The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle…. – 1 Samuel 3:10-11
A calling. We all have names, and people specifically address us by the name attached to our identity. When someone wants our attention, they call out our name.
God calls us out the same way, but there are times when we know that there is something that specific we need to do. That’s why He calls us. He has a purpose specifically designed for each one of us that is as unique as our names can be.
God’s Calling: Take Heed of His Commands
Every calling for every person is different. Though it is common to follow the steps of those before us, God still gives each of us our own calling. In fact, oftentimes, God places mentors in our lives to follow as a part of His plan for us to prepare us to fulfill our purpose.
The word “calling” is often used in Christian environments, but purpose and mission hold pretty much the same meaning. They are all ways of saying God has a specific will and plan for each of us. God placed each of us here, at this exact moment and place in time, to fulfill a piece of His great masterpiece called life.
When God calls us out, we oftentimes fail to hear it the first time around just as Samuel did. We may be unsure of the source of the call because there are so many other voices floating around us in the world. But, when God is insistent that the time has come for us to take heed, He will let His command be heard despite all the noise.
In fact, God can use just about anything from painful experiences or an overwhelming miracle to jolt us back to a deeper connection with Him. It is there, in relationship with Him, that we can clearly listen to and follow His call.
It is only through meditation, prayer, and full surrender to God that we can hear His calling clearly. Jesus even models this for us on a number of occasions:
“After sending them home, He went up into the hills by Himself to pray. Night fell while He was there alone.” – Matthew 14:23
In these times of communion between us and God, He is faithful to speak to us. Not only is prayer an opportunity to bring our requests before our loving Father, it is also an opportunity for us to hear His voice and guidance.
Is the Calling Always for Our Own Good?
I remembered asking the question “Is, God’s calling always for my own good?” God doesn’t always call us to comfortable spaces. Many times, He call us to tread on uncertain waters and unfamiliar territories where we have no choice but to trust Him completely.
Jesus Walks on Water
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds. After He had sent them away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone, but the boat was already far from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went out to them, walking on the sea. 26When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately spoke up: “Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.”
“Lord, if it is You,” Peter replied, “command me to come to You on the water.”
“Come,” said Jesus.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and took hold of Peter. “You of little faith,” He said, “why did you doubt?”
And when they had climbed back into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God!”
God has placed a calling, a special purpose, a divine mission, on each of our lives. He calls us each by name. Many times, we can become preoccupied with discovering our purpose in life, but rest comes in knowing that it is all in His hands. He will make the path clear each step of the way if we turn our hearts’ attention to His voice.
One thing is for sure – it is not God’s purpose for us to fail. Sometimes challenges are a part of God’s plan for us to arrive at our purpose. And, yet, no matter how difficult the path is before we arrive at our final destination, what we can confidently rest on is this assurance from the Lord:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11