Colossians 1:25, “Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God.”
The Apostle was very clear on what the call of God was for him. Yet many believers are unsure as to what they are to be doing. The confusion over their “call” is compounded by the onslaught of writings that purport to help believers discover their call. Just as an employer does not hire people when he has no idea what job he has for them, I would assume that God is not hiding from His children the call He has on their lives. I have discovered through my interaction with believers that before they can understand a “call,” they must have a clear understanding of the purpose of the Christian life. If I were to take one digit out of someone’s phone number and place it at the end of the number, the whole thing would be so out of order that I could never use the number to call the person. In God’s order we must first know the purpose of our lives. His goal is the revelation of Christ in us, and once our goal in life also becomes the revelation of Christ within, we will see that these two purposes meet perfectly in our unique sets of circumstances. From working in the yard to working in the corporate world, our life’s goal and His goal remain consistent, the revelation of Christ. We have all had friends for whom nothing seemed to work out; they always have a broken car and are in financial straits, and, though amply qualified, they never get the good job. In the past I was vexed over that, but no longer! Once I could see the purpose of life, I could see that God had permitted them to be placed in situations that would best aid their advance into the great revelation of Christ. Therefore, we first define the goal of life, which will be expressed uniquely through every individual. I believe that this is what many people define as a “call.” On the Vine we are branches witnessing to other branches about the very same Life that flows in all of us. I have said several times, “There are no great speakers; there are only great audiences able to respond to the message.” Perhaps God has not spoken ahead of time into the hearts of the other branches; in that case, a speaker’s attempts to witness to a message that is not in the listeners will not bear fruit. I was visiting a church in Asia where many of the men had taken mistresses. The pastor had chosen the topic on which I was to speak: prayer. It is a beautiful topic, but it was not where the Vine was speaking to the other branches. If I had the “call” of God to teach prayer, this was not the time, and we must be sensitive to our call. It is very simple for a believer to determine what his call is. It is that which, when witnessed to by the leading of the Vine, creates a divine explosion in others. The secret is that since the life flows through the Vine, when there is an explosion in the receiver branches, there is an equal explosion in the witness branch! I am always telling people things that they already know, for God has placed it in them. Yet when I see a spark in the eyes concerning the indwelling Christ, the love of God, the sufficiency of Jesus, and the hope that we have in Him, I never know who gets more excited! For the explosion, by way of the Vine, is taking place in me, also. In short, the “call” is the work of God witnessed to and exciting a believer as he shares it every bit as much as the receiver. “Calls” are different. Paul makes this point to the Corinthians. We are all different members of one body, one Vine. In our “calls” we do not compete with the other branches but complete the work God has for all of us to do.