Christian Growth

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Role Call

God calls each of His children to a unique life, and we answer Him with our lives.

  • Author: Erik Segalini
  • Published: May 1, 2000

"God loves you, and offers a wonderful plan for your life."

So begins the Christian experience for millions of people reading the Four Spiritual Laws booklet. The evangelistic tract--synonymous with Campus Crusade for Christ--opens with Law One, the promise that we all have a calling designed by the Almighty Creator.

Do you believe it? Or have you listened instead to the whispered lie that only special people receive a calling on their life? "If you aren't a missionary or a pastor," the nagging, accusing voice says, "you are just wasting time down here on earth."

It's nothing new. Martin Luther debunked that myth back in 1520, when he wrote The Babylonian Captivity of the Church. "The works of monks and priests, however holy and arduous they be, do not differ one whit in the sight of God from the works of the rustic laborer in the field or the woman going about her household tasks, but that all works are measured before God by faith alone."

In the January/February 2000 issue of Discipleship Journal, Jamie Winship writes about a traffic flagman with a solid grasp on God's call. Jamie couldn't help but notice him during a congested commute into Washington, D.C. Despite angry honks and the oppressive July heat, the man waved his orange flags with enthusiasm, even extending friendly greetings to passing motorists. So Jamie rolled down his window and asked why the man was so cheerful.

"I'm happy because I'm not working for the man," he shouted back. "I'm a flagman for Jesus."

Like He did for this worker, God can transform any task into holy service, charged with eternal significance. Ultimately, we are only "wasting time on earth" when we disobey God's call. And since we don't know God's reasons for choosing one person to wave flags while asking another to lead a church, we cannot rank their calls in importance.

In John 21, we watch as Jesus issues His call to Simon Peter, commanding the disciple to shepherd Christ's lambs. Immediately, Peter waltzes with the sin of comparison, wondering whether Jesus had something better for his buddy John.

"Peter therefore seeing [John] said to Jesus, 'Lord, and what about this man?' Jesus said to him, 'If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!'" (John 21:21-22).

As He did with His disciples, Jesus expects us to obey His call. You've been placed where you areÑat work, at school, in your home or neighborhoodÑto shine as a light, to point people to the Savior. Christ commanded every believer to help evangelize and disciple others in His Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and in this sense, we all share the same call to full-time Christian work.

For some of us, however, that call leads to the mission field or vocational Christian work; for others it means remaining in the workforce; while still others stay full-time with their families on the home front. These details of God's plan mark a distinct and unique path for every follower of Christ. Each of us must learn to listen for His call and answer Him obediently.

Author Os Guiness calls biographies "the literature of calling." We've gathered four life stories for you to read in this section: two examples of people who answered God's call in the workforce, and two examples of people who felt led into missions.

As you read these stories of faith and obedience, may you hear the voice of the great Caller and discover the courage to answer Him. Wherever He leads you, may you be as confident of your call as the man with the orange flags.

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