Broadcast

What Has God “Called” You to Do?

From the series Answering the Call

If you think that your dream job is really “just a dream," think again. Chip begins this series talking about how to find the career of a lifetime and begin enjoying the work God made you to do.

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Message Transcript

Calls are a very important part of our life, every day.  And what we want to talk about is when God calls.  When God calls, I want you to know, there’s Someone else on the other end of the line.  When God calls you, He has a reason.

I want you to know, God not only knows your number, He knows everything about you.  He created you.  He made your DNA.  And so, He has a direct line not just to your body and your ears – He has a direct line to your heart, because you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and He made you and designed you uniquely.  You are not off a mass production line.  There is no one else like you, in all the universe, because you are part of the mosaic of His body, and He has a special purpose that you need to be made for.

But He’s going to call, and let you know what that purpose is.  And His call will have an incredible impact on your life, and on the lives of others.

But I’d also suggest that, sometimes, the phone rings, and we’re so busy, or distracted, we can’t get to it.  Someone was on the other end, they had a reason for calling, they knew our number, it would have impacted our lives, but the phone rang, and we couldn’t get to it.

At other times, at least in my house – I have little grandkids, and, for whatever reason, they think phones are funny.  So, they push on all these buttons…  There are times where the phone can be ringing, but you can’t hear it. And if you can’t hear it, you can’t pick it up.

And I believe there are a lot of Christians that the phone has rung, with God on the other end to give you a call about what He wants to do in you, and through you, uniquely, and sometimes we’re so busy, we don’t pick it up.  Sometimes we’re so distracted, we don’t pick it up.  And sometimes, we just can’t hear it ring.  We’re going to talk about God’s call, His calling, both at home, and at work.

Some diagnostic questions that I think we ought to ask, and answer, before we go too far along.

Question number one is, how many of you have ever considered going into full-time ministry?  Maybe as a pastor, a teacher, a missionary, youth worker, music, para-church, Bible translation, maybe full-time ministry as a support ministry – a mechanic, computer operator, administrative skills…

The second question is, what motivated you to consider that?  Why did you go through the process, at some point in time, and say to yourself, You know, I think maybe God – maybe, I don’t know – maybe God would want me in full-time ministry?  Was it deeper meaning?  It was a call from God, fulfillment, serving others, maybe eternal reward, obedience to Christ, desire to make a real impact in your life – I don’t know. What was it?

The third question is, what hindered you from moving that direction? Maybe you said, “You know what?  I don’t have enough training. It’s not a good season in my life. Financially, there’s no way to pull it off. I’m unsure if this is really God’s will.”

The fourth question is, do full-time Christian workers have a special place in God’s heart?  Now, I know the surface question – you know, God loves everyone, so – but what do you really think about that?  Don’t they get a little more grace, a little greater reward, and have greater abilities?

The final question: Was God more pleased with Jesus at age 28, as a carpenter, or more pleased with Him as a preacher, at 31? What do you think? Why or why not?

Now, I’m asking those questions because I want think through the issues, because God calls everyone, and He calls for a reason, and He knows your number, and He wants this call to impact your life, and those around you.  But if we’re foggy on how He calls, or what a call is, we may stay too busy, or not even hear it.

With that, then, let me do some defining, because there are things that are related that might be helpful, important definitions.  Because we’re talking about hearing God’s call for work – and some work at home; some work outside the home. Some are self-employed; some have different kinds of jobs. Some are building careers. So, let me just take a run at a few definitions so we don’t use these words in a sloppy way.

First, a job is what I do to earn a living. A job is, I need money to pay the bills. It’s called a “job.”

A career is what I build to create a life. This is what I want to do. Here’s where the opportunity is. This is how I can be successful.

And, finally, a vocation is what God calls me to do to fulfill His highest purposes in me, and through me, for His glory, and my joy.  And by the way, we’ll look at that.  The Latin word vocation is where we get our word calling.

There was a time when people thought through a different worldview, where your vocation, your calling from God, got translated into the career, and the job that you did, where you were living before the face of God, doing what He made you to do, in a way that it paid the bills, and built a career, and that your life, using your unique gifts and talents, was in the right, sweet spot of accomplishing what He put you on the earth to do.  And so, that’s why they called it your “vocation.”  And now we use the word to mean your vocational opportunities, and your aptitude tests, and what kind of career, what kind of job.

So, I just want to get those definitions out of the way, and then ask, what is your calling? If I gave you this pen, and I said, “Okay, write down, in two sentences, ‘God has called me to ___.  God wants me to do ___.  God wants to do in me and through me ___.”  If you were going to write it down, what would you write down?  What do you think God has uniquely gifted you, and designed you, to do, to fulfill His highest purposes – and by the way, don’t miss the second half – and give you the greatest joy?

Remember the parable of the talents?  We miss it sometimes, that parable where he – you know, it’s a stewardship, and he gives them each so much, according to their abilities.  Do you remember how that ends, when he rewards them?  “Come and enter the joy …” We’re going to talk about work, and our views of work, and calling, but I just want to get the category shaking around in the back of your mind.  What is it God wants to do in your life, through your life – at your home, in your work?  In fact, here’s the fundamental question: What did He make you to do?

What I want to talk about now is a biblical perspective of “calling.”  And I’m going to, without apology, give you a little theology here, because when we talk about “calling,” and if you would just go through the Bible and say “calling,” and look at all what the Bible says about calling, you would start getting confused. We’re called into His Kingdom.  Paul was called by God.  We’re called to this purpose.  You’re called to walk in a manner worthy.  And you’ve got all these words about “calling,” all over the Bible.

And so, what I did was, I did a lot of work, and I tried to then say to myself, Okay, how could I arrange this in a way where we could have some categories to look at calling?  And the key verse I want you to think about is – Imagine, if you will, with me, Ephesians is the book about how to live, the Church.

Chapters 1, 2, and 3 – this is who we are in Christ.  Chapters 4, 5, and 6 – here’s the practice of how to live.  Okay, this is what God has done.  We have a new inheritance.  We’re adopted.  We’re transformed.  We’re redeemed.  We have a new place that we are in this thing called “the Church.”

Now, chapter 4 opens up: “Now, walk in a manner worthy of the calling by which you’ve been called.”  That’s the key verse.  “Walk in a manner worthy” – and the English word we get is axis. And, basically, what He says is, all this truth of the first three chapters that I just gave you – this is what’s already true of you in Christ.  Now, walk in a manner worthy.  This is your belief.  Here’s what’s true.  I want your behavior to tell the same story as your beliefs.”

And, basically, it’s, “Bring up to level your behavior with your belief – what’s true of you, and how you actually act.”  “Walk in a manner worthy of the calling by which you have been called.”  And then, as you look at the rest of the second half of Ephesians, He will talk about what a worthy walk looks like, out of the call that you have.

Now, with that in mind, let me just give you - and other people may organize these differently, so this is not from Mount Sinai; this is from Mount Chipperoo.  So, other people who organize this a little bit differently, and those are great – this is my best understanding.

God calls us, first, to a Person, to a Person.  You’ll notice, in your notes, Ephesians 1:18: “That the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that you should know what is the hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.

And then, jot, if you would, 1 Corinthians 1:9: “To God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,” and then it talks about Him, and says that He “is faithful.”

First and foremost, the call that God has for you is to call you into a relationship with Him.  Jesus said, “Come unto Me,” not, “Come to a cause,” not, “Come to work” – “Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

The first call is to a “Who.”  It’s about relationship.  It’s about being loved.  It’s about God saying, “I want to rescue you.  I want to redeem you.  I want to love you.  I want a relationship with you.  I want to be your Father.  I understand.”

Early – what? – Ephesians 1, 2, and 3: “You were in the kingdom of darkness.  I have called you, redeemed you, out of the kingdom of darkness, and placed you into the Kingdom of light by what Christ has accomplished on your behalf.  And you, by believing and trusting in what Jesus did, as your substitute, you have been transformed from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of light.” You have been called into personal relationship with God the Father, through the work of the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit.  So, you’re called into personal relationship.  That’s how the word is first used.

Second, God calls us to a purpose.  Notice, in your notes, Ephesians 4:13.  It says, “Until we… come to the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect” – or, literally – “to a mature man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”  He calls us to a purpose.

And then, notice, it makes it even more clear, in Romans 8:28 to 30.  It says, “And we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God” – then, notice this phrase – “to those who are called” – how? – “according to His purpose.  For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover, whom He predestined, these He also called.  Whom He called, these He also justified, and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”

God has called you to a purpose, and that purpose is to make you like His Son. God’s number one agenda is not where you work, not what you do in the Church.  God’s number one agenda is to call you, first to Himself, and second, to a purpose. And His purpose is to conform you to the image of His Son.

He wants you to think like Jesus.  He wants you to drive your car the way Jesus would drive your car, if He was in your body.  He wants you to prioritize your time, and treat other people the way Jesus would prioritize His time, and treat other people, if He was living inside your body.  The whole goal is that you literally, progressively, become more and more like the Son of God.  You are called to that purpose.

In fact, it said here, in Romans 8, “He works all things together.”  The “coincidences,” the tragedies, the stock market, the pain, the job situation, the children, the singleness, the cancer, the unknown.  He is working.

God, at this day, at this moment, in your life and mine, is orchestrating every circumstance, every relationship, and every event, to fulfill the calling of His purpose to make you, and to make me, more and more like Jesus. And God is infusing us with grace, even using the worst and most difficult things that come our way, to fulfill that purpose.

Jesus said, “Be ye perfect,” in Matthew 5:48, “even as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” God’s purpose, His design, is that I would become perfect, mature, like Jesus.

So, God calls us, first, to a person, second, to a purpose. Third, God calls us to “a people.”

Ephesians 4:1-16… notice the first verse: “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk in a manner worthy of your calling.”

Okay, now, what I want to get in your mind the goal is, He’s going to call us, first, to Himself.  Then, He’s going to call us to this purpose of becoming like Christ.  And, now, He calls us to a people.  He wants to transform you.  You’re going to be called to walk in a manner worthy.

Now, look at verses 2 and 3.  What’s the very first thing he talks about?  Isn’t it, with all gentleness, forbearance, bearing with one another?  There are four different words there that are about relationships, and they’re all about getting along with other people: with all humility, with all gentleness, making every effort, making every effort – what? – to maintain the unity of the body and the bond of peace, not to create it.

You were placed, out of this kingdom of darkness, into the Kingdom of light, into the supernatural community of the body of Christ, and He says, “Now, what I want you to do is, I want you – you’re a part of the puzzle, but you’re a different part.  I want you all to fit together in relational unity, in such a way that preserves this reflection of who I am.” And then, you get these staccato – one faith, one Lord, one baptism, one calling in your – In the first six verses what He’s saying is, “I’ve called you to be a people in unity that reflect who I am.”

And then, look at verses 7 through 10. And basically, it’s a passage that talks about the victory of Christ, and the proof of the victory of Christ over Satan, and death, and sin, is He gives spiritual gifts to men. And so, when He’s talking about calling us to a people, He’s saying that this people is going to be a relational reality.  Then, He’s going to say the basis of our relationships is the work of Christ.

Now, look at verse 11, and He talks about what the gifts are, in this supernatural community we call “the Church”: “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers” – why? – “for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ” – how? – “until we all attain” – what? – “to the unity of the faith of the measure of the fullness.”  We’re perfect.  We’re to be like Christ. So, He says, “I call you to be a people.”  Peter says “a holy nation,” “a royal priesthood.”  They’re all synonyms for the body of Christ, the Church.  You are called to a Person – Jesus.  You are called to a purpose – to become like Him.  And you are called to a people, called the “Church.”

The phone rings, and God says, “I didn’t just save you for a purpose, and you float out there somewhere.  I want you connected to a local body of people, because I’ve deposited gifts in you, and I have purpose for you, and you fitting with who you are, and who they are, come together to demonstrate My glory to the world.”  And in the one, you come: “Come unto Me.”  In the other, it’s “be” – “be perfect.”  And then, what did Jesus say?  “Follow Me.  Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
I want you to hear that if you are going to understand, and fulfill, the unique plan that God created you to fulfill, it starts with His calling to you, and your love for Him, and walking with Him.

And then, it’s you understanding the number one agenda is not where I work, what I do, how many kids I have, or if I ever get married, or how much I make.  The number one agenda on God’s list is that I become like His Son.

And then, third, is, I’m called to a people.  I am called to engage in the supernatural community, where I give, and I receive, in ways where transformation occurs.

The fourth calling is the calling into a process. First Thessalonians 4:7: “For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.”  Matthew 5 says, “But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.”  Seek His righteousness.  Jesus said that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness would be satisfied.

You will be about as holy as you want to be.  That may sound heretical; it’s absolutely true.  Everything you need to be, to be like Christ, you already possess.  The Spirit that raised Him from the dead, if you’re a genuine follower of Christ, lives in you.  And, “Man won’t live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

If you have a passion to love and follow Him, and you say, “I want to be a man or woman of Your Word,” and you get yourself involved in authentic community, the Spirit of God calls you to a life, a process, a journey, that you will become holy; you will become progressively pure.  Your thoughts will change.  Your speech will change.

I’m not talking about just external cleaning up some things.  That’s a great place to start, and God usually does.  I’m talking about having unconscious reactions to injustice.  I’m talking about forgiving people that there’s no way in the world, after what they’ve done to you, you should ever forgive.  But by the power of the living Christ, you say, “Father, forgive them.  They know not what they do.”

And it’s a response that comes not because it’s anything of you; it’s because you have been so surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ, over a protracted period of time, you actually have the mind of Christ.  And the mind of Christ is manifesting itself not just in your actions, but in your reactions.

And so, you are called into a process, a walk, a journey, of transformation by God’s Spirit through His Word.  And actually, what you see, beginning in verse 17 to 32, you’re called in this journey, or process, called “sanctification,” to walk in the light.

Look at verse 17, because it really talks clearly about what has to happen.  It says, “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding” – get the idea – “darkened, being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that’s in them because of the blindness of their hearts.”

And then, He goes on and talks about why: “But you haven’t learned Christ in this way.”  Verse 22: “Put off your former conduct, the old man, which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lust, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, that you can put on the new man that was created according to God in true righteousness and boldness.”

It is normal – in fact, absolutely normal – for those outside of Christ, when they come into Christ, over a period of time, to be radically transformed – in their speech, their thoughts, their behaviors, and their motives.

I will tell you, when you met a Christian in the first century, that was just normal.  And by the way, one of the reasons it’s not normal is, the softer and the easier it is to walk with God, the softer and easier the Christianity and the flavor becomes.

Now, I’m not sadistic; I’m not looking for trouble.  And all the blessings we have – God has blessed us where we are, because we’re stewards to use it for His glory.  And we’ve turned it inward, and we’ve made it about us, instead of Him.

And that’s why a lot of people – you know something?  Their phone’s ringing off the wall, but someone came and pushed the “silence” button, and they can’t hear God.  Because they think God’s job is to give them a successful career, and make them upwardly mobile.  They think God’s job is to make them happy all the time, and if they’re not, then they trade in whatever version or make they have for the next, prettiest, best one.  And so, that’s why we have the stuff going on in the Church today, and the divorce rate in the Church today, and the lack of integrity in the Church today.

I’ll tell you what, people have not heard the call of God to a Person, and then to a purpose, and to a people.

Look at chapter 5, verse 1.  He says this calling, this process, is walking in purity; it’s walking in light.  There’s a real transformation.

But then, He says – what?  Chapter 5: “Therefore be imitators.”  Literally, the Greek word is mimic­ – “[Be a mimic of God], dear children.”  And then, “Walk in love.”  And he contrasts walking in love with sexual impurity.

He says, “You’re called to this process.  You walk in the light.  It’s a journey.  Yes, there are three steps forward, and two steps backward.  Yes, you blow it.  Yes, you have struggles.”  Okay, that’s fine.  But there’s a difference between owning it and asking God for forgiveness, and repenting and knowing you’re on the right track, and just stepping away and saying, “You know, I don’t …” I’ve done a lot of singles’ things in the last couple of years.  We’ve got evangelical single groups everywhere that go, “Well, I don’t think God was really serious about that not sleeping together before you’re married.  I mean, it’s common” – good Bible-teaching churches.

And so, we’re to walk in the light, we’re to walk in love, and then we’re to walk in wisdom.  And that begins in Ephesians 5, and he says, “[Okay,] don’t be foolish or unwise, but understand the will of the Lord.”  And then, he says, “Okay, now, I want you to walk in wisdom.”

By the way, wisdom is not intellect.  In the Bible, wisdom has the idea of skill.  It’s the idea of doing life the way God designed it to be done.  That’s what wisdom is.  It’s the skill, the insight, the knowledge, and the understanding, to apply the truth of God.

In other words, wisdom would be handling your money the way God would want you to handle your money, to bring the most glory to Him, and the best benefit for you and for others.  It would be handling your relationships His way.  It would be parenting His way, or grandparenting His way.  Wisdom is the skill and the knowledge to know when and how to apply the truth of Scripture in various areas.

So, he says, “Don’t be unwise, but wise,” and look at your notes.  And so, he says, with regard to God, “Be filled” – or literally, “controlled” – “with the Holy Spirit.”  Then, he gives evidence of when you’re controlled, and when you’re not.

And then, he’ll say, “Okay, let’s move to the next concentric circle – marriage.  Wives, here’s what you need to do.  Husbands, this is what you need to do.”  Then, he moves to the next one: “Children, obey your parents.  Hey, fathers, don’t exasperate your kids.”  And then, he gets down to the work world, and he says, “Slaves –”

Imagine, 80 percent of the Church, maybe more, were slaves, and they were a piece of property.  When this was written, a master could just say, “I don’t like this slave.  Kill him” – no consequences.  No more than killing a cow, or a donkey, or a goat…  They were his of property.  And yet, God says to them, “In your work world, I want you to do your work unto this pagan master, as though I were your boss” – Jesus.

And you know what?  There’s a reason the first century transformed their world.  Can you imagine how countercultural it would be to treat someone like dirt, and have them be your best worker, and then try and figure out, What is going on with this guy?  And he keeps making these little fish signs on the sand, and talking about some Guy, who was dead and came back to life, and you’re going, Yeah, right!  And then, pretty soon, it was undeniable.

But the reality is, God’s call goes beyond, first to Him, and to the purpose of becoming like Christ, and to a people, where He changes us, and supports us, and comforts us, and we comfort and love others, into this process of sanctification, where we walk in purity to the light, where we walk in tenderness, the love, and then when we walk in wisdom, doing life God’s way, where we’re salt and light in every relationship.  And then, notice what happens: transformation.

But He’s calling us to these things.  He’s on the other end of the phone, saying, “I want you to walk in wisdom this way.”  And He wants to whisper, or shout, in your ear, and mine.

And then, notice what He says.  Jesus says, “Seek ye first.”  You come, you be, you follow, and then you seek.  You seek.

Fifth, and finally, God calls us to different places, different places.  First Corinthians 7: 17 to 24 –  When you begin to get this idea, and see how calling plays out, you can start to think that, Well, it’s all about, am I called into the ministry, or am I called into a regular job?  And if I’m really going to make a difference in my life – well, I can’t, because I’ve got this job to do, or, I can’t fulfill God’s calling because I’ve got these kids, or, I can’t fulfill this calling because I’ve got all this education that I need to get, and I don’t have, or, I can’t fulfill this calling because, boy, I’ve got not one divorce, I’ve got two divorces, and now I’ve become a Christian.

And so, we don’t think we can fulfill God’s calling because of the position we find ourselves: “I’m married,” “I’m single,” “I’m old,” “I’m young,” “I’m uneducated,” “I’ve got too much education” – whatever it is.

And so, the apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians chapter 7 – very, very interesting passage, here.  He begins to describe some things about when you are called to a Person, to this purpose of Christlikeness, into a people of God, called the Church, into this process of transformation.  He now says, God calls you into different places, at different times, and He gives instructions.

Notice verse 17 of 1 Corinthians 7: “But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk, and so I ordain in all the churches.  Well, is anyone called while circumcised?  Let him not become uncircumcised.  Well, is anyone called while uncircumcised?  Let him not be circumcised.” In other words, if you were a Jew when you got called, be a born-again Jew.  If you’re a Gentile, be a born-again Gentile.  “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.”  It’s a heart issue.  “Let the one remain in the same calling in which he was called.”

His whole point is, don’t think calling is all about exterior stuff, about circumstances that were different.  He says, “If you’re called while a slave, don’t be concerned about it.  But if you could be made free, rather, use it.  For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freed man, and likewise, he who’s called while free is Christ’s slave.  You’re bought with a price; don’t become slaves of men.  Brethren, let each man remain with God in that state in which he was called.” Anybody getting a message here?  Is he using the word called a few times?  His point is, it’s not about external, circumstantial, or positional roles in this world.  It’s about being called to a Person, to a purpose, to a people, and to a process, so that wherever God calls you –

If He calls you after two divorces, great.  Reveal Jesus where He has you.  If He calls you without a lot of education – if He shows you that you need more, fine.  If not, stay where you’re at, and reveal Jesus, 24/7.  If He’s called you to this kind of work, do that work, unless He shows you something different, and reveal Jesus there.  Be an ambassador for Christ.  Be a secret agent, full-time Christian waitress, businessman, salesperson, stay-at-home mom, coach. What He’s saying is, “You’re all in full-time ministry!  Every single one – you are a kingdom of priests!  I don’t have clergy up here.”

We’re called to a place, and where He calls you He will gift you for.

Some of you are in the wrong place.  Granted, you’re in the wrong place because you really haven’t heard the call, or it’s not as clear yet – and we’re going to talk about how to get it clear – and there is a world system that wants to take you away from God’s call in your life.  And so, it wants to distract you and say, “Eh, you might have those leanings, but more money is what really counts, and security is really important, if you want to really be significant.”  And so, there’s a whole world that’s filling your mind, and mine, with TVs, and movies, and papers, and billboards, that say that success, and significance, and security are about how you look, what you own, who you know.

And you know what that does?  That causes the ringer on the phone of God’s call to get dim, dim, dim, dim.  And then, we find ourselves successful people, with money that doesn’t satisfy, and outward looks that people envy, but you look in the mirror and feel ugly.  And you have zeros in your portfolio, and letters behind your name, and kids that don’t like you.

And what I’m glad of is, no matter where we’re at in the process of God’s journey and call, the phone lines go two ways.  And you can always stop, right wherever you’re at, and say, “Lord, this is Chip.  I haven’t noticed, but there were a lot of messages on my recorder.  Thirty-one – yeah, that’s right, uh-huh.  Seven years, that’s correct, Sir.  I was wondering, could You maybe go back to number…  Well, maybe we could start with ‘one.’  And if You could say it real slow, I’ve got my pen and paper.  Uh-huh…  I’m really sorry.  Yep.  Thank You.  I’d like to get back on track.  Oh, man, thanks.  You’ll call me next time?  Thanks, Lord.  Okay, good night.”

It’s never too late.  It’s never too late.  And God wants you, first and foremost – See, most of us, when we think about work and calling, we jump over here to, Am I in the right place?  Should I be in full-time Christian ministry, or not?  I’ve got news for you: You are.  You are.  It’s just how you do it.

You get called to the Person, you get serious about being called to the purpose of becoming like Christ, you get called into a people of God, and you get called into the process of allowing Him to change your life, and walk in the light, and walk in love, and walk in wisdom in these relationships…  He goes, “You know, whether you do that here, or you do that here, or you do that here, or do that here, that’s so secondary.”

Now, it’s not that it’s unimportant, it’s just not near as important as the rest.

Finally, implications for a calling on your work… one, work is not about finding a job to pay the bills.

Second, work is not even about building a career for a successful life.

Third, work is a vocation, a calling that places you where you do what God uniquely created and designed you to do, in order to fulfill His highest purpose in you, and through you, for His glory, and your joy.  That’s what work is.

Work flows out of a relationship with Christ – that’s inward – to external activity that we do – that’s outward – that impacts cultural and community – that’s onward – to the glory of God, and that is upward.  That’s what we’re going to talk about.

John Piper writes, in his book Don’t Waste Your Life, “Work is not a curse.  It is, in fact, where the war is fought.  The burning question for most Christians should be, ‘How can my life count for the glory of God in my secular vocation?’”

All of us are called into full-time ministry.  Some will do it in a way where the rest of us will give a little extra, to free their unique gifts up to minister to us.  Their calling is no higher, or more important, than our calling.  They got a call on the phone from God that said, “Do this.”  And we, if we’re willing to hear, will get a call from God that says, “Do that.”

And when I stand before God, He’s not going to say, “Did you do this?”  He’s going to say, “Chip, did you do that which I called you to do?”