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!

Growing your Gift!

Proverbs ‘A mans gift makes room for him.’

Your calling is about your identity. I hear people say they don’t want to build their identity upon their calling but I actually think God does exactly this. Tell me, where does one start and the other end? Calling is inextricably linked to who you are. Jesus was called by his Father to be the messiah and lay down his life on the cross. His identity was completely wrapped up in his relationship with his Father and the course of life the Father destined him to fulfill. My identity is established in my relationship with Father God but his calling on me is fundamentally apart of my relationship with him that I don’t know where one ends and the other begins.

Your anointing is about your purpose. God has created everyone of us fearfully and wonderfully (Ps 139). I believe every person on the planet has received an anointing because we have been made in the image of God but the power and potency of this anointing is determined by our relationship with the Holy Spirit. The anointing on your life will ebb and flow according to your relationship with God. The anointing is the expression of the person and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Whilst all humans are made in the image of God with a deposit of Gods anointing in their DNA, the anointing is actually fully alive in the person surrendered to God and filled with his Spirit. God anoints you for a specific purpose. You are clearly anointed for some things and not for others. A key to success in life is to discern early what it is you are anointed for and run hard in that very purpose. Remember, it’s never too late to start today.

Your gifting is about your ability. The gifts and call of God are irrevocable, meaning without repentance. God’s not going to call them back from you but they can be undeveloped and underutilized. We are all responsible to develop our gifting. God will give you the raw material but you need to develop what has been given freely as a good deposit into your life. Your gift will bring you before prominent people in your field. Your character will sustain you in the space, your gifting creates for you. Spiritual gifts are evidence of Gods grace. Spiritual fruit is evidence of Gods sanctifying work in us. The Holy Spirit distributes as he wills (1 Cor 12:11). You and I are to enjoy using the gifts God has given to us, whilst earnestly seeking after the higher gifts (higher gifts are those that are in greater need in our lives than others depending upon the circumstances we are facing).

Growing your gift most commonly takes place in 5 key ways:

1. Use it – Start serving someone or something or somewhere today and your gift will automatically grow.
2. Mentor it – Seek out a mentor already established in your specific gift and learn from them.
3. Read it – Read everything you can on your gift and your knowledge will inform your use of it.
4. Pray it – Prayer will partner with the Holy Spirit to inflame the gift within you to be powerful and effective.
5. Focus it – There comes a point in your life when you must stop dilly dallying around and start to focus on doing what only you do best. There’s a time for doing secondary tasks but as you go on, you must focus on your key area of gifting or stay frustrated for the rest of your life.

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!

Listen to Billy Graham!

Someone once asked Billy Graham what would you do differently if you had to do it all over again? He replied,

‘I would have spent twice as much time preparing myself for leadership and preaching and half as much time actually leading and preaching. If I had 5 years left to live, I would go back to bible college for 3 years and then hit the road and preach all over the globe for my last 2 years.’

If it’s good enough for Billy Graham, it’s good enough for you and I. Lead yourself before you lead anyone else!

The Oracle!

What’s Your Life Mission?

Psalm 139:14 I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Lots of people journey through life without a clear sense of purpose and personal mission. Truth is, every single one of us can and should connect with our reason for being alive. While the ultimate reason God created us is for relationship with Him, He has wired us up with some unique strengths for a specific purpose on planet earth.

Discovering your life mission takes time and is a life long journey. The longer I live the more I discover about my purpose and reason for being wired up the way I am. If you are unclear about your life purpose, don’t fret but begin the journey today to discovering more about God and then he will help you discover more about you. If you have some clarity, then go deeper in the journey by asking some further questions of God and yourself. Engage in a closer self-examination.

Begin with God. If I want to know the purpose for a particular product, I would go to the original manufacturer and ask the all important question, ‘what on earth does this product exist for?’ The original creator of your life is God. If you don’t believe this fundamental truth,  then your first step towards your life mission is to re-examine your belief system and be open to going on a faith journey with God. God created you fearfully and wonderfully. Your destiny is not your decision, its your discovery. God is sovereign and he has a plan and purpose for creating you. Connect to your calling by connecting to God and he will give you inside information on who you are, what your wiring is and how best to utilize your strengths to fulfil your mission.

Understand your Past. Your destiny is hidden in your history. God has already been at work revealing, shaping and moulding you for your life mission. Even the painful experiences God can and will use for his glory and your testimony. Reflect and remember where God has already been active in your past.

Identify your Passion. What’s your holy discontent? What stirs your affections and passion. What makes you leap to your feet and moves you to action? Too many of us are content to stay in roles and environments that don’t really reflect the passion beating in our hearts. Connect to what it is that you love doing and love resolving and go after it.

Discover your Ability. What comes easily to you? Where do you seem to excel? What have others said to you, you are good at? What do you find pleasure in doing or being apart of? Don’t believe the lie, that you’re not good at anything. It’s rubbish. Everyone of us are good at something. Start engaging in life and see what comes to the surface of what you do well.

See your Opportunity. What doors are open to you? It could be no doors are open in your area of interest currently but if you knocked on a door, what could open up to you? Opportunities to engage in life are all around us. Discern what opportunities lie before you, even if disguised in hard work and start to take some steps in that direction.

Open your Ears. What is God saying to you? What is His still small voice impressing upon you? What are others around you saying? Chew the meat and spit out the bones of people’s comments. Listen with a discerning heart and embrace what resonates with your spirit and throw out the rest, unless God is trying to speak to you about an area of your life you need to pay attention to and grow in.

Record your research. Don’t just let important details you’ve discovered to float around in cyberspace or brain space, get it down on paper and exact your thinking with writing. Your life mission is too important to be vague and fuzzy about. Get clear, get specific and get focused.

God created you for a specific purpose. You have a life mission and God wants you and expects you to connect to it. Your life is a gift from God, what you do with your life is your gift back to him. Don’t waste another day, swimming in a sea of doubt and disillusionment. Begin the journey today to living on purpose and connecting with your life mission.

The Oracle!

The Journey is the Testimony!

Too often we live in the distant future rather than embracing our present reality. I have suffered from this many times in my past and missed the story God was weaving into my life in that very moment.

Stop thinking your life begins in the future. You’re living in it right now. This may be quite depressing for you if your current reality is painful or not as you want it to be but I’ve discovered that every season has a purpose and must be embraced for what it is.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 ‘For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.’

It seems like we are all heading towards a place called “there”, hoping, wishing and believing that “there” is going to live up to our expectations and fulfill all our desires and then we will be fulfilled in life. While its great to have a dream or a vision for what could be, it’s integral that you understand that life is what happens to you while you are desperately searching for that place called “there”. Rather than waiting for “there” to arrive, start redefining your approach to life and live each day, presently conscious of what is happening in each moment.

I get to speak in lots of different churches and meet lots of different people. On the one hand I get to speak out of the revelation Gods given me into His word but I also speak out of my personal journey. It’s when Gods revelation intersects with my personal journey that something truly special happens, not just for me but for those whom I minister to.

I’ve discovered that my story connecting with Gods story will help ppl in their story. My testimony isn’t about my destination, it’s about my everyday journey. What I’ve wrestled with, what I’ve learnt and what God has carried me through along the journey becomes the impetus that washes over people’s hearts and causes them to marvel at Gods goodness and grace, not just for me but for them as well.

I encourage you to look at your life from a different perspective. Your life is passing before you very quickly. You’re living it while you are pursuing your dreams and aspirations. Life doesn’t start when you arrive. It has already started for you. Your journey is your testimony. What is God showing you today?

The Oracle!

Connecting to your Calling

Your calling is shaped by defining moments in your life. I can point to defining moments that have marked me and shaped my identity and calling. What about you? What is your call story?

You may think your career is your calling. Not necessarily so. A calling is different to a career. A career is about making money, a calling is about laying up treasures in heaven. A career is about convenient living, a calling is about a life of sacrifice. A career is about an employees rights, a calling is about Gods always right. A career is about the applause of man, a calling is about the applause of heaven. A career is about attaining success, a calling is about being faithful. A career has a conclusion, a calling lasts a lifetime.

I personally define calling as, “Gods unique soul print on a persons identity that is accompanied by a strong heart conviction and empowerment of Gods anointing and grace-gifting for a specific purpose that transcends a specific occupation, and is confirmed by spiritual authority.”

There is a lot in this definition but there needs to be. Calling is deep, mystical, divine and a matter of the heart, not the head. Just take a cursory glance of the Scriptures and you will discover calling can come in lots of different shapes and sizes. Noah was called to save a remnant by building a boat. Moses was called to be a deliverer. David was called to be a king after Gods heart. Elijah was called to be a prophet to Israel. Paul was called to be an apostle to the Gentiles. Don’t minimize your call to simply your ‘job’ but realize regardless of what occupation you engage in at any one time, you’re calling transcends it.

Calling and identity are so closely aligned, it’s hard to know where one begins and the other ends. There is such an intertwining of identity in your calling that your soul and personality is hard wired up to express a longing within you that is part of the very fabric of who you are at your core. When someone is in their element, it’s that point where who they really are intersects with passion and gifting in their everyday reality.

Connecting to your calling requires you to:

1. Understand your PAST – destiny is in your history
2. Identify your PASSION – What’s your holy discontent?
3. Discover your ABILITY – What comes easily to you?
4. See your OPPORTUNITY – What doors are open to you?
5. Open your EARS – What is God saying to you?

Your destiny is not your decision, it’s your discovery. When you connect to your calling, you connect to your life purpose.

St Francis of Assisi once said,

God picks the meanest and weakest of people on the earth and he uses them.

You’re in good company today. God has called you and he wants to use all of us in spite of our failings and shortcomings.

The Oracle!