There is a need for me to redefine the term ‘Calling’ because it’s too easy to go to a default position of what calling is in our minds. One of the reasons for this is the wide variety of terms I hear authors and speakers use on the subject. Terms like mandate, mission, purpose, vision and assignment all mean different things and yet can be used to mean the one thing = Calling.
Secondly, some of the ideas we associate with calling can be unhelpful. Ideas like vocation, career and profession don’t adequately define what calling is. Biblically the idea of calling is defined as the following:
“A strong inner impulse toward a specific course of action, accompanied by a conviction of divine influence.”
From a big picture perspective I think calling transcends career and occupation. A career has a start date and an end date but a calling doesn’t, it’s life long and can be expressed uniquely in different seasons.
I think the most important element of a calling is an inner witness of the Spirit. This is why it takes real discernment to learn how to hear the voice of the Spirit of God. God speaks in multiple ways – scriptures, prophecy, words of knowledge, dreams and visions and circumstances. Confirming the divine element of calling is important because man can lay hands on you and confer credentials upon you but only God can supply the inner witness of the Spirit that is needed to sustain one’s call.
Calling is a summons to action. It’s not passive. Calling is expressed in multiple arena’s of life, not just on a platform. Calling is multi-faceted and as one theologian said, “You could summarize all of God’s work from Genesis to Revelation as Calling!”