Women's Christian Podcast

Who’s calling: God’s truth about “calling” by Erin Harrigan

With all the talk about calling and purpose in society today, do you ever think, “Wait, did I miss my calling? Is what I’m doing even my calling?”

Maybe you feel stuck trying to figure it out. It can be frustrating, right?

Well, let me give you some relief to your frustration:

Figuring out your calling isn’t about a magical quest, another assessment quiz or trying to untie a bunch of knots.

The truth is: God’s already planted your calling in you, you just need to cultivate it!

Cultivate kuhl-tuh-veyt ]

  1. To grow plants, notably crops
  2. To nurture; to foster; to tend.
  3. To turn or stir soil in preparation for planting.

Are you one of those “green thumbs” who find it easy to cultivate plants (or other growing things)?

Some people are great with plants, and others (like me), not so much. I seriously almost killed the succulent on my desk last week!

To cultivate your calling is to nurture, foster and tend to what God has already created in you. Some definitions include words like breaking up soil to prepare for sowing and planting, and sometimes that’s exactly what God needs to do in us to free us from roots of old habits, ways of working and ways of thinking so that what He’s already planted can grow and, eventually, produce the fruit He intends. Breaking up the soil is akin to His pruning:

 

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that continues to bear fruit, He [repeatedly] prunes, so that it will bear more fruit [even richer and finer fruit]. John 15:2 AMP

Do you see that last part? He prunes so that the fruitful branches produce more, richer, finer fruit.

Friend, you and I are those branches!

When it comes to cultivating what God’s placed in you, maybe you’re not quite sure where to start because the world is SO LOUD and you wonder how God even defines calling, or how He instructs you to walk in it. Read on for the 4 Keys to cultivate your calling!

Circle of arrows around the word God instructing you how to follow the 4 Keys framework to work with God: Define, Direct, Discipline, Develop for cultivating your calling

DEFINE

In her book, An Intentional Life, Karen Stott describes calling as where our strengths and passions collide, who God made us to be, and how we do anything.

Connecting this to scripture, I believe this is how God defines calling:

From 1 Corinthians 3:9 – You are His chosen co-laborer and ambassador.

From Psalm 1:2-3 – He defines the fruit you will yield in the marketplace, and the season in which you’ll yield it.

From Psalm 1:2-3 – The Holy Spirit has equipped and qualified for this mission that’s aligned to your calling.

Here’s what your calling is NOT:

  • A one-time discovery that you should have figured out by now, and if you missed it, sorry about your luck.
  • A title, position, income milestone or business model.
  • Only found in one place, like a business, ministry, or job.

Your calling is all the ways He created you: the natural skills and talents + the spiritual gifts you received when you gave your life to Christ. How do you know what those skills, talents and gifts are? Use this focused 15 minutes exercise:

Set a timer for 15 minutes and answer these questions:

  • When I feel the most joy and “flow,” what am I doing?
  • What have others close to me said I’m really good at or what distinguishes me?
  • Ask God to show you the gifts and talents He’s given you.
  • Ask God where He’s already positioned you to use those gifts.

This will help you see the calling God’s placed in you. You can rest in knowing that God made you on purpose with a calling to be used for a purpose.

DIRECT

I can see the next question on the tip of your tongue: what IS that purpose? How do I walk out my calling in real life?

Mark 12:30-31 is the greatest commandment: Love God. Love People. (my paraphrase)

Matthew 28:19 is the great commission: Go and make disciples. (my paraphrase)

Together, these make up the ultimate purpose for which you and I were made. God directs us to walk out our calling in real life this way: focus on His purpose in the places He puts us.

Karen Stott calls them commissions. What you do isn’t your calling, though God may call you to it. God leads you in and out of commissions throughout life, to use your calling in those spaces with those people. Each commission is a role in His larger story, for which He specifically made you!

Your family, business, ministry, etc. are all spaces in which you intersect with people and have the opportunity to reflect Christ by administering your calling. Sometimes God gives us assignments that line right up with our passion, and sometimes He doesn’t, yet each are exactly the places we can make Kingdom impact.

Therefore, your calling is a permanent foundation, while the commissions change throughout your life, and they’re perfectly placed and timed for His purpose to create a beautiful tapestry that reflects His glory. And through them, we live the abundant life in Christ which we were made to live! (Even those commissions we don’t particularly care for)

Knowing your calling is secure from the Creator that gave it to you means being content with the commissions He gives and takes away. Karen Stott

From her introduction to Karen Stott’s book, Michelle Myers, co-founder of She Works His Way, says:

“So, here’s the question we have to ask on our hardest days: Would you keep doing what you claim God has asked you to do, even if there was nothing in it for you?

Strip away the results:

Accolades
Titles
Perks
Platform
Respect

Are you still in?

If the absence of any of the above would make you quit, maybe you’re not working from a place of conviction and calling.

God’s mission requires servants who are so called that quitting creates more pain than failure.

We can’t be flippant with the word calling. We have to take it back to the same question: Are we genuinely willing to stick to what God has asked us to do, regardless of what’s in it for us?”

 

CLIFFHANGER!

Watch for my next blog post for the how and why of cultivating, using the second half of the 4 Keys: Discipline and Develop!

If you found this helpful today, share it with a friend, and let me know with a DM on LinkedIn @erinharrigan or Instagram @erindharrigan

If your outward success is warring with your faith and priorities, I hear you. I see you. And it doesn’t have to be this way. God made you to be ambitious, but He didn’t make you to work the world’s way. I’m the coach that can help! Schedule a call to explore working with me: https://erinharrigan.com/discoverycall

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