Are You Being 'Called' Out Of Your 'Calling'?

One of the most common problems among young people today is career commitment.

It used to be different.  People would work a career for 30+ years before retiring or finding something else to do.  It used to be long-suffering in the same job in order to pay the bills and support a family.  The world has changed since then, and so our options have increased.

Now we can work a career for a couple years and then go off and find a different job.  As soon as we get tired, bored, or frustrated, it's usually our prerogative to throw in the towel.  We have forgotten what it means to suffer through the hard times in order to ensure our families are provided for, and to see long lasting results.  It takes time, commitment, and suffering to stick it out with a career for an extended period of time.

Now with Christians, things get even messier, because we are to be led by the Spirit of God.  A Christian may believe s/he is being led by the Spirit to go to college and find a job in that specific industry.  However, as soon as the job gets tough, or loses its excitement, one might say they are called into a different industry or into ministry.

It sounds so good, to hear that one is called to start a ministry, help the poor, or be a missionary.  Such things must be from God, and are things to celebrate.  However, if it was not God who called that person to such a task, then it is not a wise decision.  We should not be so easy to just accept anything that sounds good as coming from God.  We need to test these decisions and ask people to be absolutely for certain before making a life-changing decision like that.  Feeling a calling is more than an emotion, it must be backed up by God's Word, God's people, God's providence, and in some cases, prophesies.

Rationally, this type of decision doesn't make sense if God called you to your initial commitment.  It's the switch-a-roo.  In this context, its when God calls you to do something (such as be a doctor).  After 8 years of schooling, you finally get to be a doctor, but then a couple years into your career, you get called into full-time ministry.  All the time you spent in school and working is now for nothing, as you now need ministry skills instead.  Man, I hope I don't get the switch-a-roo pulled on me!

Of course something is wrong here.  If God calls us towards something, it will not be changed.  We will not be called to it our whole lives, necessarily, but it will be for a time and a purpose.  I believe that many people have either neglected God's will by going to school and entering whatever industry, or have neglected it by leaving that initial calling to do something else.

If you are entering a career or in the early stages of one, I encourage you to push through all the difficulties and challenges you're facing right now.  God has called you to this area for a purpose.  It is normal if it feels like we are suffering right now, because we know that after the cross, there is a resurrection.  We need to be faithful with what we've been given, and look past our current circumstances into the future legacy that could be made.  Trust God, persevere, and pray that you will be able to get through these hard times, for we know that it takes long-term commitment and long-suffering to see the long-lasting fruit of our labors.

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