A lot of us would like to know what’s next for us in life. We’d like to know where we’re going to work and live, if we’ll ever get married, how much money we’ll make, and have the answers to a million other questions we have. It would be great to know all the steps God would have us take to go exactly where He wants us to be in life. It may feel like God’s will for our lives is hard to discern, and that could lead to worrying about whether or not we’re on the right track. In response to all of that, I want to offer you some encouragement about God’s will for your life: you’re probably right where you need to be.
That might be a frustrating statement to those who still aren’t quite sure what they want to do with their lives, or if what they want to do is what God wants them to do. My advice is this: do what you want to do, because in that, you can honor God. Some people will receive specific calls into vocational ministry, or into missionary work, or into engineering, or graphic design — but if you’re not sure what to do, do what you want. What I’ve realized is that what we are called in to is not as important as what we’re called.
The Bible tells us a few things about what we’re called. I want to focus in on two of them: His, and Christians. They sort of go hand-in-hand with each other. We were bought at a price (1 Corinthians 6:20.) Jesus’ blood was the currency with which we were purchased back from the bondage of sin and shame. So, it’s simple — we’re His because He purchased us, and we’re Christians because we follow and worship Jesus. Another way of thinking about it is that the contract with our old way of living was bought out with Jesus’ blood, and now that we’re joyfully working for a new company, our job title is “Christian.”
So, because we are Christians, we have a call on our lives to proclaim the Gospel to the world (our job description,) and because we’re His, we operate from a place in life where our calling has been made clear. There’s no reason to sit nervously at our desks, wondering how we’re supposed to do our jobs. In a past devotional, I used the phrase “Come and see, then go and do,” and that’s my version of what a Christian’s life should look like: draw near to Jesus, feel the sweetness of His love and experience the wonder of salvation and grace, and then go and tell the world about it through your words and actions. Come and see, and then go and do. That’s our calling as Christians, and we have it because we’re called His.
It’s possible you could be called to live in a cave for 12 years while sharing the Gospel on an island I’ve never heard of. On the other hand, you could be called to be a school janitor. Either way, you’ve been placed around people who need Jesus, and you’ve been placed in a situation where it’s entirely possible to honor God. And that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll need to answer the office phone by saying, “XYZ Company, Jesus loves you!” or have a giant poster behind your desk with a quotation from Scripture — you can do either of those things, but what if our witness extended beyond that? Because we are His, we live differently, and by doing so, we reveal Jesus to people around us. When whatever we’re doing is rooted in who Jesus is, He gets the glory, and it becomes apparent that whatever you’re doing is done a little differently. And that gets people’s attention.
Colossians 3:17 says this: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Here is one of the keys to proclaiming Jesus wherever we are in life. Does what you’re doing or saying show the love of Christ? Then do it. If not, then don’t.
Done correctly, I don’t think that there’s a difference between working at an engineering firm in Dallas, or ministering on a different continent. Yes, foreign nations may need to know Jesus, but so does that child in your class from the broken home. So does that client going through a divorce. So does that coworker who’s looking for the reason for her existence. If you live life in the name of Jesus, trusting in His promises, people are going to see that. If you shine the light of grace, love, and truth wherever you are, it’s only a matter of time before someone takes notice, and it changes their world.
So, if you’re wrestling with what you want to do with your life, do what makes you happy (as long as it’s not sinful, because God can’t be honored by sin). But as you go about that, remember your ultimate calling. Because we belong to God, we’re liberated from the question of what’s next for us in life. God’s will for you and I has been laid out: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20.) Our new question is, “What’s the best way of making disciples in the place God has me in right now?” And maybe that’s something we can ask God. I think that if we ask for doors to be opened, for people who need God to be placed in our paths, and for opportunities to arise to share our faith, He is One to come through.
We’re people who have been called as His own, who bear the name of Christ, and because of that, have a will and a purpose wherever life takes us — and that will is that we live out our faith through words and actions, all for the glory of God, in hopes of drawing people toward Him What we’re called is bigger than what we’re called in to.