What’s your One Big Thing? 

Philippians 3:13 “But one thing I do..”

The most common question i get asked when I travel and speak is “What’s God’s will for my life?” This is asked in a variety of ways but essentially comes back to this underlying wrestle in our hearts, “What on earth am I here for?” God has created you for a singular purpose. You can have many hobbies and interests but you can only have one purpose. You can be gifted and skilled in many areas but God has created to fulfil a specific calling. The Book of Proverbs tells us, “Everything is made for a purpose.” My one big thing is to inspire the global church to fulfil its calling on planet earth. What’s your OBT..? I encourage you and challenge you to discover, develop and direct your time, energy and abilities towards knowing and doing your One Big Thing as if your life depended on it.. because it actually does. Explosive Insights!

Calling vs Career!

Too easily do we look at the issue of ‘calling’ through the lens of contemporary cultural paradigms rather than what the bible actually reveals to us.

A calling is God’s unique soul print on a person’s identity (Ps 139:13-15). A calling is a strong heart conviction that God burdens you with (Rom 4:20-21). A calling is God’s anointing that rests upon you (1 Sam 16:13). A calling transcends a job or specific occupation (Acts 9:15, the apostle Paul worked as a tent maker but was called to be an apostle to the gentiles). A calling is witnessed to by others, especially spiritual authority (Jn 1:29).

Calling comes in different shapes and sizes and transcends the practical application of it being outworked. Noah saved a remnant by building a boat. Abraham became the father of many nations by faith in God’s promise. Moses delivered a nation by leading them out of Egypt into the Promised Land. Elijah performed signs and wonders as prophet to Israel.

The difference between a calling and a career is remarkable:

  • Calling = Treasure in heaven VS Career = $ on earth
  • Calling = Life of sacrifice VS Career = Life of convenience
  • Calling = God’s always right VS Career = Your rights
  • Calling = Applause of heaven VS Career = Applause of man
  • Calling = Faithfulness VS Career = Success
  • Calling = Continues VS Career = Conclusion

What are you pursuing, a calling or a career?

The Oracle!

The Calling of a Prophet!

The office of a prophet is a life calling. Most prophets are called at birth or when they are born again (salvation). It is primarily the Lords choosing, not something you seek to become, however if called, you have a responsibility to develop your gift. Some notable prophetic ministries have identified that it can take as long as 14-15 years for a person to develop into a prophet after being called.

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men… And he gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry.” (Eph 4:7, 11)

The five fold ministry is outlined in the above passage and the office of the prophet is one of the ministries that God has established for the governmental leadership of the church. To be a prophet is a calling. To minister in prophecy is a gift. When a person ministers in the gift of prophecy, the gift is the ability to prophesy. The words themselves are the gift. When a person is a prophet, they themselves are the gift. A prophet is a gift to the church.

Apart from a foundation of character, there are actually 3 components to any mature and fruitful ministry. These are:

  1. CallingCalling gives identity. Paul was called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God (1 Cor 1:1).
  2. GiftingGifting gives ability. ‘As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God’ (1 Pet 4:10).
  3. AnointingAnointing gives purpose. It was prophesied of Jesus, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to prisoners’ (Is 61:1).

The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable but the anointing of the Lord ebbs and flows according to the relationship we have with the Holy Spirit. The calling on your life describes who you are. The anointing of God provides you with your purpose in life and the gifts that God has given to you becomes the ability in which you accomplish his purposes.

The Oracle!

The Purpose of God for your Life!

John 18:37 ‘For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world – to bear witness to the truth.’

Jesus had a core understanding of his purpose. He knew why he existed and he knew what he was alive in history. Do you live each day with the same conviction as Jesus did? If you don’t, you can.

Ephesians 5:16 says, ‘Make the best use of the time, because the days are evil.’ The best use of your time is to connect to the purpose of God for your life. You were created for a purpose. God doesn’t make rubbish and you aren’t here by accident. God has a specific intention for your existence and unique expression for the wiring that makes you, you.

The universal question common to everyone is, ‘What on earth am I here for?’ We all ask this at some point in our lives. I asked this a lot in my teenage years and I’m going through a new season of sharpening the focus in my life, where God is drawing attention to my purpose for the future ministry he wants me to engage in. I’ve observed that this question will come to your attention in your life when God is wanting to transition you into a new season that he has for you. It’s in questioning, that you end up seeking God for answers and as a result deepen your relationship with him and thus get promoted to a new level of awareness of your unique calling.

God is on a mission in the earth and he created you to play a specific role within it. Join God in what he is doing by seeking him for your unique purpose. Listen to what others are encouraging you in. Observe the areas in which you find yourself gifted and graced for. Ask yourself, what am I passionate about more than anything else? Get involved in serving in an area of ministry and your gifts will begin to surface.

Don’t waste time by just going through the motions but reposition yourself for the purpose of God in your life.

Grace!

Defining your Call!

One of the most important aspects of calling is definition. How would you define your call? Have you even thought about defining your call or are you just wandering through life, hoping to bump into your call along the way? Too many of us leave our call to chance rather than intentionally pursuing it.

Jesus had an understanding of his call. Jesus did not begin his ministry in a random way. In the Gospels, I read a lot of intention and purpose to his words and actions. Because Jesus is our example to follow, I think we should, likewise, have an understanding of our call.

If you are reading this and starting to get anxious because you are struggling to define your call, please stop because that’s not going to help you get clarity. My purpose is simply to provoke within you a desire to begin the journey of thinking, praying and hopefully better understanding what God has called you to.

As you go on this exciting journey, I want you to think about summarizing your calling in ONE BIG IDEA. Don’t think in terms of paragraphs of information but define your calling in one, simple, compelling and clear sentence. If you can narrow the focus of your call to ONE BIG IDEA that could fit on a T-shirt, you are well on your way to living out your call with definition.

I’ve narrowed my call down to ONE BIG IDEA, “To activate the call of God in people’s lives”. I would unpack this ONE BIG IDEA by saying, my assignment is activate people for their assignment. My holy discontent is seeing people not walking in their God-given call. I have a burning passion and desire to fire people up about living on purpose and using their gifts and time to make a difference in the world. This passion bleeds through in my preaching, my blog, my writing, my relationships and my ministry.

Recently, I attended the Planet Shakers Conference in Melbourne, Australia. Planet Shakers is a movement that God is using to impact thousands of people around the world. They have a clear understanding of their call. They would define their call as “Empower a generation to win a generation.” They have narrowed their call to ONE BIG IDEA.

So, what is your call? How would you define it? Is it simple enough to fit on a T-shirt but is it complete enough that it encapsulates all that God has put on your heart? I’m interested in hearing what your call is. Reply to my comments section and send me through your ONE BIG IDEA. Remember, it’s not about right and wrong but about definition. We all have different callings, what is yours and how would you define it?

Insight!

Calling. What is it?

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!”

Insight!