I have been researching a lot of biblical characters lately and learning about their calling from God. I have had time to reflect on my own calling as well, and interestingly enough, I have found a commonality that all those who are called by God share, or a tie that binds us together across decades of life, and it’s something that we don’t like to talk about. We have been told to avoid this our whole life. However, in order to answer the call that God is placing on your life means you will have to SURRENDER to it.
There is a problem with the word SURRENDER isn’t there? We know it as a negative word, so we avoid it. Surrender means that you have given up, you have been defeated, you’re weak, you’re a quitter, you’re soft…and yet, that is exactly what God needs from you in order to mold you into a “Vessel” for His Kingdom. God does His best work in us when we come to the end of ourselves and say, “Ok God, I am yours. Use me, here I am. No matter what it is, you can count on me, because I am getting out of the way.” How scary is that?? The comical thing about surrendering to God is that often times He will place a call on your life and then won’t give you any details, so…the thought of surrendering to THAT is the last thing on our mind. Surrendering to God’s plan, God’s purpose, God’s calling on your life requires complete trust that God can do more with your life than you can do with your life on your own.
A calling from God can look like a lot of different things. The issue that most run into when exploring a calling from God is that it’s often thought about in terms of a career. God certainly calls people into ministry as a vocation (which is how my call came), but it can look so much different. It’s completely possible, and I think often a precursor to something, that God will use the Holy Spirit to draw you into a deeper relationship of commitment and trust before He will reveal to you what your calling may be. The way it happened for me was that God used some of my closest and dearest friends to help me see a possibility, and then I wrestled with that and even ran from that and had conversation with God about why I shouldn’t and couldn’t, until I finally surrendered to it. The two months I spent wrestling with God and giving Him my excuses, I actually felt myself drawing closer to Him, because I was engaging the God of the universe through prayer, contemplation, conversation, and even frustration. As a result of drawing towards God, I could start to see more clearly how He wanted to use me.
God has heard all of the excuses to. You don’t speak well? Look at Moses. You are busy making a living? Look at the Disciples. You have messed up too much in the past? Look at Paul. You are too young? Look at Timothy. You are too old? Look at Abraham. You are not worthy? Look at the Cross of Jesus.
Do you feel like God is calling you to something, but you have been avoiding it? God will not call you to something that He won’t see you through. I will never leave you nor forsake you – Hebrews 13:5. Do you feel like you want to make a difference, like maybe God is nudging you, but you are unsure about the direction? It’s time to seek His counsel and pray for understanding. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. Proverbs 3:5-6.
Perhaps the most significant moment of surrender in all of history was in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus came to a moment where the terms of His death were about to be lived out, and he says, “Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” -Mark 14:36. It’s in that moment of surrender that our salvation was won. No matter what was coming, Jesus made a decision in that moment to surrender to the plans and purposes of the Father.
Surrender is at the heart of God’s calling on your life, and if your surrender doesn’t speak louder than your desires, you won’t be able to see all that God has in store for you. It is my opinion that God is using the Vessel family to bring encouragement, inspiration, and energy into the life of the church in order that we can explore what God may be calling each of us to do. Let’s adventure into God’s calling together friends. We need each other. God bless you!