We all have callings from God in line with the gifts he has given us. Have you discovered yours? Have you felt a nudge from God about some need you see in the world or your community? What happens when you resist your callings?
The prophet Jonah resisted his calling from God to go to Ninevah and call on that nation to repent and turn to God. He not only resisted – he ran the other way. In a ship heading away from Ninevah, we are told, “Jonah, meanwhile, had gone down to the hold of the ship and had lain down, and was fast asleep” – Jonah 1:5b. Sleeping in the middle of a storm at sea isn’t a “normal” reaction. It would seem to indicate that Jonah was struggling with denial and rejection … the kind that can lead to “pull the blanket over your head” depression.
Why did Jonah …why do you and I…sometimes resist our callings – the things God designed us for and that can bring us and others a sense of purpose and joy?
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.” God infuses our lives with purpose, having created each of us for his glory and by his design. And, when we are willing to step into that design, Psalm 23:3 we are promised, “He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.”
It would be easy to resist my callings by deciding I’m getting a little older and maybe I should let someone younger step up and serve with their gifts. But, instead, at the start of this new year, I am asking the Lord to guide me to fulfill more of his purpose for me. I am purposing to:
- Ask God to refresh my sense of purpose with new ways he might want to use my gifts
- Avoid escaping by distraction, fear or procrastinating – and to ask God to not allow me to become lackadaisical
- Set goals and steps to see those goals fulfilled where I sense God is leading me
- Stay faithful to the Lord in serving him and being his hands, feet and voice knowing that…
“12 The righteous flourish like the palm tree,
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 They are planted in the house of the Lord;
they flourish in the courts of our God.
14 In old age they still produce fruit;
they are always green and full of sap,
15 showing that the Lord is upright;
he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.” – Psalm 92:12-15 (bold, my own emphasis)
- Judi Brandow, Communications Specialist