My friend Mickey and I ran a half marathon several years ago. It wasn’t on my bucket list, but she talked me into it. She had to remind me (on more than one occasion) that I needed to “run my own race.” What she was kindly telling me is that I needed to quit getting frustrated with her and just run the race ahead of me. I also knew that I couldn’t run the race alone, so I had to adjust my stride so that we could run it together. It strengthened our friendship and taught both of us so much about God.
What race has God called you to run? Maybe he’s calling you to serve in a new area of your church and it feels like a stretch outside of your comfort zone. What if God wants you to write a Bible study to be used among the women in your church? Has God prompted you to do something and you’ve hesitated?
We often spend too much time thinking of what that one big thing is that we’re called to do—when daily God is giving us assignments and ways to be obedient to Him. Your daily calling is obedience in all things.
When looking at the New Testament, we watch how Paul and Timothy walked so much life and ministry together. Paul wrote two letters to his friend as a way to encourage him and spur him on. The book of 2 Timothy gives us a great framework for what it looks like to walk out our callings:
- Do something with what you know (2 Tim. 1:3-7; 2 Tim. 3:14).
- Walk out your calling and don’t be ashamed (2 Tim. 1:12-14).
- Be prepared for whatever may come (2 Tim. 3:1-15; 4:1-5).
- Paul’s last words to Timothy—“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. There is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me, but to all those who have loved his appearing” (2 Tim. 4:7-8).
You’ve probably thought at some point, What is it that God has called me to do? If so, you’re in good company. Here are a few questions you can ask as you can begin to discern the calling God has placed on your life:
- Does it line up with God and His character?
- Has anyone else in my life affirmed this call?
- Does it edify other believers/your local church?
Some of your calling is for a season, and other callings are lifelong. Last year, my husband and I welcomed our firstborn son into our family, and it changed everything. I’m a mom who got a later start, so I looked around at thirty-seven and had no idea what it would feel like to go back to work. After a few months, the Lord made it so clear that He was calling me to be at home in this season so to do anything else would be disobedient. Quitting my job felt like free-falling off a ledge—it didn’t make sense financially, and I love serving in full-time ministry. Since I quit my job and came home, I haven’t regretted It for a second. So many faithful mentors and friends affirmed this step of obedience and have cheered me on in this new season.
Sometimes the call is huge—it requires a big step of faith, a move, a sacrifice, and a change. Other times, the calling God has placed on your life is to be obedient right where you are planted. Prayerfully consider what God is calling you to do. Your calling is unique and God-given! Don’t miss it because you’re comparing yourself to anyone else. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus!
Looking for a Bible study or resource to help you?
Experiencing God – Henry Blackaby
Discerning the Voice of God – Priscilla Shirer
Calling out the Called – Scott Pace and Shane Pruitt
Is God Calling Me? – Jeff Iorg
Adorning the Dark – Andrew Peterson
Mary Margaret West has been leading in women’s and girls ministry for the last eighteen years and is the author of Show Her the Way: Your Guide to Discipling Teen Girls. Mary Margaret holds a Master of Arts in Christian Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. She has served on staff at churches in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida, and as an event coordinator and girls ministry specialist at Lifeway. Her passion is to equip women to dive deeply into God’s Word and live out their calling by way of consulting, speaking at events and conferences, and serving as a Lifeway Women trainer. Mary Margaret loves serving her local church, brunch with friends, and freelance writing. She and her husband Jonathan live in Winter Garden, Florida, with their son, Sam.