What’s your career journey? For many people in their teens, early twenties, and even later, striking out on their own to make a professional reputation and prepare for their life’s work is foremost on their minds. Earning good grades in high school, getting admitted to the college of your choice, building a resume, being hired within your chosen field–all of these are important. Yet within the busyness of building our career, we must not neglect or ignore Christ’s call on us.
“Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called.” (I Corinthians 7:20)
This verse is perhaps slightly ambiguous, but if you look up the words in the original Greek, it becomes less so: “Let every man abide in the same “klesis” in which he was “kaleo.” The two words “calling” and “called” in English are different words in the original language. “Klesis” means “a calling, condition, employment,” while “kaleo” means “of the divine invitation to participate in the blessings of redemption.”
The meaning of this verse is thus, basically, that God desires to use us where we are at. With the clear and obvious exception of continuing in an ongoing sinful situation (such as criminal or immoral activity), becoming a Christian does not necessarily mean a change of career. It does, however, mean that within our current situation, Jesus changes us–“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you,” He promises, “I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26) Then, He uses us to also call others to forgiveness and right standing with God.
Has He taken your heart of stone out of you? Do you have a living, breathing heart of flesh that hears Him and cares what He says? Have you felt His forgiveness and acceptance of you? If so, you cannot but be concerned with the people around you who are still weighed down with a burden of guilt. And hence, the real calling of all of us who have experienced His forgiveness: “…go and make followers of all people in the world.” (Matthew 28:19a ERV)
How Jesus uses you to do this will vary, but use you He will. Whatever our life’s work or situation, if we have a receptive heart and willing spirit, God will enable us to do good–to help bring people to a recogniton of the power of sin in their lives and of His forgiveness for it already paid for on the cross, and a subsequent desire to avoid what is wrong.
The practice of “religion” may be the cause of all evil (as some have sincerely come to believe, seeing the violence various ungodly sects inflict upon each other), but being reconciled through Jesus to the heavenly Father we have been alienated from since birth because of our sins brings life, joy, happiness, and freedom. It is a homecoming in the truest sense. And it is what our Father desires for everyone.
But, it is not something that can be achieved through force. You cannot make someone recognize his sins. You cannot make them see their need of reconciliation. You certainly cannot coerce them into desiring a life free from sin; this is something that has to occur inside of each person individually–and that is why we say it is the work of God.
But we do need God, and intuitively feel the emptiness inside of ourselves–and because of this there will always be someone who wants to know. Our job is to be able to explain when asked, to “…be prepared in season and out of season… (2 Timothy 4:2 NIV) You need to, “…if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.” (1 Peter 3:15 NLT)
So, what’s your career path? Where will your life take you? As exciting as your prospects might be, ultimately, it is really not as important where it is that you go, but that you fulfill you true calling as you go there!
Help me be prepared in season and out of season to explain You to others! Amen.