“I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (Ephesians 4:1 NIV).
When we don’t know what God is calling us to do, it causes stress.
In these devotionals, I’ve been sharing with you seven principles of stress-free living from the life of Jesus. The first two were:
- Identification: Know who you are
- Motivation: Know whose approval you are living for
The third principle of stress-free living from the life of Jesus is this: the Principle of Vocation. You have to know your calling.
Vocation comes from the Latin word for voice and means what God has called us to do.
And you must settle your vocation if you want to cut down on your stress.
Jesus knew his calling. He said in John 8:14, “I know where I came from and where I am going” (NIV).
Jesus understood his unique purpose—and he lived for it.
Your life is driven by something. All of our lives are driven by something. Sometimes they’re driven by regret or anger. Sometimes they’re driven by shame. Sometimes they’re driven by money or sex.
God wants your calling to drive your life. How do you know what you’ve been called to do? For years, I’ve shared an acronym that has helped many, many people. I encourage people to think and pray through their specific SHAPE. That means consider your:
- Spiritual gifts
- Heart (what you love to do)
God doesn’t give you a calling you’ll find miserable. He’ll call you to do something you enjoy and something you’re good at.
Paul writes in Ephesians 4:1, “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (NIV).
I encourage you to ask yourself every day: Am I doing what I’m called to do?
FOCUS YOUR ENTIRE BEING on My living Presence. I am most assuredly with you, enveloping you in My Love and Peace. While you relax in My Presence, I am molding your mind and cleansing your heart. I am recreating you into the one I designed you to be. As you move from stillness into the activities of your day, do not relinquish your attentiveness to Me. If something troubles you, talk it over with Me. If you get bored with what you are doing, fill the time with prayers and praise. When someone irritates you, don’t let your thoughts linger on that person’s faults. Gently nudge your mind back to Me. Every moment is precious if you keep your focus on Me. Any day can be a good day, because My Presence permeates all time. Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD.
They rejoice in your name all day long;
they exult in your righteousness.
PSALM 89 : 15 – 16
This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts
condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
1 JOHN 3 : 19 – 20
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—
to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and
JUDE 24 – 25
In my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever.
PSALM 41 : 12
Delay is not Denial from God
The Bible is filled with examples of how God uses a long process to develop character, especially in leaders. He took eighty years to prepare Moses, including forty in the wilderness. For 14,600 days Moses kept waiting and wondering, “Is it time yet?” But God kept saying, “Not yet.”
Great souls are grown through struggles and storms and seasons of suffering. Be patient with the process.
Don’t get discouraged. When Habakkuk became depressed because he didn’t think God was acting quickly enough, God had this to say: “These things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” (Habakkuk 2:3 LB)
Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be. God isn’t finished with you so keep moving forward. Even the snail reached the ark by persevering!