I don’t want to be unfair to those people who feel genuinely “called” to a specific task in the Kingdom. But often when we refer to a “calling” we really mean “the thing we ought to do”. While I fully believe that God has a path laid out for each of us; we are not called to a path we are called to Christ. Put another way Christ is our goal, our milestone, and foundation of the journey (put simpler still He “is the way the truth and the life”). Those things we should be doing are simply ways of getting to him, but even in those there is failure and dependence. In those areas His grace brings the Goal to us.
I feel like the more we over-emphasize the calling the more we exempt people from the things they ought to be doing regardless of calling. This is what brings on responses like:
“I care about missions, but I’m not called to missions.”
Really? Seriously?!? You’re not called to make disciples and give yourself away? My only floored response to that backwards materialistic [reason i rant in the first place] mentality is, “When did Jesus call you to watch TV 4 hours a day, or buy your fourth vehicle? And yet you still manage to accomplish those tasks, hmmm?”
James 4:17 is a serious indictment against this attitude. Mistaking a calling for a ministry or a position is one of the leading causes of apathy and slothfulness in our modern churchscape. We must cry out, make clear, and teach sensibly that the Gospel frees us from seeking position and status and releases us to do His will and not please men.
The Call to Christ is foremost; everything else is fluxing between what we should do and what we were each individually created to do.