What is your calling? If you are uncertain, guess what! God has given you talents and gifts to help figure out your calling. Aristotle said, “Where your talents and the needs of the world cross lies your calling.” The Bible says, “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well” (Romans 12:6).
Here are three simple steps to help discover your calling in life.
- Look at your talents. Your talents are natural abilities that God has deposited within you to excel. These can include abilities such as public speaking, teaching, singing, debating, accounting, writing, painting, cooking, interior designing, working with children and selling. Your talents cause certain types of work to appeal to you. Because these abilities represent natural skills that you already have or can develop, you excel when you use them. When David was anointed king, one would have expected him to enter the royal court through a managerial or a top-level capacity. But he did not. He gained entrance as a lowly harpist. God used his harp-playing skills to get him noticed in the king’s court. In the same way, He will use your talents to prepare you for your calling.
- Look at your God-given gifts. Your gifts are spiritual abilities with which God has blessed you. These may include teaching, helping, preaching, encouragement, generosity, hospitality and so on. No matter what the gift—God is the source and uses it to fulfill His call. He wants you to do great things—for His purpose, His kingdom and His pleasure. Since He is the giver of all gifts, your success completely depends on His activity through you and your dependence upon Him. But merely using your talents and gifts does not mean you have been called by God. Your call is so much more than doing something that you are good at doing. This realization leads to the next step.
- Your calling comes as a significant impression from God. You realize this call is the Holy Spirit working within you. It’s a conviction about what you are to do with your life at a particular time. It is something that feeds your passion. It is that unexplained, God-given desire deep within your soul that excites you whenever you think about it. Finding that “sweet spot” where your abilities and interests align with God’s purposes and intersect with the world’s needs is something many people long to achieve. Your calling is something you do because it gives you a sense of fulfillment of God’s plan for your life.
Eric Liddle (whose story is told in the movie, “Chariots of Fire”) was a Scottish runner who competed in the 1924 Olympics. He had a calling as a missionary, but he also had a calling to run. When he was challenged by his sister to go immediately to serve as a missionary in China rather than competing in the Paris Olympics, Eric said, “God has made me to be a missionary, aye, but he has made me fast, and when I run, I feel God’s pleasure.”
Eric knew that for that particular point in time, God had called and given him the grace to run competitively. Likewise, take advantage of your strengths—those qualities and abilities God has given you. God will not call you to something He does not give you the grace to do. And when you have received His grace, you too, will feel God’s pleasure.