Reorienting Your Life Around Your Calling
When God calls you to something, there is no doubt that that this call will transform your life. This is no more true than in the area of being called to be married or single. If you are called to be married, your life will be irrevocably changed by the partner you choose. If you are called to be single, you will need to be part of a wider community, and that community will irrevocably change your life. We must each reorient our lives around our calling, not try to fit our calling into our life with as few changes as possible. Any time God issues a call, a person’s life will have to radically adjust. There are plenty of biblical examples such as Jonah, Isaiah, Jeremiah and many others.
If you feel called to get married, here are some points to consider as you pursue that calling:
Though we may receive our call clearly from God, it may take many years for it to unfold and be fulfilled in God’s timing. The apostle Paul was called to be an apostle to the Gentiles (non-Jews) soon after his encounter with Jesus. But it was likely about 10 years before Barnabas sought him out to work with Gentiles in Antioch. After that, it took another 3 years before he and Barnabas were sent out by the church in Antioch to their first missionary journey.
Clearly, it took years for Paul to fully live out his call to live and work among Gentiles, and God refined Paul’s character during that time to prepare him for that work. Like Paul, we need to be patient as we prepare ourselves for our calling and trust that God is developing and growing us.
Are there any external barriers in your life that are preventing you from pursuing a calling to marriage? Some examples include having large amounts of debt and working (or ministering) excessively so that you don’t have time to get involved in new relationships.
As you start to reflect on barriers to being ready for marriage, you will want to pray with those in your community who can offer wisdom and guidance as you seek to fulfill your calling. Being honest and vulnerable about these things can be challenging, but doing so is worth it! As you open up to others and seek God through these challenges, your friendships will deepen and God will use your community to help you decide how to address these barriers.
Are there any internal barriers, such as past pains or present patterns, that are holding you back from entering your calling? These can include fear, brokenness, previous sexual misconduct, being sexually molested, issues of pornography, or bitterness which would keep you from entering the calling God has for you (see Ephesians 5:3-7).*
What’s the Next Step?
If you are just beginning to deal with some of the issues listed above, you may feel it is impossible to really enter into your calling. Do not believe the lies of the enemy that you are “too broken” or “too far gone.” The Lord who has called you is faithful. And He is in you to transform you. You need to trust Him as you enter into these painful and fearful areas of your life.
That being said, you will also need help. Transformation does not occur overnight and is limited if you try to address personal issues by yourself. The Lord created us for community, especially when we are in need of healing. Seek out other believers who are willing to walk through hardships and brokenness with you and help you begin to experience freedom from those things. (If you would like more training in this particular topic, go to dickscoggins.com/resources/reading-schedules and select “Principles for the Healing of Souls” and “Transformational Ministry”; or contact him directly for these books at email@example.com.) It makes all the difference to know that there are others who have your best interest in mind and will fight battles for you and alongside you.
This kind of small spiritual task force (usually best with two or three others) can work with you to develop a plan to address and overcome the external and internal barriers that are preventing you from being free to fulfil your calling.
Rather than running away from others when we see issues in our lives, we need to run to the Lord and to others who want to see us healed and whole in Christ. As James reminds us:
“Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.” (James 5:14-15)
This process of transformation and healing is nothing short of a struggle to fight the Devil and “take back ground” for the Kingdom. You will experience times of discouragement or when you feel like you aren’t moving forward. In those times, take heart! Remember God’s promise that we can have confidence because “he who began a good work in you will complete it in the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). The Lord will not give up on you and will continue to shape and form you as His masterpiece!
*For more help in the area of freedom from sexual sin, go to dickscoggins.com/resources/bible-studies and find the bible study “God’s Plan for Sex.”