Few spiritual concepts have fascinated and confused people more than understanding God’s calling for their lives. Is it primarily about a job or a role? Is it precise or general? Is a calling only reserved for those who work in professional ministry? These are the questions Gary Barkalow sets out to answer in his latest book, It’s Your Call: What Are You Doing Here?
The Barna Research Group recently conducted a national survey that revealed a startling truth: “…Born again Christians and non-Christians were equally likely to be seeking meaning and purpose in life.” Barkalow contends that, while the search for meaning and purpose in life is universal, Christ offers a higher calling to everyone who places their faith in Him. Christians can know and understand the calling God has placed upon their lives and discover their true selves in Him.
Barkalow explains that many people live in a fog of confusion and dullness because their authenticity and purpose in life has been assaulted by a world compelled to explain everything with scientific facts. All human emotion and all meaning and purpose in life have become categorized as mere chemical reactions within the brain. Greater disillusionment has come from within the church itself and the belief that there is a difference between those called to the sacred positions of leadership versus the layman seeking to live a faithful and moral life. If that weren’t enough, still others feel they must discover their unique gifts and that their value in the Kingdom will be determined by how they use those gifts. The truth about a person’s call is actually amazingly profound: What we are supposed to do is what we most want to do.
“The Bible endorses people’s individual uniqueness but also provides a clear understanding of the meaning of life—to know, love, and serve God with all of your heart, mind, and strength,” Barkalow writes. “With God’s help we can know that every moment, every event, and every person that enter our lives for a particular season are a part of our unfolding story and are meant to bring revelation to who we are. They are not random and trivial quirks; they are you.”
Purpose and calling in life cannot be defined merely by a job, an education, or financial success. It’s Your Call offers three “navigational” points, as it were, for people to use in order to better understand and know the purpose of their life journeys:
◦ Story: There is more going on than we can see, the stakes are higher than we’ve been told, and we are far more than we believe. The theme of our life is overcoming and becoming.
◦ Desire: What you were created to do in the Greater Story is what you most want to do—it is written on your heart in the form of your desires. “It is God who is producing in you both the desire and the ability to do what pleases him.” (Phil. 2:13 ISV)
◦ Journey: We must always remember that there is a process, a progression, a journey that every person must take in the process of becoming who they truly are and in recognizing the role they are to play.
“We must remember, as essential and powerful as these reference points are, beyond them there are things that only God can reveal about our lives. It is important that we periodically disengage from our daily busyness and examine our lives. As we develop the discipline of seeing God’s choreography in life, it becomes easier to understand the purpose and the calling for which we were designed,” Barkalow concludes.