But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles…
Galatians 1:15-16 (NASB)
Just as shadow images of the cross are reveled by sunlight in the picture, our calling is revealed by God shining His Son in us. At one time or another, we have all grappled with this question.
If we break this verse down, here is what it looks like:
Set Paul apart–>
Called him by grace->
God is pleased–>to reveal Christ IN Paul
Preach Jesus among the Gentiles.
In all of this, it is what God is doing in the midst of a single life that echoes through the ages. Paul is invited to participate, but God is the One who is working, setting, calling and revealing. When God works in us, it comes out in what we do and say, in choices we make and the passions we pursue.
How do I know my calling?
How do we find our purpose? Simple–yet challenging. When we respond to God, He is pleased to reveal Christ in us. It is through the revelation work of Christ in us that reveals God’s His purpose in our lives. We don’t have to come up with our own calling and gifts or beat our heads against a rocks to figure it out.
God reveals; our job is to respond. Large or small, our purpose is to reflect Christ and let Him work through our lives. God’s calling encompasses what we do, whether we preach the gospel, teach lessons, cook meals, raise children, keep accounts, drive carpool, write books, plant gardens, or negotiate contracts. But the heart of His calling is to enjoy and respond as He reveals His Son in our lives.
I love the way this concept is phrased in The Message:
Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. Ephesians 2:7-10 The Message
We are called for a purpose, and called on purpose.
With deep gratitude, I pray:
Lord, thank You for giving us a holy purpose in life. Worth and significance far beyond what we can count, You have set us apart. How amazing to know that it gives You true joy to reveal Christ in and through our lives. Help us to understand what this really means in the living of our days. We often flit from one task to another without much awareness of Your revealing work in our character or activities. We are thankful that You express yourself through our lives more.
So powerful, this great set-apart mystery. Enable us to follow Paul’s example as You continue to reveal Your Son. Too often, our thoughts are only on the tasks and needs of the day. We need to remember Your grace is more important than our abilities, or lack thereof. Our first calling is simply to respond as You reveal Christ in us each day.
Have you struggled to discover your calling? How has God revealed purpose and calling in your life?