Thursday, February 8, 2024

No Higher Calling

This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 1:1 NLT)

We might think that people in the church who are called to be pastors, evangelists, or worship leaders are the spiritual elite of today.

However, every one of us is called to be something by the will of God. Paul began his letter to the believers in Ephesus by saying, “This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:1 NLT).

Not many people were called to be apostles, and indeed Paul was in a position of significant leadership. But we also need to realize something. Paul’s Hebrew name was Saul. No doubt his parents named him after the first king of Israel. King Saul was known for his attractiveness and his remarkable height.

Young Saul of Tarsus probably took great pride in his name. He also had a notable spiritual pedigree and ultimately became a member of the Pharisees. And he possibly was a member of the ruling council known as the Sadducees.

Yet Saul found emptiness in his life, which sent him on a quest that ultimately resulted in his committing his life to Jesus Christ. And then he started using his Roman name, Paul. We may not see this as all that significant, but the name Paul means “little.”

Perhaps this gives us some insight as to why God so powerfully used the apostle Paul. He saw himself as little in the sight of God. Before, he might have boasted in his accomplishments, learning, and everything that he had. But after his encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus, he recognized that he was a little man before God.

This reminds us that we can never be too small for God to use, but we can think of ourselves as too big.

God, according to His will, called Paul to be an apostle. In the same way, God might call someone to be an accountant according to His will or a police officer according to His will or a doctor according to His will.

Let’s say, for instance, that you were having chest pains. Would you want a pastor by the will of God? No, you would want a doctor by the will of God. You want someone who knows what they’re doing.

Or, if someone is threatening your life, would you want a doctor by the will of God? No, you would want a police officer by the will of God.

Then again, maybe you’re having problems with your finances and can’t balance your books. You don’t need a police officer, a doctor, or a pastor. What you really need is an accountant by the will of God.

Each of us has a part to play. Maybe you think that preaching is a higher calling. Granted, it is a high calling and a privilege. But don’t feel as though you’re a second-class Christian if you’re not in full-time ministry.

The highest calling is what God has called us to be. There is nothing higher. Therefore, we need to be faithful to what God has set before us.

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