Summary: I think we need to un-complicate the idea of being called, lest it become something people think they cannot attain or aspire to. We have all been called out...
I would say that one of the questions that people ask me most these days is this, “How can I know what my calling is? Or what am I supposed to be doing as a Christian?” I believe these questions come from two places: one is a sincere desire to begin doing what you and I were made for; the other is out of lack of understanding when it comes to the gospels. Many people are looking for a Damascus experience or for God to come knocking on their door with a telegram outlining exactly what they should do for the rest of theirs days. That would seem easy, but it lacks the necessity of the believer to have faith in a faithful and sovereign God. One thing is for sure, you and I were made for a purpose and those who believe have been called out of the darkness, but what follows as a Christian is not complicated. We are going to be looking at the a story from the gospel of John this morning that explains what it is we need to do to fulfill our God given call. People make it so complicated and mystical when Jesus really made it simple for us as believers. (read John 21;13-23)
There are 3 stages to embracing your God given calling.
1. The Inward Conflict
I am sure that many of you have heard this story of Peter before. Jesus repeatedly asks Peter if he loves him which seems strange for someone who gave up everything to follow Jesus. Why would Jesus ask? I believe one of the things Christ was trying to show Peter is that you cannot do the will of God if you do not love Jesus. Peter would play a pivotal role in the early church, but Jesus knew that out of love flows true obedience and so he asked Peter, “Do you love me?” Yes Peter had walked on water and yes he had followed Jesus all around the country side, but when Jesus left would Peter remain faithful? Did he really love Jesus enough to willingly obey all that would be asked of him?
This is an inward conflict that we have to face all the time when it comes to choosing between what we want to do and what God tells us to do. It is so easy to follow what we want and do what is easy. I know I should talk more about Jesus, but it’s too hard and I don’t want to look stupid. Or maybe you struggle with maintaining the Christian image and so you are always too defeated to be a good example. We have been called to make the most of every opportunity in Eph. 5:16 and Col. 4:5.
This line of thinking is interesting because when it comes to loving someone of the opposite sex these inhibitions are thrown out the window. No one has to tell you to make the most of every opportunity because you willingly do it. You would do anything even though it means looking stupid half the time just because you love the other person and you want to make sure they know it. You would do anything for love.
This is the same strength of love we need to have for the Lord in order to really be obedient to do whatever it takes to please Him. You have got to look past what it means for you and do things because of what it will mean for Him. This is the conflict that we deal with daily and Jesus was making Peter aware of it through this questioning.
2. The Tendency to Compare
Often times when people sincerely want to begin to obey the Lord and really do what he has called us all to do we are tempted to compare. This is very dangerous because nowhere in the bible does it call on you to be like me or vice versa. You were never called to fulfill my purpose and I wasn’t called to fulfill yours and so we cannot compare ourselves to each other. People wonder why not as much is expected from Jimmy or why Patty seems to get more recognition then I do.
Peter asks Jesus about another disciple, “What will be expected of him Lord?” It’s like Peter was trying to direct the focus on someone else, but Christ was talking to him, calling him. Jesus responds by saying, “It doesn’t matter what that other person will do or how long they will be around for or what giftings they have; what is that to you?” If you get caught up on others and what they are doing or not doing then you are in fact wasting the time you have been given to serve the Lord. You will never be responsible for what they do so don’t worry about it. You don’t have to be them, because the body is diverse and has many parts.