Identity: Your Calling Intersects with Community and Culture

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intersection-300When you look at the day’s news headlines, or take time to listen to others speak of their pain, or even consider your own trials and suffering, you know that we live in troubled times.   But have you considered that your unique calling, your mission from God has a context in the generation, the culture, and in the community where God has placed you?

When God’s calling on your life intersects with real and deep needs in the lives of others, the invisible God becomes visible to them and His Kingdom purposes are expressed in mighty ways.  As referenced in The 210 Project, three stories are told when that happens:  your personal story (because we are all working out our own journey with God), a community’s story (because we are all connected to one another by formal and informal relationships), and God’s redemptive story (because we’re all connected in time and to one another by God’s eternal plan).  Understanding your unique spiritual DNA enables you to intentionally engage your relationship with God and with others to discover your place in God’s story.

For me, personally, the discovery of my calling came upon returning to God, after years of wandering away from Him.   Because my sins were many, and exposed to the world – divorce and abortion among them – God in His grace allowed me to be broken.  He knew that when I came to the end of my self-sufficiency, I would be desperate for His forgiveness and healing power in my life.

My life verse sums up my understanding of God’s grace and purpose for my life: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ might display His unlimited patience, as a pattern to those who may believe and receive eternal life.” (1 Timothy 1: 15-16)

I was in awe of this Jesus who forgave me, and I desired to know and love Him more, dedicating all that I was and owned for His purposes and glory.  Because of my life verse, I knew I must tell my story.  There were others, with similar life experiences, who needed hope and encouragement – who needed Jesus. As I grew in my knowledge of Christ and my new identity in Him, I discovered my spiritual gifts and unique design.  I realized that God doesn’t make mistakes, and He doesn’t waste any moment of our life.  God, in His amazing wisdom and power, would use my past failings as much as He would use my strengths and gifting to help others.  Amazing love, how can it be?

Led by the Lord, I wrote a personal mission statement as part of my commitment to Him: “To help other women be all that God designed them to be, regardless of their past or present circumstances.”   That was 28 years ago and, every day since, God has confirmed His calling on my life.   He has placed me in various ministries since that time, but through all I have had opportunity to teach, mentor, and encourage post-abortive women, divorcees, teens with unplanned pregnancies, victims of childhood sexual abuse, and those suffering with addictions.

God is not through with me yet, and He is not through with you. As long as you and I have breath, we have a calling to fulfill that intersects with the community and culture we are in.   Discover your calling today, for as Bruce Wilkerson once said, “Your Father knows your gifts, your hindrances, and the condition you are in at every moment.  And He also knows something you can’t possibly know – every single person who is in desperate need of receiving His touch through you.”

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