Editor’s note: This article is an excerpt from the Bible study Kingdom Agenda: Living Life God’s Way by Tony Evans.
Too many Christians are living their lives without a sense of purpose. They’re settling for an existence totally defined by the limits of their houses and jobs and cars and churches. But when we as followers of Christ settle for that kind of life, we miss God’s reason for redeeming us and positioning us here on earth. In other words, we miss our kingdom calling.
Defining the Call
I’ve had times at work, at church, and at home when I wondered, Where’s the adventure in this? Where are the thrill and satisfaction that are supposed to come with serving the Creator of the universe? In each of those situations, what I ultimately discovered was that I needed clarity in my calling. I needed to refocus my life on the purpose God created me to fulfill, according to His kingdom agenda.
There’s adventure to be had in God’s kingdom agenda. There’s energy. There’s life. There are fulfillment and satisfaction. But you’ll experience those sensations only when you know and pursue your divine calling. When you live out your God-given purpose—when you fulfill your destiny as defined by God’s kingdom agenda—you’ll experience God’s energizing, eternally significant power to leverage your gifts and maximize your life’s fullest potential.
Your calling is the customized life purpose God has ordained and equipped you to accomplish in order to bring Him the greatest glory and achieve the maximum expansion of His kingdom. A divine calling is always intended to bring about God’s glory—to fulfill His kingdom agenda. Therefore, to follow your calling is to live in such a way that God’s kingdom is put on display for all to see (see Matt. 5:14-16).
As a child of the King, you’re called to reflect Him and His kingdom through your specific purpose in life, and you’re called to do so in such a remarkable fashion that people want to know more about the kingdom you represent. That’s your destiny. That’s your purpose.
Exploring the Call
Let’s explore several aspects of God’s divine calling.
1. You receive your calling from God only after you respond to the Person of God. That’s because you need to be in a relationship with God to hear and understand His calling. In other words, you must be part of God’s kingdom before you get access to His kingdom agenda for your life.
It’s not enough to say, “Lord, show me my calling” when you don’t have a relationship with Him. If you don’t relate to His Person, God won’t trust you with His program.
Here’s a good example. After Jesus miraculously fed five thousand men with only a couple of fish and some loaves of bread, the people wanted to get on board with His program. They wanted to know how to be on Jesus’ side so that they could get more free food. But look what happened next:
"They said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent” (John 6:28-29).
The relationship must come first. God wants a relationship with you before He will bless you with the knowledge of your divine calling.
2. Your divine calling is customized by God. When God reveals His plan and purpose for your life, it will be uniquely designed for your specific attributes and your specific situation. After all, you’re unique; you’re custom-made. Therefore, your calling will be unique—intentionally designed for you.
That’s why Philippians 2:12 says, “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” You’re called to focus on your salvation and your calling, not somebody else’s. This means you don’t have to try to be somebody else as a follower of Jesus. You don’t have to acquire as much Bible knowledge as that scholar in your Bible-study group. You don’t have to give as much money as a certain person in your church. You don’t have to sing like anyone else, speak like anyone else, or act like anyone else. You can be yourself. God’s calling is customized just for you.
3. God’s divine calling requires a personal commitment from you. God will call you by name, and He will demand all of you—everything you are and everything you have—to connect your calling with His kingdom agenda.
That’s why Paul used such extreme terms to describe his participation in God’s kingdom:
"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me" (Galatians 2:20).
As a member of God’s kingdom, you don’t have to settle for a mundane life. Rather, you have a divine calling from the Creator of the universe to glorify Him through your life and to advance His kingdom agenda.
Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (www.lockman.org)