at John Bevere and said, “John, I never slept with that girl.”
But the Elders and Pastors of the church didn’t believe him so they threw him out and he lost all his credentials.
He was devastated
So he pressed into God like never before.
In that time of seeking after God he heard God say to him, “I didn’t call you into ministry, I called you to the military.”
So he went and visited recruiters for the Marines, Army, and Air Force and he was getting nervous because nothing was jumping out to him.
So he sat down with the Navy recruiter and he was going through some stuff and he mentioned the SEALS.
As soon as he said that word this man felt something leap inside him.
He told the recruiter, that’s what I need to do.
The recruiter told him, “you don’t want to go out for the SEALS. Every officer here tried out for the SEALS and failed. Only 10% of people who enlist for the SEALS make it.”
The man said NOPE that’s what I’m supposed to do.
What this recruiter didn’t know is that this man couldn’t swim and he had narrow ear canals and had multiple surgeries with putting tubes in his ears. So if even a little bit of water got into his ear he would be in excruciating pain.
But he felt this was what he was supposed to do so he prayed God would heal him.
Next thing you know he taught himself to swim and God completely healed his ears.
So he went through the training program and 3 times when he got to the activation week and 3 times something tragic happened where he was injured pretty badly.
The third time they were carrying a canoe on a beach and someone had dug a hole and he stepped in the hole and tore his leg up from his ankle to his knee.
So after this injury he went to the doctor for his physical and the doctor flunked him.
And if you flunk a physical you can’t ever be a Navy SEAL.
So he pleaded with this doctor to not flunk him and the doctor just let him have and did it anyways.
That week this man went to a bible study.
At this bible study he didn’t know it at the time but the man leading the study was the Commanding Officer of the doctor who flunked him.
That night he was teaching on being led by the Holy Spirit.
And he shared a story from that week about how an application came across his desk that was denied and in his spirit he felt like that was wrong.
So he overrode the doctor.
And this man goes on to say that application ended up being his.
This man went on to be a Navy SEAL and has been in it for 20 years now.
He’s an instructor now.
He continued to tell John Bevere story after story of how God protected him or used him in incredible ways in his time as a SEAL.
This man did incredible things and was used by God in a mighty way because he was doing what he was CALLED to do.
He wasn’t called to be in ministry.
He was called to be a SEAL.
That leads to this truth that your effectiveness in your specific calling is dependent upon you knowing who you are.
So the question is who are you?
You are in Christ.
You are a member of his body.
You are a child of God.
You are an ambassador of heaven.
But one of your primary identities is you are a SERVANT
I don’t care what you are called to, you are called to be a servant.
If you discover your calling and don’t realize you’re a servant your calling will destroy you.
Look at King Saul
His calling destroyed him because when he stepped into his calling as King of Israel he didn’t have a servant's heart like David.
That’s why you see Pastors who are doing what they’re called to do but it’s destroying them because they’ve let pride set in.
They think of themselves as better than other people.
Instead of leading in a way that serves others and helps others, they have the attitude of just do what I say.
I’m the boss, I know what’s best.
It’s vital to know who you are in Christ.
But it’s just as vital to know that you are called to be a servant.
That means you use your calling to help others.
You put other people ahead of yourself.
That’s why I pray that God would always help me to stay humble.
That I will never let pride creep into my life and allow my calling to actually destroy me.
It’s hard because psychologists say that the average person thinks 85% about themselves and 15% about others.
Yet Paul says this…
Philippians 2:3-4 “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.”
Remember Jesus said “I came to serve, not to be served.”
If we’re thinking of ourselves 85% of the time we are going to have a hard time fulfilling God’s calling in our lives.
That was what Saul did.
Albert Pine said, “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others… is immortal.”
So in this series we hope to accomplish three things.
Equip you to discover what you are called to do.
To show you how to get there.
To show you how to succeed in your calling.
Altar Call
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