What Is A “Calling?”

April 22, 2009

“Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.” – 1 Corinthians 7:20

If you have been in the church culture for a while, you have heard the term “calling” many times. You may have wondered what the term means. If you go to Webster’s Dictionary, you will find there are fifty-nine definitions of the word, “calling!” Fifty-nine! They’re as varied as receiving a call on a telephone or calling a hand in a game of poker. That’s just two of the fifty-nine! But, what is the Biblical definition of calling? A “calling” is a summons by God.

Those of you that were drafted into the military know what it’s like to get a letter from Uncle Sam saying you’ve been drafted into the military. That is a summons by the government for you to serve in the military. Well, God gives a summons. It’s a summons to follow Him. It’s a summons to trust Him. As a matter of fact, in all callings, there is a calling to serve, a calling of unselfishness, a calling of sacrifice. That’s why military service often is referred to as a calling, because the same kind of things are involved – sacrifice, unselfishness, service – when you are receiving a calling of God.

But that’s not all. There’s also a calling to leave the familiar and venture into the unknown. And that causes us to feel inadequate and insecure at times about the calling. But this is good, for it forces us to depend on God. In the New Testament, when Jesus Christ calls, it is most of all a call to follow Him. Then, as we follow Him, He calls us to specific places of service. Have you accepted His call?