Why do you do what you do?
When we were at the youth ministry conference, one of the seminars we sat in on talked about what a “calling” is. Chap Clark who led the seminar, said that often times we see Matthew 28 as the Great Commission (rightfully so because that is what it is titled in most of our Bible). Chap suggested that we think about John 20:21 as the Greatest commission. He had a really good point that when the Bible was written, there weren’t all these subtitles – they are put in there for separation and the start of new thoughts. But in the original texts, they weren’t in there.
John 20:21 says: Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you
Why the difference? I am NOT saying that we should disregard what Matthew 28 says – it is crucial! But to think that God offers PEACE, in the fact that He sent His ONLY SON to serve and is now sending US? Wow! In Matthew, it is the same idea, but in John, it begs the desire to get to KNOW who Christ is. In other words, FOLLOW HIS EXAMPLE.
So what is a calling? We have heard many different viewpoints on what a calling is and we agree with what we heard at the seminar that we all have the same calling as Christians – it just manifests itself in different ways. We are all called to make the kingdom of God known across the world (Matt. 28), by looking to Jesus’ ministry and life as guidance. It is inspiring to look at the way Jesus lived His life, the way He behaved, the way He taught – and in John 20:21, He is calling us to do likewise. I would say the John passage offers the “how to” on how to make disciples – FOLLOW HIS EXAMPLE.
We are all called to be Christ’s ambassadors. In 2 Corinthians 5:20 it says – We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. We are ambassadors for God and we are called to bring about restoration in a broken world – the avenue we feel God wants us to do that in, is through youth ministry. I think in this world it is easy to get “stuck” in what we think God wants us to be doing. Does our “call” change if we switch jobs? It shouldn’t! Our call is the same – being sent out by God to further His Kingdom. We have learned that you have to be open to where God may be “moving” you. Whether it’s in a different position, or a different job doing something totally different, keep your eye on what God is calling us ALL to do – being ambassadors for Him. Some always wondered why I worked part-time at a bookstore. Why didn’t I use the degree I have? I always consider that a really good question. But I feel God wanted me to support Dan and do ministry alongside Him, in being ambassadors for Him – and I was also able to do that even at a Christian bookstore (and not to mention, I used my degree WAY more than I would’ve ever thought, even in a Christian bookstore).
Don’t downplay where God has you. You may not have money coming out of your ears, but it doesn’t matter. If it does matter to you, then the reason as to WHY you are doing that job may not be the right motive. No matter WHAT job you are in, it should be for the glorification of God. God has called us to TRUST Him in the path He has us on. Do you trust Him faithfully with where He has you? You may not know why God is using you where He is, but God has a purpose in it because He is in the restoration business.
Don’t try to be someone else. Don’t try to change yourself just so that you can get this certain job. Trust God. Ask God. Trust Him that He will lead you. If I were trying to be “Dan” all the time, I am slapping God in the face, by telling Him that He didn’t make me “good enough” by trying to be someone else. Just BE YOURSELF. Seek out who the person of Jesus is – His character, His qualities. Align yourself to Him and trust Him. Consider the calling God has called us all to, as a gift and honor to serve the One who reigns supreme!