Are you feeling called? Are you sure? Christianity has no shortage of pastors and followers teaching about feeling great about being called to do something or go somewhere. It’s a popular thought and makes many feel very justified in where they are, what they are doing and helps curb the heartache of not being where they wish they were. The problem with this teaching is that it is very emotionally based. If we look to the Bible, we see multiple times where someone was called somewhere for special reasons to do something that defied all logic.
Jonah was called to prophesy to the Assyrians. No normal Jew would do that. If anything, Jews were waiting on God to take down the violent people for what they did to them. God, however, calls Jonah (as well as all believers) to seek to bring His glory to everyone, even the enemy.
Jeremiah was a prophet to Israel called by God. As Israel was being taken away from their home land, Jeremiah was taken to Egypt by some escapee Israelis. He was never fully trusted while he was prophesying. He never got to see God rescue his people. He lived a life that most likely ended in depression.
Moses, the greatest prophet to Judaism, was called by God to rescue Israel. Moses, however, knew he was wanted for murder since he killed one of Pharoah’s soldiers. He stuttered through excuse after excuse until God finally told Him to just go and stop being ridiculous. “Why would you not trust me, the one who can keep a bush from being consumed by fire?” Moses went, but very reluctantly. He thought, “This is not my calling, I am supposed to keep my family safe and live a long life. Going back to Egypt is not in keeping with that calling.”
Peter, was a wild person. He even cut off a man’s ear to protect His Lord. Though it made complete sense to do that, Jesus called him to put away the sword. Jesus called his biggest fan to stop with the violence. This fan is one who grew up in riot torn Galilee. If anything, Peter believed He was called to be violent towards those who opposed God.
Calling is not based on emotion but an event, and that event is when God comes and shows us that all we thought was real and worthwhile is not worth it anymore and that we are wanted to do something bigger and better. Peter found that out after Jesus’ Resurrection. He went on to preach in Acts. In his sermons, you can find that he believed that the calling to Israel was bigger than what they thought and better. Start with Acts 2 and you will see a call, but one that defied status quo and challenged those who thought they were doing the right thing. The thing about special calling is that it is really about an individual called for a special purpose to guide God’s people back to a place where they fulfill the general calling He has for them, which is to love God and to love their neighbor. Individuals should take note that if they do not feel called to something or somewhere, it’s okay. You are still called to love, which is the greatest calling that we have. If you think that you are called, test it. Do not use common sense or a random, unstudied verse. Use something that is bigger, like does God want me to be someone who will guide His people to the Lord and His will. Then you will see if you are truly called as an individual.
Do you feel called? Why? Would your faith crumble if you did not feel called? Would you be happy to embrace being not special and simply obey the believers’ call to love God and others?