For many of us who have been Christians for decades or even the majority of our lives, we can say that on most days we feel pretty secure and confident in the calling God has placed on our lives and in how He’s gifted us uniquely to fulfill His purposes.
But sometimes, on just the right day, when we feel particularly vulnerable or discouraged, even the most mature believer in Christ can question whether or not she’s making a difference with her life. It’s there in the quietness of her heart, in the secret place where only a few have access, that she allows if even for just a moment, those ugly doubts about her calling to creep in.
Am I doing enough? Does what I’m working on really matter? Why can’t I be as successful as she is?
If you’re asking yourself these questions today or have in the past, I want to encourage you from the Scriptures that your calling, no matter how big or small, can and does make an impact in the kingdom of God. Here are three reasons why.
1. God’s vast and varied purposes in the world necessitate our vast and varied callings.
Christian circles tend to think of God’s purposes in the world solely in terms of what is seen as “spiritual.” Sharing the gospel, making disciples, teaching the Bible, etc., which is unquestionably part of the Great Commission in Matthew 28.
But if we go back to Genesis, God lays out His vision for the earth in broader terms. When He tells Adam and Eve in Genesis 1:28 to “be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it,” He wants them to not only populate the earth but also to cultivate it. As Tim Keller says in Every Good Endeavor:
“We get the sense that God does not want merely more individuals of the human species; He also wants the world to be filled with a human society. He could have just spoken the world and created millions of people in thousands of human settlements, but He didn’t. He made it our job to develop and build society.”
Imagine the host of vocational callings that God uses to cultivate and build society! I don’t think our nation was ever more thankful for truck drivers until COVID-19 emerged. For the first time in our lives, grocery stores were understocked. How many prayers of “give us this day our daily bread” were answered through the labor of truck drivers!
So no matter what your calling is, how grand or seemingly unnoticeable, know that God is using your work to advance His purposes on the earth. What began as a garden in Genesis will ultimately culminate as a city at the end of time (Rev 21:1-2), and your calling plays a vital part in this fulfillment.
2. The paradoxical nature of God’s kingdom means small callings are great.
When Jesus told Pilate His kingdom was not of this world, He hinted that it operates on an entirely different set of principles than that of the earth. He explained this throughout the gospels:
- The last will be first and the first last (Mt 20:16).
- Those who wish to be great must become servants (Mt 20:26).
- Those who give will receive (Lk 6:38).
- Mustard-sized faith accomplishes great triumphs through the power of God (Lk 17:6)
What seems like a small or insignificant calling in this world can be used by God to bring about immeasurable ends. But this takes faith, doesn’t it? Offer the work of your hands to the Lord with a heart that believes and trusts that in His kingdom, small efforts carried out in faith will yield abundant fruit.
3. Your calling matters because God is the One who initiated it before time began.
Ephesians 2:10 tells us, For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.
Because this is true, what He’s called you to matters, regardless of how glamorous or mundane it appears. This is His plan for you. And He is trustworthy and good!
Ephesians 2:10 above is the culmination of a beautiful chapter and a half of God’s love story for you. Our callings mentioned here as “good works” are the final component to a stunning series of events initiated in the heart of God and enacted in your life by His grace: He knew and loved you before you were born, adopted you into His family, redeemed you from your sins, and brought you from death to life in Christ (Eph 1-2:9).
Then His heart of love for you further extended into providing you with purpose; works that He intentionally chose for you to carry out.
Your calling matters, friend. Because He called you to it, and in His wisdom and love, He knows what He’s doing with you and this world for His own glory. Keep going by faith!
This article was first published at Contagious Joy