How to Discover What You Were Made to Do
From the series Answering the Call
Do what you love - love what you do. Ever heard that? If you think those are empty words, think again. The God of the universe has created you for a specific purpose and a big part of that purpose is work. The question is do you know what you were made to do? Join Chip as he explains how you can discover exactly what God made you to do.
This broadcast is currently not available online. It is available to purchase on our store.
Helping you grow closer to God
Download the Chip Ingram App
Answering the Call free mp3 download.
About this series
Answering the Call
How to Discover and Fulfill God's Purpose for Your Life
God created you to work. And He created your work to be more than just "what you do for a living," but a place to fulfill God's calling in your life. According to Scripture, work is the platform where you can experience joy, ministry, and personal fulfillment like never before. If you long to experience that kind of job satisfaction, this series will help you get there. Whether it's finding a new job, starting a new career, or just gaining a new perspective on your current employment, "Answering the Call" will encourage and inspire you to see work as a gift from God.More from this series
Let me read three quotes that I pulled out of the research that I thought were very encouraging, and they set the stage for you discovering the calling God has on your life. And we’re talking to your particular calling. We know you are called to a Person – Jesus. We know you are called to a purpose – right? To become conformed to His image. We know you’re called to a people, the Church, and to fit as an interdependent part of His body, and you’re called to the process of sanctification to be holy, and you’re called to a place – different places at different times, but He has you in a role. Some are married. Some are single. Some are working. Some are retired. Some are on the East Coast, left coast. Some are from out of the country. He’s called you to a place.
But what we want to know, in that place, is, what, specifically, does He want me to do? What is my individual role? What’s my job description based on my unique designs? What, exactly, is that? That’s what this is about.
So, quote number one comes from Joe Calhoon and Bruce Jeffrey, in their book called Prioritize, and this is a challenging quote. They say, “It takes great courage for men and women to discover their calling.” You might circle the word courage. “After all, it may not be what you’re doing now. And to face your calling squarely may cause some significant disruption in your life.” Anybody have that experience so far? You know, you’re thinking, down deep, I think I would really – my dreams – I would really like to do this. But if I did, that would mess with expectations. That would mess with finances. That would mess with security. What would so-and-so think? My kids, we would…right? It takes great courage, great courage, to face your calling. Because there is the chance that you may not be doing it right now.
The second quote is on the real positive side, by Os Guinness, his book, The Call, that’s, probably, the definitive work on this. If someone said, “Calling from God, one book” – this is probably the one you’d want to get. “Somehow,” Os writes, “We human beings are never happier than when we are expressing the deepest gifts that are truly us.” It’s amazing how we look for happiness, in all kinds of places, isn’t it? But we’re never happier, we’re never happier, than when we’re expressing who we really are, who God made us to be.
And then, the third quote is by a business consultant, and coach, and he just makes this observation, after working with executives, and marketplace leaders, and Christian leaders. He says, “The vast majority of individuals spend most of their lives focused on activities where they are either incompetent, or merely competent. Only rarely do their excellent abilities come into play, and almost never do they experience uniqueness.”
Two facts to remember: You are fearfully and wonderfully and uniquely made by God. Look in your notes. Listen to what God says. This is about you.
David prays. “I will praise You, for I’m fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works.”
When God looks at you, sometimes we see the Alps, or sometimes we see the Grand Canyon, or sometimes we see the delicacy of a butterfly, and we think, Oh, God’s works are marvelous! Or we see a picture of those galaxies, those outer space pictures, by the Hubble or something. When God looks at you, you’re more marvelous than all of that! You’re the pinnacle of His creation. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
David says his soul knows it very well. “My frame wasn’t hidden from You when I was made in secret” – notice this – “and skillfully wrought.” You’ve seen a skilled artist. You’ve heard a skilled musician. What’s it like when God says He was the skillful One that made you, in the lowest part of the earth? Speaking of God, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance,” or, “my embryo.” “In Your book were written for me the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” And that phrase, “the days fashioned for me” – the focus of that isn’t so much extent – how many days – it’s the kind of days. “The days that were fashioned,” of what would you do in those days?
In fact, Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.” There are some good works, and what’s it say? “Which God prepared beforehand, that you should walk in them.”
There’s a unique contribution that grows out of your unique design that God has prepared beforehand, because He’s fearfully, and wonderfully, and uniquely made you, for you to walk in them. And when you do, you feel His pleasure. You’re good at it. It impacts others, positively. Everyone looks up and says, “Wow, that’s God’s glory,” and you have this incredible experience of joy. That’s God’s plan.
So, fact number one is, you’re fearfully and wonderfully made. Fact number two is, your unique design – your abilities, gifts, and desires – were fashioned by God to equip you to fulfill your unique purpose and calling in life. That’s pretty exciting, isn’t it? And that’s true. And that’s true if you’re twenty-two or ninety-two.
The sixty-four-dollar question that comes to my mind, then, is how do you discover what that unique design is, and how do you begin to put it into play in everyday life? And to do that, I want to explore the concept of personal calling, and you’ll notice there’s a little asterisk, and the asterisk at the top, under “Personal Calling” – if you go to the bottom of the notes, it says “adapted from Prioritize! by Calhoon and Jeffrey.”
I thought of a lot of different ways to explain this. I found one paragraph in this book, and I thought, You know, rather than me trying to give you my interpretation, I thought, this is the clearest picture of it that I’ve seen. So exploring the concept of calling, answering the question, here are five truths about calling. I love this.
Number one, it’s yours alone. Calling is unique. It doesn’t belong to anyone else, because it calls on your uniqueness. “No one else can serve in your place, even if they wanted to.” I like that. “You are different from anyone else in the world, even if you share the same genetic code with your twin.” So, the first thing about calling: It’s yours alone.
Second, it calls on your unique gifts. Circle the word gifts. First, it’s yours alone, but, second, it’s going to call on your unique gifts. “You can serve in a way, and in a place, that no one else on earth can. Even if you’re in a position, or hold a title, that many others have” – it gives an example of customer service. You can name any job – “your unique abilities will allow you to perform that job, in a way that no one else can.”
Think of the dignity and the value and the worth God placed on you, regardless of the role, or title, or job. He says, “I’ve made you so uniquely that in this role, in this job, at this time, no one can do it quite like you do it.”
Isn’t that the picture of 1 Corinthians 12 and 14, and Romans 12, of being a part of this supernatural community, the body? And just as there are many members of one body, and all the members don’t have the same function, so you are members of one another, and we need, and work, interdependently.
Third, your calling calls on your unique desires. It’s not just your gifts. It’s not just abilities. But it’s desires. We have different desires. Certain things that fire me up absolutely bore other people. And certain things that fire other people up absolutely bore me.
That’s why, in all the churches I’ve had the privilege of pastoring, when you form all these small groups, I always give people an exit the first two or three weeks. We have this idea, I’m a Christian; you’re a Christian. We get in a small group; we’re supposed to have chemistry.
I’ve got news for you – you don’t always have chemistry. There are Christians I hit it off with easily and well, and there are Christians that they love God; I love God – I just don’t want to hang out with them. But we’re afraid to say that out loud.
So, in all of our small groups, I’d say, “Get in a small group,” and then, after two or three weeks, if there’s not chemistry, there’s not a bad person. What you say is, “Hey, it was great to be with you. You guys are really cool. I’m going to look for a little bit better fit.” You say it a little nicer than that, but, but do you understand what I’m saying? See, you have desires, and they’re different.
Notice what it says here. And this is not necessarily a Christian book. It’s The Magic of Calling. I would probably replace that with The Mystery of Calling. But, “The mystery of calling is that you don’t tire of it. You get to do what gives you joy, over and over. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, you haven’t found it.”
And then, I like this: “That’s okay. Keep searching.” When you’re in your calling, you can do it over and over and over and over, and you just get more and more and more charged up.
When you are in your calling, you can do it, over and over again, and it just recharges you. And if you wonder, I’ve never done anything quite like that, then God probably brought you here to help you begin the journey to discover that.
So, a calling, it’s yours alone. It centers around your gifts, around your desires. And then, number four, your calling gives you strength, and keeps you humble. See, a lot of us have not wanted to go here because, Oh, it’s arrogant. What am I good at?
Listen to this: “By recognizing your calling, you gain the grace to acknowledge others in their calling, in their set of unique gifts and abilities.” I love this line: “You have no need to appear more important than you already are. On the other hand, you lose false modesty that says you’re not good at anything. You grow in quiet confidence that you do make a difference, and that you’re supposed to do so.” That is the beauty of the body of Christ. My dream for you is that you would actually get to where you know what your strengths are.
“If I gave you a 3x5 card, and I asked you to write on the top of it “Strengths,” and then put a line down the middle, “Weaknesses,” could you, in three minutes, give me your top three strengths, and your top three weaknesses?” And my journey is, the average person can’t do that.
Now, if I said, “Here’s a 3x5 card. You have sixty seconds. Give me your top seven weaknesses,” the average Christian can do that – snap! – like that. Most of us are always trying to improve on our weaknesses, and focus on what we can’t do, and think to even think or talk about our strengths is arrogant.
I love this, Prof. Hendricks used to say, “God gave you strengths to have confidence in life. God gave you weaknesses so you’d be dependent and realize you need other people and Him.” But Peter Drucker was right: All great things occur when you build on islands of strengths.
Our whole educational system, probably, is fairly backwards. We’re trying to create all these super-balanced people. You never end up balanced. The people who’ve made the greatest impact are people who leverage their strengths and find other people that are great at their weaknesses.
Now, some of your weaknesses, there’s a level of stuff. I’m not a detailed person, but I can’t say, “Well, I’m not a detailed person, so my checkbook never balances, and so the world’s supposed to understand.” No, I’ve got to figure out how to do that. So, I’m not saying you’re irresponsible, but I’m saying, where your energy and focus goes, you need to understand what your strengths are. You need to know, I’m good at these things. I’m not so good at these others. And I’m going to develop my strengths; I’m going to leverage them. I’m going to take these God-given strengths and help them become the best they can become.
And then, finally, number five: “Discovering your calling can be the result of a moment, or the unfolding of years. Each person comes to it on his own path, some at six, others at sixty. For many people, their calling will shift.” Put a line under that. This is so true. “Their calling will shift, as they move into different seasons of life.”
And so, God may have brought you here to help you realize, Well, I’ve always thought I’ve done this, and this is my calling. Sometimes, it might be a new season.
For me, it was to call me – He brought me here, to teach this, so I could hear myself speak. And, actually, all the messages you’ve had, I’ve been over them five, ten times before you get them. And then, I get to hear them. Then, I get feedback. He brought me here to bring me back to my calling, and to say, “This is what I made you to do. Chip, do that.”
And so, you see, when you explore the concept, it’s yours alone, rooted in gifts, desires. It allows you to see your strengths. It actually keeps you humble. And it can happen in a moment, or it can unfold over time.
For me, it was years unfolding. I never – vocational ministry was never in the cards for me, that I could ever see. Little by little, that unfolded. And then, I thought I was going to be a missionary. No, no, it’s going to be a pastor. And then, it was going to be the pastor of a large church. That was part of the – and then, as it grew, then this was the role inside that large church. And then, we ran out of room, and services, and there was this – we didn’t try to do it; it was an accident. It got on a media thing.
And so, the calling then kept getting narrower, narrower, narrower, narrower – “It’s going to be about this issue of teaching. That’s your calling. And it’s going to be in a local church, and it’s going to be to help regular people live out their lives, where Christians really act like Christians, and the Church really becomes the Church.”
And then, in 1996, it got real confusing, and I asked God, “Please help me see how it all fits together.” And I had an a-ha, very clarion – “Chip, I want you to be a catalyst to transform how America thinks about God, how pastors think about preaching, how churches think about their communities, and how everyday believers live out their faith, at home and at work.”
I’m in a field, Camp Koinonia, staff retreat, and I heard those words, sitting quietly, and then the next one: “Did I go too fast? Write that down.” And we were on three radio stations, and, I think, one book was in the works, and I had laughed out loud. “God, You’ve got to be kidding me! I’m one ordinary guy, in one church on the West Coast.” And God said, “Remember, it’s a catalyst. You don’t need to be big. You don’t need to be famous. You don’t need to be a big shot. A catalyst is a tiny chemical, when put in a big vat, can cause a chain reaction. I want people to return, and have a high view of God, and a high view of Scripture. I want pastors to quit just giving the feelie-dealie, ‘here’s how to do life over here,’ or teach through books of the Bible, seven years in the book of Ephesians, saying, ‘The meaning of the Greek word for the is the.’
“And Chip, what I want you to do is, I want you, practically and relevantly, to give people tools, but I want you to teach through books of the Bible, in a practical, relevant way that causes people to take steps, and then give them a tool, and show them how. And then, help other pastors do that.
“And then, transform how churches think about their communities. I want you to model here, and every place you go, where churches get off of building their own little kingdoms, and around all the centrality of the Word of God that we all do agree on – the world’s going to hell in a handbasket. And whether you dip, dunk, or spray, I have convictions on all of that. But it’s not worth arguing about right now. And whether you use an electric guitar, or an organ, it’s not worth arguing about right now. We’ve got people going to hell, and we’ve got Christians that don’t act like Christians.
“Evangelism and discipleship, around the core fundamentals of evangelical Christianity is where, that’s what we need to focus on. And churches need to come together in their communities, and help one another, and share resources, and share staff, and talk well of one another, and serve the community. So, that’s what I want you to do.”
Well, let’s get real practical now, and what I want to do is talk about how to discover your calling in life. And this is going to be like touching the mountain peaks, because it’s super, super practical. And on this one, almost every one of these things, there’s a great resource out there. But I don’t want to make it so complicated.
So, to discover your calling, we’re going to examine your S.H.A.P.E. – the acronym S-H-A-P-E. And by the way, one of my gifts is, I’m not necessarily very original. There’s a great book by that name. So, the “S” is for “spiritual gifts.” What are yours?
And then here – to me, it’s very important – what’s your primary, or motivational, gift? There are lots of ways to look at that. You might jot down in the notes: Your Divine Design.
Even people that are solid Christians, when I ask them what their spiritual gifts are, my experience is, they give me, if they’ve studied it, or if they’ve taken a test, they give me this salad bar answer. “Well, my spiritual gifts are leadership, mercy, discernment, wisdom, and faith.” That’s like saying, “What do you want for dinner?” “Steak, chicken, seafood, a little shrimp, and…” And then, I say, “And how does that help you really determine God’s will?” “Well, it kind of took it from here to here.”
But I’m convinced that there are many good ways to look at spiritual gifts, but when you look at Romans 12, there are eight core things that every Christian is commanded to do, and I see those as a primary motivational spiritual gift. And I would say, if you spent some time really studying them, you’ll discover there’s one of those that really “bing” for you. And then you have in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14, and Ephesians 4, you have roles and ministry gifts.
And then, when you do those things – then the apostle Paul will say it in 1 Corinthians 12, he’ll talk about, it’s really neat. He puts the whole Trinity in the operation, and he’ll talk about how He gives gifts, and there are ministries, and there are effects, and then he talks about the motivations, and how it works.
And what I’ve realized is, over the years, I thought it was leadership, because I ended up leading. And then, I thought it was this. But I didn’t know my primary motivation. And until I discovered my primary motivational gift is prophecy.
I want to make the comfortable, uncomfortable, and I want to comfort those that are hurting. I want the Church to be the Church. You can give me any text, and I’ll do my best to teach it through, accurately. But somewhere, I’m going to call you to live a holy life.
Second, is, the “H” is for “heart”. What are you passionate about? What are your deepest desires? What do you dream about? What makes you come alive? What’s your personal mission statement? What role do you most effectively play in an organization? Who could come alongside you, in your journey right now, and help you discover what’s down deep inside of you? God gave you passions, but they get buried.
My passion is that the Church would be the Church. I grew up – and you’re going to learn, God gives you certain experiences. I grew up in a dead, non-Bible-teaching, filled-with-hypocrisy church, and I almost missed God. And then, I met a group of authentic believers, who lived it out so winsomely and I was so attracted. And then, they gave me a Bible.
And so, somewhere along the line, my greatest passion is to see believers live loving, winsome, authentic lives, so people would ask about the hope that’s in us. And not legalistic, rigid, holy – as in big, black Bibles, dressing different, self-righteous, being down on everybody.
I’m talking about the kind of Christians that you just say, “I’d love to have a marriage like that.” “I’d love to have a boss that treats people the way that boss does.” Where Christians live like genuine followers of Christ. That’s my personal passion.
Abilities – what are you good at? What are your strengths, your natural gifts, your talents? Notice what it says, in Romans 12:3, in your notes: “For I say this through the grace of God to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but” – will you underline the phrase – “but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”
If we had time to develop that, did you notice the word think happens? “Do not think…” “Think.” The word sober is the same word – four words for thinking, different forms, in 12:3. Basically, God wants you to look into the mirror, and not just the physical, but see who you are, and have an accurate view.
He wants you to see you, the way He sees you: good at this, good at this, good at this, gifted here, talented here, this kind of personality, this, this, this, this. And you go, That’s exactly who I am!
And these tendencies. We’ll struggle with this, tempted here, here – well, yeah – Strengths, weaknesses, gifts.
And no false humility. Why did I, at eight years old, cut my first lawn? Why, at ten did I have ten lawns? Why did I buy my first riding lawnmower at thirteen? Right? Why did I have two paper routes? Why did I buy candy at the store, and at Halloween, run as fast as I could so I could fill a bag, in a big pillowcase, like this, and store it for months, and take it to school, and sell five-cent candy bars for a quarter? Right?
Why was it, when I was fifteen years old, I lent my parents three thousand dollars to buy a piece of land, and I only charged them six percent interest?
God made me an entrepreneur! Right? I mean, at eight, I didn’t know what an entrepreneur was! I just knew, that’s how you ought to do things. And so, if you want to get big things done, you find partnerships. And then, you always find people that are better and smarter than you, and then you partner with them, and you do what? You make win/win propositions.
So, who did God make you to be? You look back, in the rearview mirror, at some exciting things, and what you did, and you’ll just find, Huh. Because He’s not starting to connect dots – you know, Well, I’m sixty-seven years old. Wow, you’ve got a lot of dots to look back on. And dot, dot, dot, dot, connect, connect, connect, connect.
And what you’ll see is – just like you’re charting a graph – you’ll see the trajectory of where you’ve been, what you’ve done, and what God wants you to do in the future. And you can discover your design – your spiritual gifts, your heart, your abilities, and then your personality. How are you wired, as you relate to people? Are you an introvert? Extrovert? What recharges your emotional battery?
Psalm 139 – God says it wasn’t an accident: “O, Lord, You have searched me; You know me. You know my sitting down, my rising up. You understand my thoughts from afar. You comprehend my path, my lying down.” Look at this: “You’re acquainted with all my ways, for there’s not a word on my tongue, but behold, O, Lord, You know it all –” He knows your ways. He made you a certain way.
But what’s your personality? Take the DISC test or take Myers-Briggs. I mean, there are all kinds of great tools. But get a picture of who you are.
And then, finally, experience – what have you done? How has God been preparing you, and your life, so that you can look in the rearview mirror for what He’s called you today?
I encourage you, sit down, list the things you’ve done, not simply occupation or jobs, but accomplishments, milestones. Think of some of the trauma you’ve been through. Think of some of the hurts.
Is it any wonder that people that have been abused minister to those who are abused? Is it any wonder that people who have gone bankrupt a couple of times are counselors to people going through financial struggles? Is it any wonder that people that have been through a very difficult marriage that didn’t work out now have a ministry to people who are going through difficult times? Is it, “Aha, gosh, I have a heart for people with cancer. My wife died of cancer”? “We have an autistic child.” You think there’s a reason why you have compassion for those people?
See, God’s going to use all these things. Those weren’t random things that happened to you. He has been working all things to work together for your good, for you who are called according to His purposes, because He loves you.
And it’s all a part of that tapestry, that written poem, or that picture of the tapestry that is His workmanship that is you, that He prepared before the foundations of the earth that you should walk in those good deeds. And so, you look at your experiences.
There’s a reason why I look back, and I think – I was a pastor of a church of thirty-five people, in the country, way in the country. And then, gosh, that grew to, I don’t know, four or five hundred. And then, super conservative, I’m a pastor of eight or nine hundred people in Santa Cruz, California and they think Berkeley’s too far right. And it’s weird. And if you’re not pierced, or tattooed, or living with someone of the same sex, you’re weird. What am I doing here? And then, so, from a church of thirty-five, to a hundred, to three hundred, to five hundred, and then a thousand, and several thousand.
So, God let me experience – so when I talk to a pastor who’s a solo guy, out in the country where everyone’s related, and he’s going, “Man, this is hard.” And I’m going, “Boy, I’ve been there, done that.” When I meet a pastor who can’t break the two hundred barrier, and can’t figure out why he’s worn out – “Man, I did that. I ended up in the hospital. Let me tell you about that one.” All those experiences. “Hey, so your church is stuck at twenty-five hundred? Boy, I remember what that was like,” and, “You’re probably doing this. And what you need is to hire a staff person in this area.”
Well, why? Because God wants me to love pastors at all, various levels. It wasn’t so you’re famous. It’s not so – you know what? I’ve met so many pastors that are way smarter than me, way smarter, and way more gifted. But God has been preparing me for what I’m supposed to do. And if you’re going to help pastors of a large range of things, God gives you a platform so you get to know them. It’s just a stewardship.
What’s He prepared you to do? Are you getting it? What’s He prepared you to do?
Second, not only do you look at your S.H.A.P.E., you get wise counsel about who you are – your gifts, and your abilities, where you fit, and how to move forward. Proverbs 22:17 and 18 says, “Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to knowledge.”
One of the greatest things you can do is, you get around some people who know you well, that are mature, and you say, “I’m working through a process to discover who God really made me to be. What do you think my strengths are? What do you think my spiritual gifts are? What do you think?” And you’ll get great counsel.
When I went through this process of rediscovering, I talked to my wife; I talked to my kids. I talked to pastors that I’ve known. I talked to the board. I got all the wisest counsel, before I said, “I’m going to focus on teaching, and Living on the Edge, and do what God wants me to do. And, Lord, I feel like Abraham. The ‘leave’ part I’ve got. What I’d like a little more on is the ‘to where.’”
And God says, “I’m the ‘to where.’ Okay? I’ll show you where to teach. I’ll take care of the needs.” But you’ve got to get wise counsel.
I needed people that knew me well to say, “Chip, this is a no-brainer. In fact, now that you ask, I think you’ve been pretty stupid the last couple of years, to tell you the truth.” I mean, literally. Those are not made-up words. Those are guys that know me really well. “What are you doing, running an organization?”
I remember when the church kept growing and growing. I worked with a guy eighteen years, went to California, sat down with he and his wife. And he’s very blunt, and that’s why we really get along. He just looked at me, he goes, “Man, you’re just stupid.” “Could you go over that again, a little more spiritually?” “Yeah. I love you, man. You know I’d never – I mean, you’re just stupid. Your strengths are here, and you’re trying to do this over here. There are a hundred people that can run that thing better than you. Get out of that and do what God made you to do.” I needed that! I just needed that.
The third thing you do is, be willing to move out of your comfort zone to fulfill your divine purpose on earth. Comfort zone …
Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it’s impossible to please God, for he that comes to God must believe that He is” – and here’s the part we miss – “that He exists, and He’s a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
See, the fact of the matter is, I’m scared. Alright? I mean, there was security in my last job. There were finances related to that job. There was platform related to that job. Now I’m supposed to do this, and I’ve got to rebuild, and I’m back in the startup, and I don’t know how God’s going to pay for it, and I’ve got all that stuff. Right?
But without faith, it’s impossible – what? – to please God. But I’ve got to believe that He is. If He spoke, and created all the worlds, I think He can take care of Living on the Edge and my family, right? He’s God.
But He’s a rewarder of – what? Those who diligently seek Him. God gets excited. He’s a Person. He gets happy. When He sees someone like me, in all my fears, and all my struggles, get back into my calling, and then go, “Oooooh – okay, here I go …” And I’m thinking, Ughhh, how’s it going to happen? I think heaven roars! “Wow, Chip’s going to get to see Me, like never before.” You’ll get to see Him, like never before.
But you can’t be in your calling, and your comfort zone, at the same time. I will guarantee, part of it will be, “Oh, my, Lord, do You really want me to do this?” And the answer is “yes.”
And you’ll have practical people try and talk you out of it. And you will probably be the most practical person. “Well, I would really love to do this, Lord, but it’s just not very logical, practical, and reasonable at my age, or my stage of life, or the group that I’m in, and – blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” I spent a few weeks with Him on those. He doesn’t listen to that stuff. He wants something better for you.
Finally, here, make a personal commitment to discover God’s calling on your life, so you can honor your Creator and Designer, and impact your world, and beyond. And we’re back to that same verse. You are – you are – you are – you are – you are – you are His divine workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good work – for a good work, a unique good work, that He prepared before the foundations of the earth that you would walk in it.
And when you do it, you’ll love it, and you’ll lose track of time. And it’ll be so – here’s the deal. When you’re doing it, when you’re in that, you’re thinking, This is no big deal. Anybody could do this. Because it isn’t something you do. It’s the very glasses that you wear.
You counsel people and say, “Oh – oh, I’m a good listener, but I’m not really doing anything,” and everyone’s going, “Could I meet with you?” “Could I meet with you?” Or I work with a guy who – “It’s not really a big deal, it’s just putting a few details together, and organizing,” and he’s the most gifted administrator I’ve ever been around.
When you’re doing it, you’ll think, This is illegal. You don’t really get paid for this, do you? Yeah. In fact, you were made to do it. But would you be willing to make a personal commitment?
Did you notice, I actually – I did this real purposefully. Notice, it says, “I [blank] [blank].” In mine, it says, “I, Chip Ingram, commit to discover God’s calling for my life, so that I might fulfill His highest purposes in me, and through me, for His glory, and my joy.”
And what I want you to know, in your notes, it should not say, “I, Chip Ingram…” I mean, I know some of you are a little obsessive/compulsive, and want to make sure you get it right. But it should say, “I [your name]…”
And we’re going to close things up, and I really want you to discover your calling. And, by way of review, it’s, examine your S.H.A.P.E., get wise counsel, be willing to move out of your comfort zone, and then make a commitment.
I want you to know, God will show you. This is not like, Oh, gosh, this is going to be so hard. I wonder if God would show an ordinary, regular, eenie-weenie person, like me. He’s on the edge of the throne of heaven, going, “Come on! Come on! Come on! Mm-hmm, come on, baby! I’ll show you!”
Psalm 32:8 – a great verse I love, about God’s will: “I will lead you and instruct you in the way in which you should go. I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” “I’ll lead you. I’ll instruct you.” He wants you to find it!
You discover your calling – go back to the quote, okay? The very first quote: “It takes great courage for men and women to discover their calling” – great courage, why? – “After all, it may not be what you’re doing right now. And to face your calling squarely may cause some significant disruption in your life.” And I would add, in your finances, in your relationships, possibly in your location, your vocation. But you’ll never be sorry you did.
Has anyone had just a mild – just mild – intuition that I might be enjoying myself up here? I’m doing what God made me to do. His heart’s desire is that you do what He made you to do.