Waiting Upon Your Calling
I want to share with you my personal story about my calling but before I do I need to explain just a few things:
What is a calling? By definition a calling is; a strong urge or impulse to follow a particular job, career or profession.
Most of us pick a job, career or profession by simple deduction. We determine our path by thinking about what we’re good at, what we like or what may interest us. For example, I aced my high school accounting course, so I thought I’d be a good accountant. In other words, we choose and decide but we don’t think too much about the “calling” aspect of it all.
But if you pause for a moment and think - if it’s supposed to be a calling, then there must be a call involved. By definition a call is; to summon somebody or something by a formal request, or to say something or speak loudly. Again, by example, my parents told me that I should be an accountant, so I listened and obeyed.
However, who should we be listening to? The answer: the one who has the true right to call us, which of course would be the one who created us and knows us from the inside out – Yes that’s right it’s God!
God does indeed call us into a job to do for Him. He knows what we’re already good at, what we like and what interests us, but even more he knows what we would be good at, what we would like and what would interest us. And since he designed or built in certain things within us that only he knows about, he has every right then to call us. Therefore he’s the one we should listen to for our calling.
But how does God speak to us about our calling? He uses the natural things I already mentioned, like what were good at, what we like and what interests us, as well as those who know us well enough to speak into our lives but then he goes above and beyond that with speaking directly to us in prayer, circumstances, events and experiences. I would advocate that we spend time in prayer seeking his direction for our lives because he will never steer us wrong.
There’s another thing we must consider, and that is timing. When we do hear God and he gives us our calling, does that mean we immediately jump in and start doing it? Well in most cases the answer is no – it takes time. For example, to be an accountant I needed a college degree and then even some after college certifications and continuing education to be the best accountant I could be. There is always proper preparation and release into the calling that God gives. And how do we know we’re ready? When I received my diploma, indicating that I had passed my courses and earned my degree, it was a big sign that I was ready and when someone was willing to hire me into my first accounting related job, it was another big clue that I was prepared to fulfill the role.
So now here’s my story:
When I was graduating from high school I didn’t put much thought into what was going to happen next. I assumed I was going to go to college but I didn’t really think of where. I just let my circumstances play out and default me into going to the local community college. I also didn’t think much about what I would study or what career I wanted. I had grown up with two very big influences in my life, one was music and the other was religion.
Many thought (and even told me) I would be a priest but having been adopted at the age of seven and been without a flesh and blood connection, I knew this wouldn’t suffice because I wanted my own family. So, I thought I would pursue music but my parents said they wouldn’t pay for college if I went to school for music. I think it was because my uncle was a music teacher in a very small northern Wisconsin town and didn’t earn a decent living and they wanted better for me. It may have been also because at the time I wasn’t an outstanding musician.
Hence, I had to think about what was I good at, and so like I said previously, since I aced my accounting class and my dad was an accountant and we had a good standard of living, I decided accounting it must be. In the back of my mind I thought I would get my music degree afterwards when I could pay for it on my own. Well life got faster and harder and after college graduation I had no time for its pursuit. In fact life got so hard and so fast that I was near breakdown when my wife and I met a few short years after college.
Our new relationship dredged up things from our pasts that had to be dealt with so together we got into a bible study in March of 1994. As a result of the bible study, God got a hold of my heart and I was trying to find God’s call on my life since I was unhappy as an accountant.
I had heard of a faith healer coming to the area. I had never heard of a faith healer before and I wanted to check it out so I went to the service. In fact I went early to pray before the service because I was seeking God’s calling for my life and I thought if this is real, then I’ll put God to the test. You see I had been seeking God’s call for some time and I had gotten some indications / signs from God that it had to do with ministry but nothing definite that I could latch onto. Therefore, I needed to get something purposeful.
On Friday March 10, 1995, I was the first in the sanctuary that night and I began to pray. I said “God if you want me to earn my living in full-time ministry someday then you have to speak it to me through the man of God tonight but not only over me but over me and my wife because you have made us as one flesh.” I thought this was a good test for me to give God since my wife worked second shift as a nurse and she had to work that night and couldn’t be at the service, and if it happened then it really had to be of God.
Service started and we sang songs, praised God, heard testimonies and announcements and then it was time for the introduction of the faith healer. I was sitting on the front row, which was unusual for me, as I was accustom to sitting in the back but I didn’t want to miss a thing because the building was crowded. Just as the preacher was being introduced, my wife sat down next to me. She had gotten off of work early and made it to the service and just felt that I would be on the front row.
After giving a message about having faith like Abraham, the preacher asked for anyone in pain to stand and he would come pray for them. I had been having neck pain so I stood. When he came to pray for me I told him only of my neck pain and so he prayed. The pain vanished!
As he was turning to go pray with the next person he stopped suddenly and said to me; “You will excel at that which you aspire to do as long as you pledge your allegiance to God and God alone, covenant brother! – Covenant!” Immediately I knew this was God’s response to my prayer and I was floored. I tried to pursue it right away but things did not work out because I didn’t realize that simply having a calling did not make you ready to fulfill it. There was preparation that had to be attended to.
Over the years that followed, I was tried and tested so I could learn and grow into the things of God. It was not easy and it was not pleasant but it was helpful. There were several times I felt like quitting and giving it up. I learned so much that it changed me as a person.
During these waiting years I have often felt I would have to wait for the fulfillment of the promise like Abraham did for his. He waited 25 years for his son Isaac to be born. I once thought I was getting close to entering my calling when my first child was born on the first day of spring (March 21st) in room 7 at 7:07 am, but it wasn’t meant to be yet. I have many times come back to God and asked him to fulfill it.
It has been 24 years ago and over the years God has given me glimpses and hopes that it is still on its way. Even recently I was talking to God and felt again that my wait would be 25 years like Abraham’s so being an accountant, I calculated that to be March 10, 2020. While feeling excited that my wait may be almost over, I felt God say to me that my calculation was wrong since I didn’t use biblical years (which is 360 days a year rather than our 365.25 days a year) so when I recalculated it, I arrived at the date of October 30, 2019. I felt like it then hit me between the eyes.
God has a purpose for everything even the things we think are insignificant or hard to understand. In that moment God showed me that particular date is the day after my birthday (which is October 29th) and on that day I will be officially 52 years old. Why is this significant? Because God speaks to us in numbers and 52 represents Gospel Work. It was God’s way of saying to me that my calling into full-time Gospel Work will officially begin then. As I was rejoicing in that, the next thing I did was open my email and while I get periodic emails regarding my evangelistic ministry’s Healing Retreats I hadn’t gotten one in several months and there was a request for me to conduct one in my email that same day acting as another confirmation.
While I am joyous that God still speaks to me, I am at peace because I have learned over the years through all the preparation that God’s timing is perfect and his promises are certain. If he chooses that particular date as the release date for me, then so be it and if he decides not to, then so be it but I am certain he will fulfill his promise in his timing because I trust him!
I know this has been a very long blog and I’m happy you have read to the end but I want to encourage you to keep waiting upon God for your calling as well. Notice in my title for this blog that I use the word “upon” not “for” (as in Waiting For Your Calling). The word “for” indicates it’s yet to come as though there’s a chance it might not come at all, but the word “upon” indicates that it’s about to happen as though it’s a guarantee. That’s the way we need to look at the calling of God on our lives, it’s a guarantee, but it’s all a matter of his timing as well. So be patient and wait for it.
I know that what I am telling you is true because as I was towards the end of writing this I saw an email in my inbox that just arrived entitled “What is Your Calling.” Again, it’s God confirming to me that I am addressing the right topic.