The Calling

1 Corinthians 7:17

Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.

The Bible verses I cite are taken from the English Standard Version.  In the ESV, titles are given to different sections.  The section which verse 17 begins is titled; “Live As You Are Called”.

I really like that title, and I think that could be the mantra for every one of us.  It’s like a mission statement for each individual.  Paul is telling us that we are all unique individuals and each one of us has our own talents, quirks, ways of thinking and no one way is the only right way; except the way of love and righteousness.

Just because you are of a certain race, or from a particular region, or grew up in a time period, doesn’t mean you are to adhere to the norms as set by society for those groups.  The only norm you need to adhere to is the ten simple laws given to us by God; and the greatest commandments as given to us by Christ.

Matthew 22:37-39

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Paul tells us in these verses from 1 Corinthians; the Lord has given each one of us our own life and we should each follow whatever calling we have been given.

That is very difficult to do.

The world gets in the way.  Our love, our passion, our way of serving God, isn’t very lucrative.  Your calling has nothing to do with financial gain, status, or power.  But the world tells us we need things.  It tells us we need a certain level of comfort and stability, a comfort of the physical.

So we pursue the physical.  I did.  I did it with the best of intentions; to insure my family’s safety and well-being.  I did it to insure their health and happiness, and for mine too.  I have no regrets other than I allowed that pursuit to cause me to ignore my spiritual health.

I didn’t deny what God had called me to do, I just didn’t think about it.  Maybe my calling was to provide the best I could for my family.  But I believe that’s a given and it’s more than that.

Sometimes we allow the world to tell us our calling.  Because we are of a group, the world tells us this is how we should behave and this is what you should pursue.  And so, as to not upset the world, we do what it says and allow worldly things to push aside our calling or trying to figure it out.

I guess that’s the hardest part. Figuring out what the Lord has assigned to us.  What is God’s calling?  I know after six decades of life I’m still wondering if I have figured it out or am I letting the world cloud my spirit.  Am I just not able to clear my heart?

But as Paul writes:

…let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.

It is not ours to judge who has been called to do what, only the individual can know what that is.

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 7:20:

Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called.

Don’t go changing to please the world.  Stay true to the gift of life that you have been given by God.  Clear your heart and follow the calling of God; no matter where it may go.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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