October 10, 2018 • Life for Leaders
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
I am a lousy dancer. Though I love music and can tap my foot quite skillfully, my body just doesn’t move artfully to music. So, because I hate feeling awkward, I avoid dancing.
Except for one kind… square dancing. I actually can enjoy this kind of dancing, doing do-si-dos and allemande lefts. Why do I like square dancing? Partly because it’s fairly easy, but mainly because square dancing is directed by a square dance caller. In square dancing, there is somebody telling me exactly what I should do and when. If I heed the caller, then I can square dance. The caller makes all the difference.
When it comes to the rest of life, we also have a caller. That’s one obvious implication of the fact that you and I have a calling. As we saw in yesterday’s Life for Leaders devotion, according to Ephesians 4:1, each and every Christian should “live a life worthy of the calling [we] have received.” If we have a calling, then we have a caller. And that caller is God.
God’s way of calling differs from that of the square dance caller, however. The dance caller tells the dancers exactly what to do at each moment. God, on the contrary, calls us into relationship with himself and to a life devoted to his purposes. God reveals in Scripture much of which this life entails. But God does not dictate every move we make. Rather, we are free to act in response to God’s calling, guided by his Word and Spirit.
The fact that we have a caller warns us not to fall into the culturally-popular trap of thinking that our calling is mainly a matter of following our own feelings. Your calling isn’t necessarily acting on your own passion. Rather, it is acting in obedience to the God who calls you. To be sure, sometimes God’s call aligns with your passion. But often your passion will come after you respond to God’s call, saying “yes” even when you feel uncertain or resistant. The point is not what you feel, but how you act in response to God your caller.
Something to Think About:
What difference does it make in your life that you have a calling from a divine caller?
How might you live differently today if you were to take this truth seriously, letting it pervade everything you do today?
Have you ever acted in obedience to God’s call even when you were uncertain or hesitant?
Something to Do:
Set aside a few minutes today to reflect on the fact that God is your caller. Pay attention to how you feel in response to this fact. Tell God all that is in your mind and heart.
Gracious God, thank you for calling me into relationship with yourself. Thank you for calling me into your mission. Thank you for helping me to hear your voice and respond to your calling. Thank you for being my caller.
Help me this day, I pray, to live in response to you. May every thought of mine, every choice, every action be a way for me to say “Yes, Lord” to you. Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project:
Calling to life, not only to work
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.