Society has it set where finding your calling and purpose is the top priority to living a successful life. As a Christian, some people feel if they don’t fulfill their “purpose” or “calling” for the Lord, then they’ve failed God.
I’ve been there.
After spending time with the Lord, I realized there is one more thing the Lord finds most important above our calling or purpose.
And that’s a relationship with Him.
Out of the ten commandments, the first commandment states, “You shall have no other gods before me.”- Exodus 20:3 NIV
And in Matthew 22:36-38 NIV it states, “‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.”
As I was reading Jeremiah 4, verse 1 stood out to me: “‘O Israel,’ says the Lord, ‘if you wanted to return to me, you could. You could throw away your detestable idols and stray away no more.”
As I read Jeremiah chapter 1 to 4, I realized the Lord was angry and hurt because His people abandoned Him. They decided to focus more on other idols. He wasn’t angry that they didn’t fulfill their “calling” or “purpose.” He was upset because they abandoned Him. Cheated on Him.
What’s an idol for you? Are you too focused on looking for your calling?
Let’s define PURPOSE and CALLING real quick.
Our purpose, as Christians, is to spread the Gospel. To be a light wherever our feet may land. You can fulfill your purpose while at work, while at home, while even meeting a stranger at the grocery store.
Now a calling is how you can fulfill that purpose in a specific way. For example, maybe God has called you to be a doctor and fulfill your purpose that way. Maybe he called you to be a chef, a basketball player, a YouTuber, a volunteer, etc.
Some people get so wrapped up with looking for their calling or fulfilling their calling, that they put God on the backburner. They have their calling set higher than actually developing a relationship with the Lord. And most times, it’s unintentional for the person! They don’t realize they’ve done it.
As the Matthew 18:12 (The Parable of the Lost Sheep) states, God will leave 99 to look for the 1 that is lost/has wandered. The same parable can be applied to our relationship with the Lord. He loves how you have so much passion to “find your calling,” but he doesn’t want you leaving The One (aka Him) to go pamper the 99.
Besides, how can you fulfill your calling if you don’t have a relationship with the Lord? How can you fulfill your calling if you’re not following the Lord and have drifted off?
Maybe your idol isn’t about finding your calling. Maybe it’s other things in your life. In Jeremiah 4:30, the Lord says, “What are you doing, you who have been plundered? Why do you dress up in beautiful clothing and put on gold jewelry? Why do you brighten your eyes with mascara? Your primping will do you no good! The allies who were your lovers despise you and seek to kill you.”
Are you too focused on your body image and not enough on what God says about you? About how beautiful you are? Is that your idol?
I say all of this to say these few points:
- Don’t be bummed if you don’t know what your “calling” is. Create your calling by being the best mom, daughter, son, coworker, and friend you can be right now in the season you are in. Explore different projects if you want.
- Once you build that relationship with the Lord, your calling will begin to fall into place.
- Review what’s an idol to you. Are you so focused on searching for your calling? Are you so focused on paying your student loans off that you’re working multiple jobs and not spending one day to take care of yourself?
- Are you too focused on what other people think about you? Are your ears filled with other people’s words and not enough with what God is saying about you?
I can relate. When I was in nursing school, I was so focused on studying that I would sacrifice time with God to study instead. All of that studying and I still couldn’t get the grades I wanted. But when I realized this and decided to spend time with God AND study (but not so excessively), my grades improved.
Even to this day, I still struggle. Sometimes I focused more on planning to write than I do planning to spend time with God. Or sometimes I focus more on making sure I watch my daily dose of youtube videos more than my daily dose of the Word.
To acknowledge the fact that you’re putting something above God is one step, but to actually repent and change your ways is what makes the difference.
Now, I’m not saying fulfilling our purpose as Christ’s ambassadors is not important. It is. We need to be God’s vessels and do our part in helping Him speak to the lost. What I’m saying is, how can you do that if you don’t spend time with God? If you don’t strengthen your relationship with God? God cares about your relationship with Him more than anything. He doesn’t want to lose you along the way of you helping other people.
What has been an idol in your life recently and how can you change that? Comment below!