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Is Your Graduate Asking God the Right Question?

Challenge your son or daughter to stop waiting on a mystical moment. They are already called by God.

Female graduate addressing her class

Your graduate needs to know that calling isn’t a sacred privilege reserved for a select few, conveyed through some mystical manifestation. The call to leverage one’s life for the Great Commission was included in the call to follow Jesus.

I was a junior in college when I realized that, though I had been a Christian for several years, I’d never asked God the one question He wanted me to ask about my life. I’d been asking Him if He wanted to use me to make an impact for His kingdom. The question wasn’t if, only where and how.

My pastor had challenged me to read through the Book of Romans seven times that year. I was on my last time through when Romans 2:12 seemed to lift off the page: 

“For all who sin without the law will also perish without the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.”

That verse means that even those who haven’t heard the gospel are still under God’s judgment because each of us has a “law” written on our hearts, a law that we all, without exception, have disobeyed. Our only hope for salvation is a special act of grace, which God gives through the message about Christ.

It’s not that I hadn’t understood that before, but that morning its meaning poured over my heart like a flood. The lostness of the world pressed in on my heart with an intensity I thought might crush me. I sat in silence for several moments. Tears came. I felt like I couldn’t speak. Finally, I whispered, “Lord, if You will let me go and tell them, I’ll go. Will You let me go?”

In that moment, it seemed like the Spirit of God whispered to me, “Now at last you’re asking the right question.”

You see, up until that moment my attitude had been, “If God wants something from me in His kingdom, He’ll let me know.” And barring some special instruction, I assumed His expectation of me was to find some career that suited me, do it well, go to church, tithe, and stay out of trouble.

"Your graduate needs to know that calling isn’t a sacred privilege reserved for a select few, conveyed through some mystical manifestation. The call to leverage one’s life for the Great Commission was included in the call to follow Jesus."

J.D. Greear

That morning, I realized that the lostness of the world and urgency of the gospel demand a different response. A vision came into my mind. I was walking alongside a set of railroad tracks when I noticed a small child stranded on them. In the distance, I could hear a freight train headed right toward him. I knew that in such a moment, I wouldn’t calmly get down on my knees and say, “Oh God, if You want me to do something, just let me know,” and then wait for some special instruction from heaven. I would know God’s will in that moment without even asking: Save the child.

Here’s the reality: People in the world without Jesus are headed toward a tragedy every bit as real and 10 billion times more devastating than a child stranded on railroad tracks. God has told us it is His will that none of them should perish, and in order for that to happen, they must hear the gospel. Peter said,

“The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.”

2 Pet. 3:9

We talk about “finding the will of God.” In reality, it’s never been lost! It’s spelled out right there in that verse. God wants every person alive to hear the gospel, and He uses His church to make that happen.

That morning, I got a glimpse of the lostness of the world and could only cry out, like the prophet Isaiah had so many years before me, “Here I am. Send me” (Isa 6:8). Every Christian who catches a glimpse of the lostness of the world and the greatness of God’s offer of salvation should respond that way — Here I am. Send me!

The right question, you see, isn’t if God has called you to His mission, only where.

Your graduate needs to know that calling isn’t a sacred privilege reserved for a select few, conveyed through some mystical manifestation. The call to leverage one’s life for the Great Commission was included in the call to follow Jesus:

“Follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fish for people.”

Matt. 4:19

Challenge your son or daughter to stop waiting on a mystical moment, a wet fleece, or a quiver in their liver. They’re called and don’t need to wait for a voice. He’s given them a verse.


Excerpt taken from What Are You Going to Do With Your Life? by J.D. Greear (Nashville: B&H Publishing). Used by permission.

After J.D. Greear returned from serving for two years as a missionary in Southeast Asia, he was desperately trying to figure out what God wanted with the rest of his life. But then, the words from John Piper’s message to college students in 2000 changed everything: Your life counts. Don’t waste it. J.D. serves as pastor of The Summit Church, one of the fastest-growing churches in North America. He’s the author of several books, husband to Veronica, and father of four beautiful children.

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