How can you find your calling from God? The first thing we need to do is define what we mean by this term, “calling.”
Christians use this term in a variety of ways. When I use this term, however, all I mean is that a calling in life is a specific task God wants you to accomplish. I believe a calling can change from season to season. At one point you might be called to be a pastor, but at another point in life you might be called to work a secular job and focus more on your family. Your spiritual gifts and your ultimate purpose will never change, as we will discuss in the points ahead, but the specific places and roles God calls you to in life can change a variety of times as the Lord sees fit.
With all that said, if you want to find your calling in life, I believe there are at least 3 important factors each of us needs to examine and consider.
1. The Glory of God
While your calling in life can change, your ultimate purpose in life will never change. The Bible is clear that our main purpose is to always glorify God in everything we do. 1 Corinthians 10:31 famously states, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
At one season in life you might be called to singleness and at another point in life you might be called to marriage. At one point in life you might be called to be a middle school teacher, and another point in life you might be called to run an orphanage. The specifics can change, but no matter what God is calling you to do, he is always calling you to do it for his glory.
So one way to discover your calling is to ask, “What choices can I make in life to bring God the most glory?”
2. Your Spiritual Gift from God
This second variable begins to narrow down the specifics of God’s call on your life. The glory of God is the purpose for every human who has ever existed. Certainly many reject this purpose God has for them, but this is what God desires from us all.
While God has made everyone to glorify him, God has not given every Christian the same spiritual gift. Spiritual gifts are a big topic in the Bible, so it would not be possible to give a full teaching on this subject right now. Many Christians have very different beliefs about spiritual gifts. They even disagree on how many spiritual gifts one person can have. Nonetheless, the Bible is clear that God blesses every Christian with spiritual gifts:
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:6-8)
You can also see a list of spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 which states, “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.” When God calls you to do something, he will always equip you to accomplish that task through the power of the Holy Spirit.
To find your calling, you can reverse this logic and ask, “What am I equipped to do?” If God equips us to do what he is calling us to do, you can figure out what he has called you to do by discovering what he has equipped you to do.
So to know where God is calling you to serve and glorify him, you have to know what your spiritual gift is.
3. Your Unique Personality from God
We all have the same purpose to glorify God. This is where we are all exactly the same.
We don’t all have the same spiritual gifts, but many of us share the same gifts as one another. Not everyone has the gift of teaching, but many do. Not everyone has the gift of serving, but many do. Not everyone has the gift of giving, but many do. We may all be called to teach, serve, or give at different times in life, but all Christians have specific giftings. No Christian possess all the spiritual gifts themselves, no Christian is without a spiritual gift, and no Christian has a spiritual gift that only they possess. Christians share in the spiritual gifts.
The place where we are specifically different and unique is in our God-given personalities. No two people are exactly the same. No one is exactly like you and no one is exactly like me. We all are meant to glorify God. Some of us share the same spiritual gifts. But when it comes to glorifying God with our spiritual gifts through our unique and individual personalities, this is where everyone is special.
For example, I am not the only Christian YouTuber trying to help people apply the Bible to their life. There are many others just like me who make great videos, write helpful articles, and write books for the glory of God. There are many people who have the spiritual gift of teaching like me. But when I sit down and try to glorify God with my spiritual gift, the content I create will be unique and different compared to another YouTuber because we are different people with different personalities. We can even express the same truths, but the way we will both express those truths will not be exactly the same. This doesn’t mean one video will be better than another video. It just means that we will create different types of videos because we are different people.
So when you want to know what God is calling you to specifically do, you have to look at your specific personality traits as well. Again, using myself as an example, I am a very introverted person. This doesn’t mean I lack social skills, it just means that my energy levels are replenished through alone-time. This unique personality trait allows me to write content alone for long periods of time so I can create meaningful content for the AGW audience. Someone else who has the same motive as me to glorify God and has the same spiritual gift as me but is an extreme extrovert would probably hate the life I am living right now. A person like this might be very good at preaching sermons every week and constantly interacting with people in group settings as a pastor. While I like doing those things now and then, because of the way God has designed me personally, that would drain me and it would not be a sustainable calling for me.
In summary, don’t forget to truly assess the unique personality traits and desires God has give to you and to you alone. We are all different people. When you express the spiritual gift God has given you for his glory through your unique individuality, this is when God creates something truly beautiful and new through you.