A hindrance in growth and maturity (regarding members of the body of Christ) is often caused in having a focus on gifts or ministries. I’ve notice more and more that many Christians are referring to a particular gifting or ministry as our “calling”. In effect it enthrones the gift or the ministry and if that is the case it then all together dethrones Christ.
I was told by someone two days ago that I was not to even write their name in the same sentence with certain other believers, because of the calling on their life. They said that their calling was “to discern spirits” and they did not want to be associated with those who they’d discern to be false prophets. I was stunned. I could have actually laughed; but it is not funny and it should not be shocking. Yet is is shocking when I think of the numerous believers who think that our ministries and or spiritual gifts are our calling.
God has called us to great and noble efforts; to a vocation of true honor and glory; to the obtainment of a bright and imperishable crown. It is a calling which is “high,” or “upward”. The calling has not changed since the day that Jesus called the twelve. He said, “Follow Me.” The High calling is in Christ. The call is to have our living, moving and being in Him. This calling requires that God is Providence in every area and aspect of our life. It does not allow us to disassociate with anyone; no matter how debase they seem to our natural inclinations. The object of not associating with “sinners” has gone off the rails in the “church”. This admonishment is translated to actually mean, do not be influenced by sin in the lives of others, but let your calling (you in Christ and Christ in you) be the influence in the association that calls that person to repentance.
We must go among all men and tell the Good News. Paul said in Romans 10:14 “But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?”
The calling of the Christian is from heaven, and to heaven; The path of life leads upward for the wise to keep him from going down to the grave. Proverbs 15:24 It demands his highest efforts, and it is worth all the exertions which a mortal can make.
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.– Philippians 3:14 High calling-literally, is “the calling that is above”. The life of a Christian is in heaven, where his Head and his home are. Jesus said follow me and I will make you fishers of men. He compared us to harvest workers and the gifts and ministries are the equipment He gives us by His Spirit to do this work and heed this high calling.. If we are enamored (in love and enthralled) with the gift and concerned with polishing up our title (or crown) we can not be working towards our one and only true calling which is to be in Christ. (literally hidden in Him.).
- Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died to this life, and your REAL LIFE is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:2-3 (That real life is our calling!)
- Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. Hebrews 3:1
- Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God. Hebrews 3:1 (We can’t move on into maturity if we do not know of our vocation or calling)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been “called” according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 God’s purpose isn’t our ministry or spiritual gift itself, but instead the ministry and gift is given to reap the ripe harvest and to edify the church to accomplish God’s purpose; whereby He is Glorified. If Christ isn’t our calling; we are yet lost.